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Hi,

The annual UK Ecommerce Performance Index study has launched today, naming Amazon as the top performing retailer with an impressive benchmark score of 73%.

The study, produced by EPiServer, scores 25 of the UK's top retailers' websites against a best practice benchmark and compares this against fresh consumer research to see how well they're meeting the expectations of today's consumer.

Please find the press release below, which details the key findings from the study. The full report is available for free download at www.episerver.com/ecommerce2012.

The EPiServer team will be at the eCommerce Expo in London Olympia today and are available for phone or face-to-face interview, which I'd be happy to arrange for you.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Katia

Amazon tops UK Ecommerce Performance Index study

Amazon online shopping experience impresses with a benchmark score of 73%, despite average scores down on 2011 for top UK retailers

- Average score for top 25 UK retailers was a disappointing 58%, down 5% on 2011

- Retailers falling down on cumbersome checkout processes and delivery costs

London, UK, 2nd October 2012: Amazon UK, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser have topped the UK Ecommerce Performance Index study by EPiServer, published today. The report, which scored 25 of the UK’s top retailers’ websites* against a detailed best practice benchmark, presents a disappointing average score of 58%, which is short of 2011’s score of 63% and indicates that retailers are struggling to keep up with maturing consumer expectations.

The EPiServer report, entitled ‘Benchmarking the Digital High Street: UK Ecommerce Performance Index 2012’ is available to download from www.episerver.com/ecommerce2012. The study presents the findings of a survey of 1,000 consumers to gauge the expectations of online shoppers, which are then compared with the benchmark assessment of top UK retailers' websites to see just how many are meeting the expectations of today’s web-savvy consumer.

David Bowen, Product Manager, EPiServer, commented, “The overall score of 58% is an indication that retailers are faring reasonably well, but also demonstrates that there is plenty of room for improvement and a real opportunity for savvy retailers to give themselves a significant competitive edge with just a few simple measures.”

Whilst the overall average scores were down on last year, the top five performers achieved an average score of 68%, which is a slight (2%) improvement on last year and suggests that the biggest players are maintaining their efforts.

The top performing retailers were:

Amazon – 73%
Marks & Spencer – 70%
House of Fraser – 66%
ASOS – 65%
Argos – 65%

The biggest disconnect between consumer expectations and retailer performance was identified in the speed of checkout process, which was one of the top three consumer demands, where retailers scored an average of just 58% against the best practice benchmark. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cost of delivery was also a bone of contention with nine out of ten of consumers prioritising free delivery options whilst an average of just one in five of the top retailers assessed by EPiServer offered this.

Communication is also very important to online shoppers and most retailers hit the mark by providing an email notification of purchase. However, one in three disappointed when it came to providing an email notification of dispatch.

The retailers were scored in four areas: overall website experience, browsing, buying, and after-sales. Amazon scored a fairly even spread of points in each of the four key areas (75%; 76%; 64%; and 77% respectively), which EPiServer suggests demonstrates that the company has carefully considered the entire online shopping journey and implemented best practice at every stage.

Bowen added, “We’ve seen some great examples of websites delivering excellent service in particular areas, but very few are scoring well at all stages of the online shopping journey. Many retailers have fallen down at different points too, so there’s no single point of concern across the board. Amazon is a great example of how taking care of every stage can deliver a superior customer experience and this will ultimately support increased conversions and sale values.

“Our findings highlight areas where even the UK’s top retailers are risking customer loyalty, extra revenue and market share by underestimating consumer expectations. Many of the problem areas could be fixed easily and at very little cost, and the full Digital High Street report includes practical advice and real-world examples to highlight simple measures where retailers could improve the user experience to keep customers spending.”

*Selected from the Hitwise Top 50 Hot Shops list

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

Methodology

The consumer survey was conducted by OnePoll in July 2012 and consulted 1,000 UK consumers. The results of answers to the questions were translated into percentage values.

The retail benchmark study was conducted by EPiServer in July-August 2012. A weighting has been applied to the scores achieved by each retailer to award each one an overall score out of 600.

The scoring was based on four main categories, as follows:

Overall website experience:

- Does it offer a wide range of customer service options?
- Was a loyalty scheme publicised on the site?
- Does it enable the sharing of products/links via social media?
- Does the retailer offer value added content such as articles or blog posts?

Browsing:

- Does the site display good quality product pictures? Are they zoomable or rotable?
- Is it easy to search for products?
- Does the retailer enable product comparisons?
- Does it give consumers the option to create a wish list?

Buying:

- How quick was the checkout process?
- Does it have clearly displayed shipping costs and or return policies?
- Does the retailer offer free shipping?
- Does it offer consumers the opportunity to claim discounts or vouchers?

After sales:

- Does the retailer send an email confirmation of order placement?
- Does the company notify consumers when dispatching items?
- Does the site offer online tracking?

About EPiServer

EPiServer is the leading supplier of solutions that enable true Web engagement and drive business results for end customers. 4,700 customers worldwide use EPiServer's technology platform that combines content, community, commerce, and communications with a configurable metrics dashboard. EPiServer CMS is the foundation for more than 20,000 websites and is used by more than 130,000 web editors daily. The EPiServer platform is delivered through an extensive network of over 590 partner companies in 30 countries.

EPiServer combines the stability and support of a commercial product with EPiServer World, a thriving developer community of more than 14,000 developers. EPiServer is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with an AAA-ranking by Dun & Bradstreet since 2000. The company was founded in 1994 and has offices in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom. EPiServer is controlled by the IK2007 Fund. IK Investment Partners is a European private equity firm with Nordic roots, managing €5.7 billion in fund commitments.

For media information, please contact:

Ellie Dobson/Katia Bouznik
EML Wildfire Technology PR
episerver@emlwildfire.com
0208 408 8000

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Wildfire in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, Retail & Fashion, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.