Amazon and Argos have retained their positions as the UK’s most visited online shops while Tesco has become the third biggest online retailer, according to the latest IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List. The London 2012 ticket site was the highest ranked new entry in the annual list, coming in at number 35.
The ranking, produced each May and based on data collected during April, shows that Tesco has moved up from fifth place in May 2010, overtaking pureplay Play.com. Three of the four big name supermarkets are now in the top 25, with Sainsbury’s at 22 and Asda at 24. James Roper, chief executive of IMRG, said Morrisons looked likely to join them if they move into online grocery shopping. “Their site traffic levels are already very high,” he said, adding that the supermarkets’ performance reflected the popularity of online grocery shopping in general.
While the London 2012 site benefited from an eightfold surge in interest ahead of the April 26 deadline for applications, other fast movers included National Express (up 23 places), Republic (+22), BHS (+22), House of Fraser (+20), Boots (+18) and Sainsbury’s (+17).
Roper said: “Although there were some initial concerns about the low volumes of people registering for Olympic tickets, these results show that interest boomed as the cut-off date for applications approached.
“While there is a strong showing in the Hot Shops list from the largest and most successful pureplays, such as Amazon, Play.com and ASOS, it is the multichannel retailers that are benefiting form the biggest increases in website traffic. Even the newcomers to the online market are making huge strides up the rankings,with TK Maxx recording an impressive gain.”
New entrants to this year’s top ten included B&Q and John Lewis, the former reflecting the success of DIY retailers in online sales, while newcomers to the online market during the year included H&M, in at 52, TK Maxx at 83 and Zara at 99.
Robin Goad, director of research at Experian Hitwise, said: “This has been another fascinating year for online retail and looking at the churn of websites in the Hot 100 list just goes to show how competitive the online space has become.
“We’ve seen some pretty significant movement within the top 10 online retailers.”
He added: “Some companies are choosing to increase their online presence in order to increase the reach of their brand, whilst others are using online as a customer service tool, but ultimately more visits to a website means more sales and it is this reason that is driving the thriving competition between our HOT 100 retailers. The key trends we’ve witnessed this year are that department stores and fashion retailers are expanding their online capabilities in order to drive more sales. There has been a big push this quarter to buy garden furniture online, and that’s mostly attributable to the pre-summer sunshine and demand for BBQs.”
The IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops top ten: