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Aldi, Spar and Baltic’s Maxima chain dominate top retail websites

The top global retail websites are run by the Aldi and Spar supermarket chains and the largest employer in the Baltic states, Maxima Grupe.


Aldi, Spar and Baltic’s Maxima chain dominate top retail websites

Overall scores in the survey of 227 sites in total (a number of sites were excluded from the testing process as they use assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites) were on the low side, however, with some major online retailers getting generally low scores according to the latest benchmark of the sector from Sitemorse*. 

Discount food retailer ALDI Group has become one of the world's biggest grocery chains, running more than 9,800 stores worldwide. ALDI has many stores in Europe and the USA, but Germany, where ALDI has about 4,300 stores, accounts for about two-thirds of sales.

The benchmark found the Aldi website to score just shy of eight out of a possible ten marks, the best overall score in the sector, and gave the site full marks for code quality. Aldi has risen seven places in the table since the last survey in Q2.

Spar is no stranger to the top of the Sitemorse retail sector survey, and has previously been winners. This time the chain has kept its no.2 placing as in our previous survey, with an overall score of 7.4. Founded in Holland in 1932 SPAR is now the world’s largest international food retail chain, and is also the UK’s leading convenience store group, with a turnover in excess of £2.7billion, employing more than 50,000 people in the UK alone.

In the third spot is 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 the benchmark the Maxima Grupe website scored 7.3 out of a possible 10, again with a high score for code quality. Also in the top five retailers tested was C&A Europe and South African retailer Inditex, both with scores around seven.

Climbing up the table this time are Canadian DIY chain RONA, up 128 places, and US clothes retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, up 90 to take 110th place.

On their way down the table are US paint makers Sherwin Williams, down 56, Japanese chain store Best Denki, down 110 places and convenience store franchisers 7-eleven, down 167 places.

Computer game retailer, Game Group, has had its troubles over the last few months, and the company dropped 11 places to 21, taking it firmly out of the top ten. Better news for Alliance Boots, however, up 70 places to take eighth spot this time with a score of 6.6. Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has dropped 14 places to end up 15th this time.

The survey is not great news for some of the top international retailers. H E Butt of the USA is just kept off the ‘bottom’ of the table by the Japanese fashion retailer Isetan; neither website could manage as much as one mark out of ten by the criteria. Other big international names towards the bottom include Home Depot, Macys and Woolworths of the USA, Toys R Us, HMV and Pet Smart, Next and Amazon.

Nobody likes a slow-running website and the survey has a table of how long the sites tested took to load the homepage. The fastest website was that of clothing retailer H&M Hennes.  Levels of accessibility – something now backed up by law – were generally low, and 14 sites failed basic accessibility tests on every page.

Sitemorse concluded: Despite a number of the websites tested being the principal sales channel for their retailers, we’re still surprised at how many errors and minor faults there are to bring them down. In the face of evidence to show that web users will abandon sales if they encounter difficulties, we are still seeing low marks in the retail sector which suggests big retailers are losing potential income because of poor sites.  It’s not just the online retailers, many high street stores are in the same position. So although we are constantly told that times are hard in retail sales, it seems the retailers haven’t thought about investing to improve the quality of their sites, and hence probably their sales. As Mr. Spock would have said, ’Illogical’…

Click here for the full survey.

*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.

Click here to register now for the Retail Bulletin’s Multichannel Retailing Summit 2013 whose theme is:  Connecting everything in the new omni-channel world retailing environment:360° loyalty solutions to maximise sales effectiveness at every customer touchpoint.


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