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There’s been plenty of bad news for the high street in recent weeks. But now it’s time for the web to come under scrutiny, as Which? unveils its list of the best and worst online shops in 2018. And it’s not good reading for Homebase, who were ranked bottom of the pile.
Meanwhile, on the high street: Debenhams is closing stores – here are six things we’ll miss
The online shops survey, that Which? carries out every year, polled more than 10,000 people this summer, asking about their experiences in the previous six months.
Sadly, the beleaguered DIY retailer, which announced in August that it was closing 42 stores, came 118th and last in the report. It scored a customer satisfaction score of just 55 per cent. Its rival B&Q didn’t do too much better, ranking fourth from last with a 62 per cent rating.
The worst online shops, according to the Which? 2018 survey
1. Homebase.co.uk – 55 per cent satisfaction rating
2=. DorothyPerkins.com – 61 per cent
2=. SportsDirect.com – 61 per cent
4. DIY.com (B&Q) – 62 per cent
5=. JDSports.co.uk – 63 per cent
5=. WHSmith.co.uk – 63 per cent
7=. CreateandCraft.com – 67 per cent
7=. LaRedoute.co.uk – 67 per cent
7.=. Made.com – 67 per cent
Other homeware brands that didn’t fare well in the survey included Made.com and LaRedoute.
Homebase has released a statement in response, as reported by the BBC: ‘Customer feedback is really important to us, and we are working hard to make changes online to provide great service when customers shop with us.’
There was brighter news for some of our other favourite stores, with JohnLewis.com and Lakeland.co.uk both featuring among the best online shops. Electrical retailers did really well, too, with Dyson joint 7th and Richer sounds 2nd. But beauty brand Liz Earle just about edges it!
The best online shops, according to the Which? 2018 survey
1. LizEarle.com – 94 per cent satisfaction rating
2=. RicherSounds.com – 93 per cent
2=. Rohan.co.uk – 93 per cent
2=. SeaSaltCornwall.co.uk – 93 per cent
2=. WexPhotoVideo.co.uk – 93 per cent
6=. JohnLewis.com – 90 per cent
7=. Dyson.co.uk – 89 per cent
7=. Lakeland.co.uk – 89 per cent
7=. Wordery.com – 89 per cent
So what makes a good online shopping experience? ‘The online shops with the happiest customers tend to be the ones that offer a personal service, quality items, and deliver quickly and conveniently,’ says Which? Editor Harry Smith.
‘Where the big players are lacking, either with poor service or confusing websites, smaller, more specialised online retailers have seized the opportunity to make their mark and give shoppers exactly what they want.’
So if you’re ever thinking of opening your own online boutique, the moral of the story is to make sure your site is quick and simple, offer great customer service, and a clear and easy returns policy. Then you should be on to a winner!