Like the Merchandisers group in general, the primary objective of Apparel Retailer sites is clear: They must effectively market and sell products, encourage visitors to add items to their cart and entice them to make a purchase. This means that these sites must provide clear and effective marketing content combined with prominent calls to action that lead to uncomplicated eCommerce features.
To assess how well prominent sites in this industry achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team conducts Usability Index evaluations using the Apparel Retailer version of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability benchmark. This benchmark includes 228 questions across four major categories and eleven distinct sub-categories.
These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 228 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve common tasks, objectives, and goals.
The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Apparel Retailer industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.
The websites evaluated in this segment include Burlington.com, FootLocker.com, Gap.com, Macys.com, Shop.Nordstrom.com, and TJMaxx.TJX.com.
Apparel Retailer websites perform average at best. However, only Burlington.com registers an overall score that qualifies for an Average Competitive Rating. Every other tracked site posts a score that rates as Below Average.
These scores come as little surprise given the performance of Merchandiser sites overall and sites in the Internet Retailer and General Merchandiser segments. In fact, Apparel Retailer websites mimic the modus operandi of their Internet and General Merchandiser brethren by typically registering scores that rate as Average or below while also lacking resources for one or more benchmark sub-categories.
Unfortunately, a look behind the numbers reveals that those scores are frequently 65% or less, so Apparel Retailer sites are often more than 5% below the Good Practice target on a category-by-category basis.
Naturally, less than stellar sub-category scores hurt Usability by Dimension performances — and it only takes a glance at Usability by Dimension scoring to verify this is true — every tracked site scores below 65% in over half of the Usability Dimensions we track.
In combination, these factors are a clear sign that Apparel Retailer sites — like their Internet Retailer and General Merchandiser counterparts — aren’t performing at optimal levels. That said, these sites are adequately useful for visitors, so they do get the job done.
Still, the question remains, “Would these sites generate more revenue for their brick-and-mortar parents if they offered a better user experience?”
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About the siteIQ Usability Index
siteIQ evaluated the 32 Merchansider Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into four industry-specific segments including:
- Specialty Retailers (AutoZone.com, BedBathandBeyond.com, BestBuy.com, DicksSportingGoods.com, DollarTree.com, GameStop.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, OfficeDepot.com, OReillyAuto.com, Shop.AdvanceAutoParts.com, TractorSupply.com, Ulta.com)
- General Merchandisers (Costco.com, Dillards.com, JCPenney.com, Kohls.com, Sears.com, Target.com, Walmart.com)
- Apparel (Burlington.com, FootLocker.com, Gap.com, Macys.com, RossStores.com, Shop.Nordstrom.com, TJMaxx.TJX.com)
- Internet Retailing (Amazon.com, eBay.com, Etsy.com, Overstock.com, Poshmark.com, Shopping.Google.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 11 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.
The 2020 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2020.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Finance Industry