Product Promotion Network

CHOICE

Which? reveals the best and worst online shops for 2017

In our huge survey of 10,500 members of the public, you’ve rated AllBeauty.com the best online shop in the UK, for the second year running. Sitting at the bottom of the list is Homebase.co.uk, although it still scored a reasonable 62%. Despite its ‘easy-to-use’ website, shoppers gave it an average score for price.

In June 2017, we asked 10,500 people about their experiences of shopping online over the previous six months. We asked them for star ratings between one and five for key areas of interest, including price, range, delivery, returns and ease of use. We then ranked each website by customer score – this combines overall satisfaction with how likely respondents are to recommend a website to a friend.

To be included in our list, a retailer needed at least 30 responses.

Best online shops

In a comfortable first place, AllBeauty.com scored an impressive 91%. Customers praised its wide range of products and quick delivery, and particularly liked its ‘very competitive prices’. RicherSounds.com, which came second, has made an impressive improvement since 2016 – it’s jumped up from 48th place.

The shoppers we surveyed liked its ‘easy-to-use website’ and ‘great quality’ electrical goods. Respondents praised third-placed AO.com for its returns process, and we received many positive comments about joint-fourth Lakeland.co.uk for its customer service. One person told us: ‘It’s brilliant – the website is good, has lots of info and all the items are of a good quality.’

In joint-sixth place, JohnLewis.com and AppliancesDirect.co.uk both fared very well. One customer singled out AppliancesDirect.co.uk for its ‘good choice of products’. We’ve listed the top 11 below – for more, see the full list of the 100 best and worst online shops[1].

1. AllBeauty.com (274) 91% 2. RicherSounds.com (96) 87% 3. AO.com (436) 85% 4. Lakeland.co.uk (286) 84% = Toolstation.com (264) 84% 6. FragranceDirect.co.uk (284) 83% = AbeBooks.co.uk (346) 83% = Superdrug.com (570) 83% = JohnLewis.com (832) 83% = AppliancesDirect.co.uk (104) 83% = LookFantastic.com (168) 83%

(sample size in brackets)

Worst online shops

Homebase is at the bottom of our table, with customers giving it a middling three stars for its choice of DIY items.

However, it still scored a fairly reasonable 62%, and customers found its website ‘easy to use’. WHSmith.co.uk came in 99th place under the scrutiny of our participants, but still scored a satisfactory 64%.

94 LauraAshley.com (132) 67% = Maplin.co.uk (274) 67% = Office.co.uk (156) 67% = DIY.com (B&Q) (600) 67% = UrbanOutfitters.com (168) 67% 99 WHSmith.co.uk (312) 64% 100 Homebase.co.uk (278) 62%

(sample size in brackets)

Where to shop online

While price is the most important factor for many of you when shopping online, reliable delivery and wide choice can make or break an online shopping experience. Which? editor, Richard Headland, said: ‘We can still see a big gap between the top and bottom of the table, with people generally rating the top online shops better for their prices and range of products.

Consumers are expected to spend millions online during Black Friday this year, so we encourage shoppers to do their research and pick their deals – and where to buy – with care.’ We also ranked shops by category, awarding Which? Recommended Provider status to websites that scored highly for price and delivery and meet our requirements for satisfactory terms and conditions.

To find out more, see our rankings for the best sites for buying electrical items[2], the best DIY websites[3] and the best websites for baby and child products[4].

References

  1. ^ best and worst online shops (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ best sites for buying electrical items (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ best DIY websites (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ best websites for baby and child products (www.which.co.uk)

Vodafone to launch gigabit FTTP broadband with CityFibre

Vodafone is bringing fibre broadband services, capable of delivering gigabit (1Gbps) speeds, to millions of UK home and businesses. Using CityFibre’s extensive optical fibre network to connect addresses, the current plan is to pass 5 million addresses by 2025, with work beginning early next year. The first phase of the scheme, which aims to pass 1m premises, is due to be finished by 2021, and the second phase, which will see the remaining 4m passed, is due to be completed by 2025.

CityFibre’s chief executive Greg Mesch said that this equates to 20 per cent of the UK broadband market and will “transform” the lives of millions. It’s not been revealed exactly where Vodafone will first set up shop, or how much these services will cost. CityFibre owns and runs networks in over 40 major cities across the UK, including Aberdeen, Manchester, Newport and London.

Vodafone’s press release suggests that the build will happen on a city by city basis. The joint venture means that in time, other ISPs will be able to make use of CityFibre’s expanded footprint, too. During the build phase of each network, Vodafone will have exclusive rights to sell FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband to customers.

No future partners are being announced today, but Sky and TalkTalk have made no secret about the fact that they’ve been running a trial of FTTP broadband with CityFibre in York[1]. Meanwhile, BT aims to roll out FTTP connections to 2m premises by 2020[2]. In addition, it’s passing 10 million addresses with G.fast[3], which can deliver triple digit download speeds, but isn’t future-proof in the way FTTP is.

In a thinly veiled jibe at BT’s Openreach network, Vodafone UK’s chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “The UK has fallen far behind the rest of the world, trapped by the limited choice available on legacy networks. We look forward to working with CityFibre to build the Gigabit fibre network that the UK needs and deserves.” Despite this comment, Vodafone currently offers[4] ADSL and FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) services to customers via Openreach.

Services cost either ?25/month for unlimited up to 17Mbps and 38Mbps services, or ?30/month for its fastest up to 76Mbps service.

Dark light….Come shine in her lost heart tonight![5]” by Nikk[6] is licensed under CC BY 2.0[7].

References

  1. ^ they’ve been running a trial of FTTP broadband with CityFibre in York (uk.pcmag.com)
  2. ^ BT aims to roll out FTTP connections to 2m premises by 2020 (uk.pcmag.com)
  3. ^ 10 million addresses with G.fast (uk.pcmag.com)
  4. ^ currently offers (uk.pcmag.com)
  5. ^ Dark light….Come shine in her lost heart tonight! (www.flickr.com)
  6. ^ Nikk (www.flickr.com)
  7. ^ CC BY 2.0 (creativecommons.org)

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