Small retailers lead website performance

Furniture retailer DFS holds onto the top spot in the Sitemorse Q2 Retail 500 Report, which ranks the best performing websites of the UK's retailers.

The company achieved a score of 9.7 out of ten, compared with the 9.5 it achieved in the first quarter of 2011, according to the report.

The top eight websites reached scores of more than eight out of ten, which is regarded by Sitemorse as the level all retailers should aspire to, up from the five websites that hit this mark in the first quarter report.

The website testing company ranks 500 retail websites based on checks to quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and SEO capability.

Mike Halson of Sitemorse believes the retailers at the top are ‘setting the pace’, but he says that many others are achieving ‘very poor scores’.

Women’s fashion store Anoushka London, which takes second place, appeared in the Retail 500 for the first time with a score of 9.37, while Turnbull & Asser, the clothing retailer, climbed 161 places to reach the fifth spot, scoring 8.49 out of ten.

However, the biggest climber is interiors business Fired Earth, which leaped 311 places to reach number 13 in the report and scored 7.64.

Halson says the ranking is ‘bereft of big name retailers’, aside from DFS and Spar, which comes in at number 17 in the report.

‘It is clear that achieving a high score is not simply about the big operators throwing lots of money at their websites. The upper echelon of the table in Q2 is chiefly taken by smaller players,’ he explains.

Walter Smith, which operates a chain of butcher’s shops in the Midlands, takes the 20th spot in the report, having soared 128 places. Smaller stores such as Pownall Carpets and Greenhalghs Craft Bakery sit at 8th and 11th respectively.

Those retailers at the bottom of the table include Muji, in at 469 with a score of 1.26, while Conran Shop Holdings takes last place with a score of only 0.93 – the only merchant in the report to score less than one out of ten.

Halson comments, ‘We can only assume the level of damage that is inflicted on these high class brands by the failure of their websites to deliver some of the most basic online requirements like accessibility to visually impaired people and acceptable page download speeds.’

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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