2014-03-04 12:17:30 - The leaders in the retail sector understand that an effective online presence is now vital for a business to succeed, and over the years Sitemorse has regularly looked at the sector we have come to the conclusion that businesses with an effective digital landscape tend to do well in the marketplace.
That’s why our Q1 UK Retail 500 Index benchmark is an important marker of which retail businesses are the digital leaders, with a high standard of web governance that means users of their sites get a great online experience.
Retaining top place in the Index, with an excellent score of 9.3 of a possible ten marks is the London-based high-fashion evening wear manufacturer Anoushka G. It’s the third consecutive quarter the company has been at the top of our Index, and it has not been outside the top three for four years.
Moving up 81 places to third position this time is the Yorkshire-based discount clothing company W Boyes, which has stores all over the East of England. Womenswear specialist Jarrold
& Sons, which operates from a historic mill in Norwich, rises 99 places to 8th overall.
But seven out of the top ten performers come from the homeware sector. Lancashire-based Pownall Carpets, which has sold floor coverings for more than half a century, retains second position with an impressive 8.1/10 overall. K D Beds of Harrogate hangs on to fourth place with 7.5/10.
Top riser, Bathstore has had a meteoric rise of 309 places to get to fifth position overall, with Sofa Workshop and Chester’s Beds Direct in sixth and seventh positions. Fitted bedroom specialist Hammonds, which manufactures all of its furniture in Leicestershire, shoots 215 places up the Index to 9th place overall, and finishing up the top ten performers is a new website from Rapid Hardware, which operates from a megastore next door to the Radio City tower in Liverpool.
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.
Other impressive gainers are toy outlet The Bear Factory, up 190 places to 42nd overall, leading clothing outfit Next, which rises 216 places to 161st position, and Eastern wood furniture specialist Lombok, which is up 254 places to 108th overall.
Some well-known brands are moving up the Index, with DFS Furniture rising 154, toymakers Corgi and iconic rail modeller Hornby are up 71 and 40 respectively, and we have recorded rises for Asda supermarkets, Debenhams, Dobbies Garden Centres, French Connection, Games Workshop, Gieves & Hawkes, Greggs, IKEA, Jack Wills, Jacques Vert, Levis, Louis Vuitton, Screwfix, Tesco and Waitrose, among others.
Anoushka G is the top performer in the important area of accessibility, with a 9/10 score, significantly ahead of the rest of the table. Plus size fashion retailer Elvi and specialist legal bookseller Hammicks both scored 7/10 in this area.
About the Index
The quarterly Index Website Review, powered by the Sitemorse software platform, is an important independent benchmark that clearly shows how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It’s also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.
Sitemorse services such as Governisation and the Web Management Toolkit immediately find the issues that affect web users the most on any website, help demonstrate real improvement and ensure you have control and confidence in your web presence.
They will help you minimise unnecessary risk, issues covering everything from compliance with web standards to helping you deal with malware, protect your brand across even a large web presence, and enhance search engine optimisation to help more potential customers find you. They can help spotlight content that may need updating, issues with staff training and support, and focus supplier management. We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to request further details and / or an example.