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Which of the fashions brands is delivering online?

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How do female web users navigate and use the ecommerce websites of major fashion brands when shopping for ready-to-wear clothes online? A study from usability specialists Yuseo has found that easy navigation plays an important role, as does the presentation of the product to enable a considered selection.

But the message coming from the research is that many fashion brands should be doing better on both counts to make the most of the opportunity to sell online.

The best of the fashion brands in terms of the online user experience were M&S, Asos and River Island, while strugglers included Top Shop and Zara .

But this important online sector is guilty of underperforming overall. In the second year of Yuseo’s research, the navigation experience score registered was 53%, up only marginally on the 51% score recorded in 2011. And the customer satisfaction average slipped this time around to 6.7/10 (against 6.8 last year).

The research was based on 600 participants visiting three sites each with particular tasks to perform and measured a range of variables, including the adequacy of images to enable a selection, the quality of the product description, the navigability of the site to search for particular products and the efficiency and ease of selection.

In terms of user satisfaction, the best score of 7.5 was registered by River Island, while the worst (6.0) was Zara. Navigation sentiments varied a lot, with M&S cementing its reputation with users as the strongest site, while others with weak reputations, including Boohoo and Net-A-Porter, outperformed expectations to confirming a narrowing of the gap between best and worst – though all sites had room for improvement in terms of navigation.

Taking every measure into consideration, Yuseo’s reseach put River Island out in front in terms of the overall online experience, followed by Topshop and M&S, while the laggards among the 12 surveyed fashion brands were Zara, Next and Very.


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