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DFS leads the home-wares retailers in enjoying strong online performances in Q4

Big ticket retailers selling home-wares delivered a strong performance in the table of the best performing UK retail websites in Q4 - commanding five of the top 20 places.By Glynn Davis


DFS leads the home-wares retailers in enjoying strong online performances in Q4

Big ticket retailers selling home-wares delivered a strong performance in the table of the best performing UK retail websites in Q4 - commanding five of the top 20 places.By Glynn Davis

These are the latest results from the quarterly testing of the Retail 500 of top UK online stores.

Having 25% of the top 20 positions is an impressive achievement especially when considering that even the lowest score achieved by this bunch was a creditable 6.70 out of 10 – from Sofa Workshop that held the 17th spot it attained in Q3.

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

Sofa Workshop was joined in the upper echelons by: Beds Direct in 12th spot with a score of 7.20; KD Beds in 11th spot with 7.29; Pownall Carpets in fourth spot with 8.38; and the mighty DFS yet again holding the top spot with 9.50 out of 10.

The Yorkshire-based sofa retailer has again held off jewellery retailer Anoushka London, which maintains its second place with an identical score to that in Q3 of 9.37. It was followed by Joseph and Pownall Carpets in joint-third place - who with 8.38 are almost a full point behind
the top two, which highlights how strong their continued performances are at the head of the table.

Lawrence Shaw, chief executive of Sitemorse, says: “Both DFS and Anoushka London have maintained great consistency in the top 500 table for many months, which clearly highlights how hard they work at ensuring their websites are operating at their optimum performance.
Their practices and continued commitment to their online stores will undoubtedly position them well to benefit from the forthcoming vitally important festive period.”

Credit must also be given to the biggest climbers in Q4, with Thorntons moving up 343 places into 33rd spot with a score of 6.18. It was joined in the top 50 by Cash Converters that also moved up significantly – by 230 places to 50th spot with 5.58. Other big movers included Topps
Tiles, up 262, Motor World, up 238, and major online player Next, which climbed 237 places.

In contrast, there were some hefty fallers this quarter, with Naked Wines the heaviest casualty as it collapsed 355 places into 457th spot with a weak 1.52 out of 10. This is a very different performance to the highest placed drinks retailers, The Whisky Shop that moved up two places
to reach 16th spot, and Bargain Booze which climbed five places into 40th spot. Nov 2012 Loading...Other disappointing fallers included that declined 234 places and M&M Direct down 264 places, which is worrying as both businesses are online-only so rely entirely on their websites for their revenues. The same can be said for that this quarter slipped 11 places to land in the bottom 10 with a score of only 1.52.

Both and Naked Wines are newcomers to the bottom 10 in the table and they were joined by two others – Grattan, which dropped nine places to 451st spot, and M&Co. that fell 52 places to 450th spot. None of the bottom 10 managed to score more than 1.78, which puts them a quantum leap away from long-time high-flyer DFS.
The final ranked table for Q3 includes only 459 retailers because merchants were excluded from the testing if they used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites, according to Sitemorse.

Click here to view the results table.

Don't miss the Retail Bulletin's 4th Multichannel Retailing Summit, 6th February 2013. The theme of the day 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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