Now that we have completed evaluating 35 Merchandiser and 6 Consumer IT websites, we wondered, which site is the true e-retailing leader? Would an IT site beat out the merchandiser group, or do the merchandisers know something the IT set doesn’t?
To find out, the siteIQ team pit all the websites on our Merchandisers roster against those on the IT Consumer list. Then we whittled down the benchmark to the criteria that focused solely on e-retailing functions, including search, product marketing, call to action, and ecommerce.
And the winner is…
Samsung.com gets the gold as the best online retailer on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index and is the only site on the list to achieve Good Practice status.
The site’s flagship product marketing pages display mind-bending animations that are distinctly Samsung. Wherever you go on the site, you can find their branding on every page. And users will never be left with questions. The site’s vast libraries of information, numerous calls to action, and persistent chat features are provided for every product.
Where Samsung.com doesn’t take the win is in the eCommerce category. Instead, another Consumer IT contestant, Dell.com, bests it. However, Samsung.com doesn’t trail far behind. The site lands in second place behind Dell.com by a slim 1% margin.
In benchmark scoring, these two sites are neck and neck for most Usability metrics. That said, Dell.com beats Samsung.com regarding the availability of sales contact information and the overall logic of the ecommerce process.
Merchandisers versus Consumer IT
When all is said and done, which segment knows e-retailing the best?
Although Consumer IT websites top the list for all major categories except Search (where Lowes.com and AdvanceAutoParts.com tie for the lead), Specialty Retailers ultimately come out ahead of the pack.
Specialty Retailers’ primary strength are their search engines. These sites do an exceptional job of producing search results that tell users tons about products in a small amount of space. More important, Specialty Retailers take the win because they are jacks of all trades. They rank second in Design Basics, Product Marketing, and eCommerce – often by less than 0.5%. Taken together, they support their users well throughout the entire purchasing process — from starting their search for a product to ending the ecommerce progression.
The bottom line
Samsung.com is the most innovative site of the Merchandiser and IT Consumer group. Not only is it beautiful, but it has stunning product marketing designs, vast libraries of information, consistent and robust branding, and persistent calls to action.
Still, Dell.com is the site to check out when it comes to ecommerce. It has strong calls to action during the ecommerce process, and the progression is very well developed and logical. That said, Samsung.com should be your second stop.
If you’re looking for best practices in search, it’s best to stick with the specialty retailers – and Lowes.com and AdvanceAutoParts.com should be on your list of sites to visit. Both provide a lot of information in their search results, and filtering is their forte.
At the end of the day, Specialty Retailers are the full e-retailing package. While specific IT Consumer websites may top the list in many categories, more Specialty Retailers fill the Top 5 spots on each roster than IT Consumer sites.
So, which sites should you put on your best practice bucket list? The chart below is a great place to start planning your journey.
- About the siteIQ Index
- 2020 siteIQ Usability Index Rankings | Overall Results | Merchandisers
- 2020 siteIQ Usability Index | Rankings by Industry | Consumer IT Websites