An easily navigable website can be hugely influential on consumers´ attitude towards a general retailer, according to a UK survey conducted by usability and behavioural research specialist Yuseo.

For the latest edition of its e-Performance Observatory report with a focus on general online retailers, Yuseo set about to gauge navigation experience and user satisfaction with the help of more than 1,400 Britons. The study focused on eight leading general retailers with an online presence, namely Amazon.co.uk, Argos, Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Littlewoods, Marks and Spencer and Tesco Direct.

Every participant had to carry out six assignments, doing things like compiling shopping lists, ordering products to assess check-out procedures and finding customer information related to damaged goods policy and warranties. Yuseo also asked the the test subjects more than 70 questions, both during and after each test.

Having analysed the results, the research firm calculated a 55% score for overall navigation experience and a 6.6 grade for user satisfaction out of a maximum 10 points. For 45% of the participants the outcome was neutral in terms of user satisfaction, while it was positive for 32% and negative for 23%. The navigation impact metric evaluates the attitude of participants pre- and post-navigation. Amazon did best with regard to initial ratings, drawing approval from 87%. However, its score fell by 3% after the navigation exercise. John Lewis, on the other hand, started out with a relatively modest 58% approval rate but gained an impressive 30% during the task execution, ending on top of the list with a post-navigation satisfaction score of 7.9 out of 10.

Ben Hollom

February 21, 2012