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Clear navigation boosts consumers’ positive feelings towards the UK’s general retail brands

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Making it easy to navigate a site can have a huge effect on the way customers feel about the UK’s general online retailers, according to the latest e-Performance Observatory General Retail Online study from usability specialist Yuseo.

The usability research measured the live customer navigation experience across eight UK general retailers who sell online:; Argos; Debenhams; House of Fraser; John Lewis; Littlewoods; M&S and Tesco Direct, the non-food arm of supermarket Tesco’s online presence.

More than 1,400 web users took part in the research, of whom 69% were women, 26% were aged between 30 and 40, and 32% were between 41 and 54 years old. Each was asked to complete six tasks. They put together two shopping lists to assess how merchandising was used to display products online, ordered two sets of products to test the checkout process, and were asked to find customer information on the site relating to issues including damaged products and the length of a warranty. They also answered more than 70 questions during and after the exercise.

Participants recorded an overall navigation experience score of 55%, with user satisfaction at 6.6 out of 10.

When it came to user satisfaction, 45% of participants said they were neutral about their overall experience across the eight sites, 23% were negative and 32% were positive.

Yuseo’s navigation impact measure assesses how participants feel about the site before they start the exercise and how they feel about it afterwards. Amazon scored the highest initial rating, with 87% of participants positive about the site before they started the survey. rating it. Afterwards it had lost 3% from that approval rating.

Argos scored an initial 85%, also losing 3% afterwards, while Debenhams scored an initial 66% but lost 25%. House of Fraser scored 47% beforehand, but lost 42% during the navigation exercise. The biggest gainer was John Lewis, scoring an initial 58% and gaining 30% during the course of the exercise. Littlewoods had an initial approval rating of 46% but lost 11%, while M&S’ opening 63% fell back by 3%. Tesco Direct was initially rated by 70%, adding 3% by the end of the exercise.

The report said: “This result confirms that in today’s demanding market, every detail matters highlighting genuine room for optimisation.

“In this context, John Lewis enjoys a leading position on the satisfaction post-navigation with a 7.9/10 score. On the other hand, House of Fraser shows disappointing results on this survey with a satisfaction induced by the navigation rated 4.7/10 by participants.”

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