The website of UK catalogue retailer Argos has topped a poll of Europe's most customer-friendly online sellers.
Conducted by Forrester Research, the survey ranked 51 leading European etailers according to how effectively their sites allowed consumers to reach their goals. The research group believes "customer advocacy" is key to successful online retailing.
Argos.co.uk was ranked first due to its excellence across all channels. The site allows users to see what products its stores have in stock, and internet purchases can be returned in-store. Amazon.co.uk was ranked second.
In general, catalogue retailers performed well due to experience in distance selling. Online grocers, however, still have work to do. The website of UK giant Tesco – Europe's only profitable net supermarket – scored low because customers need two online shopping baskets and payment processes: one for groceries and another for non-grocery products.
That said, these problems do not deter Britons from visiting the Tesco website. According to Hitwise, Tesco.com was the most visited UK grocery site in the third quarter and notched 'top ten' rankings in each of the bookseller, department store, electronics and music categories. Also in the grocery chart, Wal-Mart owned Asda displaced J Sainsbury as second most visited online operator.
Topping the Hitwise UK charts in the other categories were: amazon.co.uk (books, department stores); next.co.uk (apparel/accessories); empiredirect.co.uk (appliances/electronics); gadgetshop.com (flowers/gifts); bubblegumclub.com (toys/hobbies); play.com (music); uk.kelkoo.com (rewards/directories).
Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff