Consumer survey reveals ‘big gap’ between online shops

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Homebase.co.uk has been named the UK’s worst online shop in an annual ranking topped by discount make-up retailer allbeauty.com.

Consumers voted allbeauty.com, a British firm that sells beauty brands at a cut price, the best online retailer for the second year running in the Which? survey.

The website achieved a customer score of 91%, with shoppers rating it as excellent for price and range of products.

It was closely followed by home entertainment retailer Richer Sounds on 87% and appliance store AO.com on 85%.

The AO.com website
(Frank Vincini/PA)

The homeware store Lakeland.co.uk and tools supplier Toolstation.com came in joint fourth position with 84%.

Which? asked more than 10,000 members of the public to rate 100 of the most popular online shops, considering factors including price, product range, deliveries, product quality and the returns process.

The survey revealed dissatisfaction with prices at Homebase’s online shop, which achieved an overall rating of 62% and the lowest position in the ranking.

But it still received some praise for ease of finding products and the ordering process.

Consumers thought WHSmith.co.uk was average for the range of products, price, ordering process, deliveries and products being in stock, giving it an overall score of 64%.

A branch of WH Smith in London
(Philip Toscano/PA)

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor-in-chief, said: “We can still see a big gap between the top and bottom of the table, with people generally rating the top online shops better for their prices and range of products.

“Consumers are expected to spend millions online during Black Friday this year, so we encourage shoppers to do their research and pick their deals, and where to buy, with care.”

A Homebase spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed by these results and have recently upgraded our website to make it easier to browse and discover great ideas and advice.

“We are also committed to offering customers always low prices.”

The top 11 online shops according to the Which? survey are:

1. allbeauty.com (91%)

2. RicherSounds.com (87%)

3. AO.com (85%)

4. Lakeland.co.uk (84%)

= Toolstation.com (84%)

6. AbeBooks.co.uk (83%)

= AppliancesDirect.co.uk (83%)

= FragranceDirect.co.uk (83%)

= JohnLewis.com (83%)

= LookFantastic.com (83%)

=Superdrug.com (83%)

The bottom seven are:

94.DIY.com (67%)

= LauraAshley.com (67%)

= Maplin.co.uk (67%)

= Office.co.uk (67%)

= UrbanOutfitters.com (67%)

99. WHSmith.co.uk (64%)

100. Homebase.co.uk (62%)

:: Which? surveyed 10,505 members of the public in June.

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