DFS finally hands over its crown as top performing UK website
After a number of years furniture retailer DFS has lost its place as the best performing UK retail website as it loses out to two jewellery chains. By Glynn Davis
According to the results from the Q3 testing of the Retail 500 of top UK retailers’ online stores, DFS falls four places with a score of 8.42, compared with the 9.70 that it achieved in Q2, as it suffers from various functional problems including a small number of broken links and an issue with accessibility to the site for visually impaired people.
The testing of the 500 sites is undertaken by Sitemorse using automated software that, page by page reads the first 125 pages of each retailer’s sites to generate a ranked table based on checks to Quality, User Experience, Accessibility, Performance and SEO capability of each of the websites.
This shock fall of DFS, from being the long-time leader of the table, will be of concern to Tim Stacey who joins DFS in the newly created role of online and business development director at the firm. He joins from Boots where he led its multi-channel transformation programme.
Despite the fall it is still one of only nine retailers among the 500 tested that achieve a score of more than eight out of 10 – the acceptable level that all retailers should aim for, according to Sitemorse – which continues to show that the vast majority of the retail industry is still failing to get to grips with the basic aspects and housekeeping elements of their web operations.
This should be a worry because a recent survey from YouGov of 2,050 UK adults found that many people were abandoning purchases because of a failure to get the basics right. The top reason for abandoning a purchase mid-session was slow performance (one of the Sitemorse testing criteria) with 52% of people citing this as their biggest bugbear.
It beat unsatisfactory check-out/payment, which 41% cited as their top reason for leaving a website. “This is clear evidence that shoppers are voting with their mouse and abandoning those retailers who fail to deliver a painless shopping experience,” suggests Shaw.
Another worrying development this month was the first signs of a site that was found by Sitemorse to contain malware/phishing links. “This is a concern as it suggests the retailer is not really looking after their site. In the physical world it’s like having a building with the doors left wide open and no security presence. Retailers should really pick up on this especially as visitors to the site could potentially claim damages if they are affected,” says Shaw.
On a positive note Anoushka London is the new number one with a score of 9.37 out of 10 and is closely followed by Asprey with 8.88. They are joined by three newcomers to the top 10 in Mango – that jumped 51 places this quarter – Joseph, and Hein Gericke (UK) that leapt an impressive 122 places to 10th spot with a score of 7.90.
These top performers are part of a growing polarisation in the top 500 as the better retail websites grow stronger and the poorer performing sites deteriorate further. This can be seen from the statistic that in the top 50 this quarter there are 33 risers and in the bottom 50 there are 43 fallers. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in Q4.
Click here for the rankings table: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/777/434b4eb6
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