Aldi, Alliance Boots and Groupe Auchan have best websites among global top 250 retailers
Aldi, now one of the world's biggest grocery chains running more than 9,800 stores worldwide scored 8.3 of a possible ten marks, the best overall score in the sector, and an improvement on the third-quarter global retail survey, retaining its place at the very top of the table. The discount food retailer has many stores in Europe and the USA, but Germany, where they have around 4,300 stores, accounts for about two-thirds of sales.
Sitemorse uses its automated software to read the first 125 pages of each retailer’s site and places them in a ranked table of relative performance based on six key criteria - function, code quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and SEO capability.
Alliance Boots has risen six places to take second place with a score of just under 8out of a possible 10, the best performance recorded for this website in 25 surveys over the past six years.
Together with associates and joint ventures, Alliance Boots operates more than 3,330 health and beauty retail stores.
French chain Groupe Auchan SA is a newcomer to the top of the retail chart although the group has always been in the top 50. It is one of the world's principal distribution groups with a presence in 12 countries and 269,000 employees and scored 7.3 , rising 24 places since the last survey of this sector in September 2012. Auchan has 639 hypermarkets and 2,412 supermarkets around the world.
Also scoring very highly in our survey are the Ruhr-based holding company Tengelmann Group, which owns a large number of European-based subsidiaries and an American tea company. The Tenglemann group scored 7.1 and moved up the table by six points.
And fifth this time is the website of Maxima Grupe, a retail chain from Lithuania which has operations in Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria and which is now the largest employer in the Baltic states. In our benchmark the Maxima Grupe website scored 7.1/10.
Climbing up the table this time are UK clothing retailers Next, up 66 places, Japanese retailer Don Quijote Co. Ltd, up 98, and highest climber this time, US-based Liberty Media Corporation, up 111 places to 43rd position. Liberty owns interests in a broad range of media, communications and entertainment businesses.
UK based Game Group dropped 94 places to 115th. Game entered administration in March 2012 and was purchased by Baker Acquisitions, art of OptCapita, the following week.
The survey found that the fastest website was once again that of clothing retailer H&M Hennes.
General levels of accessibility – something now backed up by law – were low, and 12 sites failed basic accessibility tests on every page. Accessibility is clearly not something many international retailers value highly; the only good score in the entire survey in this area was awarded to the Spanish supermarket Mercadona, scoring 8.
Sitemorse commented that even though the traditional Christmas boost in online shopping is now over, retailers using the web need to ensure their sites work well if they are not to lose sales. Research has proved that many web users will bail out of online transactions if they find errors, so efficiency is vital. Even the retailers not currently selling online and using their sites mainly to attract users to their stores need to make sure that pages ,load swiftly, links and images work, and users who rely to external software such as screen readers can navigate their sites.
Click here for the survey results.
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