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House of Fraser retains website usability crown

House of Fraser has retained the top spot in Practicology’s Website Usability Report, as fashion retailers dominate the higher rankings.

The only new entrant to the ranking this year is Boohoo, which came 18th of the 25 sites included. HoF is the only retailer to have maintained its position.

Debenhams, ranked tenth equal with Topshop, was the biggest riser having taken 21st place last year. This followed improvements to its fulfilment options and its provision of full dimensions for models in product photography.

Amazon, at fourth place, was one of the biggest risers - up from 13th last year - with improvements to product descriptions, product photography, merchandising on the product page and delivery and fulfilment choices.

Very, which came in at 18th, equal with Boohoo and Tesco Direct, was the biggest faller this year havig previously been ranked at fourth. Very’s fall came as Practicology found issues with product descriptions and it did not perform well in the homepage and category page load time tests conducted. Very’s stable-mate Littlewoods also fell to eighth from third last year - putting it equal with Marks & Spencer.

Very and Littlewoods were recognised for the social features on their sites, as Very highlights how many other customers have bought a particular item on its product listings page and Littlewoods shows shoppers how many other customers have viewed or bought particular items recently.

Sainsbury’s non-food website came bottom of the ranking as the retailer is in the process of amalgamating its food and non-food offers.

’s Stylist Live Chat service, Amazon’s Add Both To Basket button for bundled purchases and House of Fraser’s delivery information and options in the bag were also praised.

Practicology chief executive Martin Newman said: “Desktop ecommerce site design and user experience is still crucial. While mobile is grabbing most of the headlines - and an increasing proportion of visits and spend – we must remember that desktop sites still account for a significant proportion of sales. In addition, improved user experience on the desktop should feed through into a brand’s mobile experience and vice versa.”

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