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Next tops poll of best online retailers but many others not performing well

Lauretta Roberts
19 November 2015

Fashion retail giant Next has topped the list of the best online shopping experiences according to new research from the data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia.

However the research, which comes in the lead up to the crucial Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events (27 and 30 November) claims that most online retailers are not faring so well with "the majority" bombarding customers with irrelevant messages about products and items they would never want to buy.

Aimia’s Loyalty Lens research shows over half (52%) of online fashion shoppers are being shown suggestions for items to buy online that are not relevant to them and two thirds (66%) of online fashion shoppers have experienced online adverts for fashion products that they would never buy. Just 6% of online fashion shoppers say they are often receiving suggestions for fashion items that are suited to their tastes.

Such indiscriminate messaging is turning customers off, with almost seven in ten (69%) saying they will close down accounts and subscriptions with offending companies and "unfriend" them on social channels.

In addition, many fashion retailers are failing to deliver quality online shopping experiences for customers. Nearly half 49% of online fashion shoppers have experienced difficulty in finding what they are looking for because a retailer’s website is difficult to navigate and over half (56%) of online fashion shoppers say the same because there are too many products.

The opportunity is huge for retailers who successfully tailor online shopping experiences to customer preferences. Last year, British consumers spent £810m on Black Friday and an estimated £600 million on Cyber Monday. This year sales are expected to surpass this, and 45% of shoppers say they actively share their personal details with brands to receive relevant offers and discounts.

Susan Rose Managing Director, Fashion Consultancy Team at Aimia said customer expectations were high this season: "They expect retailers to know their preferences, and they want to be able to find what they are looking for at the click of a button.

“Fashion retailers that successfully tailor customer experiences according to preferences are likely to reap the rewards of increased sales over the short term. Importantly though, these brands will also succeed in laying strong foundations for building long-lasting relationships with their customers once the Christmas spending frenzy is over”.

The top five fashion retail brands that customers say offer the best online shopping experience are:

  1. Next (19%)
  2. M&S (15%)
  3. Amazon (11%)
  4. Debenhams (11%)
  5. ASOS (10%)

Aimia’s Loyalty Lens research was conducted among 2,011 respondents, Sept 2015. Aimia Institute’s Digital 2.0 2014 Research was conducted in November 2014 and surveyed over 2,000 UK consumers about their digital communications preferences.

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