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Aldi, Alliance Boots and hypermarket Groupe Auchan have best websites among global top 250 retailers
Sitemorse has rated the websites of convenience store Aldi, chemist Alliance Boots and French hypermarket to banking chain Groupe Auchan as the very best of the top 250 retailers globally in its latest web benchmark.
Discount food retailer ALDI (short for "Albrecht Discounts") has many stores in Europe and the USA, but Germany, where ALDI has about 4,300 stores, accounts for about two-thirds of sales.
Sitemorse uses its automated software to read the first 125 pages of each retailer’s site and places them in a ranked table of relative performance based on six key criteria - function, code quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and SEO capability.
Alliance Boots has risen six places in our survey to take second place with a score of just under eight of a possible ten marks, the best performance we have recorded for this website in 25 surveys over the past six years.
A well-known name on the UK high street for many years, Alliance Boots is a is a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers, with pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 11 countries. Together with associates and joint ventures, Alliance Boots operates more than 3,330 health and beauty retail stores.
French chain Groupe Auchan SA, headquartered in Croix, is a newcomer to the top of our retail chart although the group has always been in the top 50 since we started looking at this sector six years ago. It is one of the world's principal distribution groups with a presence in 12 countries and 269,000 employees and scored 7.3 out of a possible ten marks in our testing.
Groupe Auchan scored 7.3 out of a possible ten marks in our testing and has risen 24 clear places since the last survey of this sector in September 2012.
The company began when Gérard Mulliez opened his first self-service shop in Roubaix in the district of Hauts-Champs - pronounced the same as "Auchan". Auchan has branches in France, and internationally in Italy, India, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China, Taiwan, Romania and Ukraine. Auchan has 639 hypermarkets and 2,412 supermarkets around the world.
Also scoring very highly in our survey are the Ruhr-based holding company Tengelmann Group, which owns a large number of European-based subsidiaries and an American tea company. The Tenglemann group scored 7.1/10 and moved up our table by six points.
And fifth this time is the website of Maxima Grupe, a retail chain from Lithuania which has operations in Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria and which is now the largest employer in the Baltic states. In our benchmark the Maxima Grupe website scored 7.1/10.
Climbing up the table this time are UK clothing retailers Next, up 66 places, Japanese retailer Don Quijote Co. Ltd, up 98, and highest climber this time, US-based Liberty Media Corporation, up 111 places to 43rd position. Liberty owns interests in a broad range of media, communications and entertainment businesses.
On their way down the table this time are China Resources Enterprise, down 70 places to 220th, Fast Retailing, which has dropped 83 places, and biggest faller, UK based Game Group, down 94 places to 115th. Game entered administration in March 2012 and was purchased by Baker Acquisitions, part of OptCapita, the following week.
Nobody likes a slow-running website and our survey has a table of how long the sites tested took to load the homepage. We found the fastest website was once again that of clothing retailer H&M Hennes. Levels of accessibility – something now backed up by law – were generally low, and 12 sites failed basic accessibility tests on every page.
Sitemorse concluded: Even though the traditional Christmas boost in online shopping is now over, retailers using the web need to ensure their sites work well if they are not to lose sales. Research has proved that many web users will bail out of online transactions if they find errors, so efficiency is vital. Even the retailers not currently selling online and using their sites mainly to attract users to their stores need to make sure that pages ,load swiftly, links and images work, and users who rely on external software such as screen readers can navigate their sites. Accessibility generally is clearly not something many international retailers value highly; the only good score in our entire survey in this area was awarded to the Spanish supermarket Mercadona, scoring 8/10.
About our surveys, and how they work
For more than a decade, Sitemorse has been the world's only single solution for web content governance, monitoring, recording and benchmarking.
Our unique Index publications, published several times a year, provide an up to the minute snapshot of the best and brightest business websites, with insight into which are passing – and failing - vital tests in performance, compliance, and accessibility.
Our software is used to test the sites of major organisations in a variety of sectors, (for example, FTSE All Share companies, and the UK Top 500 retail companies) to compile an index of who ‘does the web’ best.
Sitemorse is now the suite of choice for organisations wishing to ensure their sites provide total, holistic web governance and a great user experience. Our hundreds of clients across major corporates, local and national government, utilities, financials and the health sector rely on us to help them improve the performance, compliance and quality of their websites, delivering control and web confidence. Web content management systems alone cannot hope to cover major issues such as performance, compliance, brand, accessibility and quality without help. Our products integrate (including pre-live checking - within your CMS) to ensure these vital areas are constantly under control.
We offer three levels of products, from our enterprise platform 'Governisation', a blend of governance and optimisation, to a suite of tools called the Web Managers Toolkit, designed to help web teams, as well as free in-browser tools that can be used by any web user to quickly ensure pages are error-free. All our services are SaaS based, with no set-up or management and are designed to ensure that our hundreds of clients in major corporations, the financial sector, and central and local government have total confidence in their websites.
This survey involved benchmarking more than 900,000 separate URLs. Poorest code quality was recorded for the Game Group site, with more than 800,000 failures, an improvement on last time. Just two sites were officially “error-free”
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