Homebase named Britain’s worst online shop

Homebase.co.uk has been rated the worst online retailer in the UK for 2018, according to the latest Which? annual online shop survey.

Which? asked more than 10,000 people to rate the most popular online shops based on experiences they have had in the past six months. Those surveyed were also asked to rate websites for their experiences buying particular items and consider a variety of factors including price, product range, deliveries, product quality and the returns process.

The most highly rated shops in the Which? survey were smaller, specialised retailers such as LizEarle.com (94 per cent), RicherSounds.com (93 per cent), Rohan.co.uk (93 per cent), SeasaltCornwall.co.uk (93 per cent) and WexPhotoVideo.com (93 per cent).

Meanwhile, DIY retailer Homebase.co.uk achieved a customer score of 55 per cent. Shoppers said they found the site difficult to navigate and not always up to date with stock information. The site was also criticised for having poor product range, product quality and value for money.

Joining Homebase at bottom of the pile were High Street institutions such as SportsDirect.com (61 per cent) DorthyPerkins.com (61 per cent), B&Q’s DIY.com (62 per cent), WHSmith.co.uk (63 per cent) and JDSports.co.uk (63 per cent).

When asked what makes them shop online, two-thirds of respondents said they preferred it because they can do it at a time that is convenient for them.

Around three in five (63 per cent) people told Which? it was easier to find exactly what they wanted online and 57 per cent also said they had more choice of products. More than half (56 per cent) of customers said it was easier to compare prices across different stores when shopping online and the same amount said it was more convenient to have their items delivered than to pick them up in person.

Graham Cooke, chief executive of data intelligence firm Qubit, said retailers are gaining a competitive advantage by focusing on offering a personalised and unique online shopping experience.

“Typically, people will regularly shop with just five online retail brands, one of which will be the retail behemoth Amazon,” he explained. “Customer-centricity is key to future growth of any brand, with many of the brands towards the bottom of the Which? list have taken a product-first approach.

“This lack of customer-centricity means some brands on the list simply can’t meet the expectations of the modern consumer,” added Cooke. “They demand an experience that is convenient, personalised to their needs, available on all platforms, and whenever they want it.”

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