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RETAIL NEWS

Electrical retailers continue to disappoint online in Q4

Electrical retailers collectively performed disappointingly online in Q4, according to the latest quarterly testing undertaken by specialist Sitemorse on the sites of the UK’s top 500 retailers, which shows the majority of merchants in the category falling down the table since Q3. By Glynn Davis

RETAIL NEWS

Electrical retailers continue to disappoint online in Q4

Yet again there is no electrical retailer in the top 20 in the table, which required a minimum score of 5.64 out of 10 to earn a place in this top performing bracket in Q4. The best the sector could muster was 4.14 by The Plasma Centre. Despite it being the top performing electricals retailer in Q4 (among the 19 tested) it still fell two places in the overall table. It was one of the 14 retailers in the category to slip down the table.

The four companies to improve their positions since the last quarter are: Dixons, which moved up 43 places to 122nd spot; O2 UK, up six to 204th; AO World, up 53 to 256th; Hughes Electrical, up three to 366th; and Apollo 2000, up five to 379th.

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.

The Plasma Centre is the only retailer to score over four out of 10 among the electricals, which places it in 97th place in the overall table. This is the lowest position of any category leading retailer among the 500 retailers tested by Sitemorse. This is especially disappointing because electricals is a strong selling category online. And even when sales are not actually made online, customers like to undertake research on retailers’ websites ahead of visiting their stores to potentially make a purchase. This surely represents a missed opportunity for electricals retailers who continue to deliver a poor online performance.

The lowest ranked retailer in the category is Maplin that scored only 1.82, which resulted in it slipping 17 places to 393rd spot overall. Last quarter it sat above Apollo 2000 but the latter’s improved score of 1.88 compared with 1.84 last time lifts it off the bottom in the electricals category.

The final ranked table for Q4 includes only 414 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. This represents an improvement on Q3 when a lesser 404 were included, but still down on the 428 in Q2.

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