(PRWEB) May 28, 2010
The latest eRetail Benchmark study from eDigitalResearch reveals that clicks and mortar retailers continue to deliver a more consistent performance across all touch points on the online customer journey than their pure play rivals, with six of them dominating the study’s top ten.
For the first time the study also included a review of the retailers mobile commerce platforms.
Now in its 11th year, the benchmark study which uses a panel of mystery shoppers to evaluate 49 leading UK retail websites for usability and customer service performance revealed that JD Sports was the top overall performer, delivering a consistently strong performance for both front and back end systems. The leading sports fashion retailer received particular praise for its product details, checkout process and on the strength of customer contact, including a helpful text messaging service detailing exact delivery times.
Commenting on the sports fashion retailer’s top ranking in the study, Mick Peek, Head of E-Commerce at JD Sports, said: “We are really pleased that our site has been recognised as a market leader in this study. Everyone at JD Sports recognises that the customer is the most important person in the business. That is why we work hard to continually listen to our customers, using a combination of direct contact, social media and our own surveys so that we can react quickly to their feedback and improve the site operationally to ensure we continually exceed their expectations. This approach pays dividends for us, so it’s only natural that we will be paying particular attention to the areas where the study suggests there is room for improvement.”
Other established high-street outlets that scored highly across the board to secure a place in the top ten include M&S, John Lewis, Next, House of Fraser and HMV. The only pure play retailers to join them were Amazon, Figleaves and Woolworths, along with catalogue and online retailer Kays.
Across the industry, retail websites achieved their highest ratings for search and navigation, with M&S and New Look coming top in each category, respectively. However, although overall this area performed well, there were still areas of frustration for surveyors, ranging from irrelevant search results to filtering issues.
The key underperforming area was email customer contact which is primarily driven by speed of response. Pure play retailers Amazon, Ocado and asos dominated the top three in terms of time taken to respond, with PC World trailing in 49th place.
The research indicates that customer expectations in terms of email response times are 24 hours. With retailers such as asos now promising a reply within one business hour, it is likely that customer contact strategies will become a key area the industry will be forced to address in order to keep up with the ever increasing pace of expected response.
Michelle Fuller, co-founder and director of eDigitalResearch comments: “Yet again, our study illustrates that the resource and investment traditional brands put into customer contact and pays huge dividends in overall customer satisfaction.
“When customers shop online, the very least they expect is a simple, straightforward and easy-to-use experience, from clear navigation to detailed product information, good customer service and accurate delivery information. The smart retailers are those who recognise that they need to exceed customer expectations and so sites such as JD Sports and M&S, who continually revise and improve site functionality, will always reign supreme with the consumer.”
Established in 2000, the eRetail Benchmark study uses eDigitalResearch’s unique eMysteryShopper tool to evaluate website usability 49 top performing UK retail websites.
Retailers are benchmarked by an internet panel of surveyors across 200 qualitative and quantitative measures from home page first impressions to order fulfilment and customer service contact.
To download a presentation containing the full leagues for the last study then please visit:
For further information, contact Natalie Lyndon on 023 8021 5389, or email: natalie(at)merchantmarketinggroup(dot)com
Notes to editors
- eDigitalResearch has the largest ‘norms’ database across the retail sector and is able to offer clients and the market a unique view of what ecommerce shoppers are looking for from an eretail site.
eDigitalResearch has been undertaking ‘end to end’ eMysteryShopper surveys on the top UK Internet retail sites since Christmas 2000.
- With its in-depth research it can benchmark and plot the development of retail websites over the last ten years.
- As a result it has an unprecedented level of knowledge, expertise and research data covering the development of some of the top UK internet retail sites.
- eMysteryShopper (eMS) provides in-depth and structured study of website usability, functionality, supporting logistics and customer service through our unique panel of profiled UK Internet users. Working under strict Non Disclosure Agreements these profiled individuals are paid to complete ‘end to end’ surveys on selected websites.
- eDigitalResearch currently works with over 10,000 profiled UK eMysteryShoppers (surveyors) carrying out end to end usability studies on over 55 sites at any one time. Surveyors all complete strict assessment criteria and operate under stringent quality control and ongoing survey moderation.
eDigitalResearch is a leading provider of digital market research, enabling customers to make critical business decisions with the benefit of comprehensive consumer insight and informed direction. eDigitalResearch possesses a unique combination of research expertise, marketing background, web technology and knowledge of the cross-channel consumer. As well as providing invaluable research data, the modules of our fully integrated research system - ratings, surveys, panels, communities and forums - can combine to provide holistic analytics and essential market-leading insight. This gives our clients the power, confidence and backup to make crucial decisions on key aspects of their business including product range, marketing, customer service, supply chain, even basic positioning. http://www.edigitalresearch.com
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