The websites of DIY giants B&Q and Homebase came near the bottom of the pile in a recent report comparing eight of the top homewares retailers online, while Ikea's site shone through.
The Qubit benchmark report from customer experience management platform Qubit looked at the onsite effectiveness of eight of the top global home product companies using five main sections - Find, Choose, Buy, Personalise and Mobile. The analytics company assessed how the retailer's websites serve their customers and their level of presence across social media and among key industry term search results on Google.
The research highlighted that B&Q's diy.com came in last place in the Mobile section with a significantly low score of 34 out of 100. homebase.co.uk did not come top of any of the five sections and its mobile site was given the second worst score of 65%. At the top of the table was American home furnishing company Pottery Barn and American furniture and housewares retailer Crate & Barrel, each scoring 80%. Ikea came in at 72%.
In addition, under the Find section, which looks at how a user's journey begins, B&Q came in last place again at 66%. (This comes after a disappointing few months for B&Q's website
). Homebase and Ikea had average scores of 83 and 88% respectively; the highest scorer was Pottery Barn at 95%.
However, B&Q scored the second highest Personalise section score of 86%, Homebase was third at 75% and Ikea was second from bottom at 54%; this section looked at how the websites were tailored towards each user. "It was pleasing to see B&Q showed a great deal of product badging. They create a sense of urgency by highlighting offers and reductions to visitors," the report said. American domestic product retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond won this section with a score of 87%; Qubit said the website's personalised 'shop for college' section was impressive.
Despite the bad news for Kingfisher-owned B&Q, the main headlines of the report were that its website was the easiest to buy from, while Bed, Bath & Beyond was found to offer the best overall customer experience online, and Pottery Barn's website was the easiest and most intuitive to navigate.
Elsewhere, Ikea's website came top of the Choose and Buy sections with scores of 95% and 86% respectively. In the former section, it was said to have the most usable catalogue of products. Homebase came second place in the Buy section at 84%, while B&Q ended up near the bottom.
In the table of monthly website visits for the retailers, Ikea shone through as the clear winner; it was estimated to have just over 42 million visitors a month, which is five times the number of its closest competitor. The Swedish furniture retailer also achieved first place in the social media analysis with a significantly bigger presence than the seven other retailers. Comparatively, with B&Q and Homebase's websites mostly targeting UK customers, their website visitor figures were much less; B&Q came in fifth place and Homebase came in one of the last spots.
The two other companies included in Qubit's benchmark report were Texas-based home furnishings and decor retailer Pier1 Imports and French furniture and decorating brand Maisons du Monde. Overall, the report stated that Bed, Bath & Beyond was the winner of the Website Analysis section. The retailer achieved an average score of 85%, compared with Ikea coming in second place with an average of 79%.