The Iconic, Showpo top list of online fashion brands
Compiled by global digital consultancy Practicology, the ranking is based on the online shopping experience provided by 15 Australian retailers and 10 UK retailers with localised Australian websites.
The criteria for a good e-commerce experience include delivery options, customer service, payment methods, site experience, localised seasonal merchandising and other key benchmarks.
The Iconic topped the list with a score of 85 per cent, followed by Showpo with 73 per cent, Asos with 70 per cent and Cotton On with 61 per cent. Rebel, Bonds, Forever New and Glassons tied for 5th place, followed by Country Road and Myer.
The next best British retailer on the list was Missguided, which tied for 11th place with David Jones, Glue Store and Peter Alexander. The bottom of the list was dominated by UK brands, with inadequate customer support, reduced click-and-collect and limited payment options impacting their scores.
The findings demonstrate how much Australian fashion retailers have improved their online offers in the last few years, and how UK competitors are failing to keep up with the experience and services provided, Practicology stated in its report.
“It’s great to see that Australian retailers are holding their own against their UK competitors, and often providing significantly better online experiences too,” Merline McGregor, general manager of Practicology in Australia, said.
“However, no retailer can afford to be complacent, and there are some key areas of improvement for both local and international retailers to consider if they want to maximise their online sales. Investment in SEO will drive more consumers to your site, and great customer service will help to convert them into paying customers and retain them too.”
The report highlighted key areas that online fashion retailers need to be working towards to improve their offerings. These include:
Payment methods: 100 per cent of Australian retailers in the study offered Afterpay (though only 20 per cent of the UK retailers did) suggesting it’s an essential payment option for the market.
Delivery choice: 44 per cent of the retailers reviewed offered same-day or next-day delivery in Metro areas, including The Iconic, Showpo, Myer and David Jones. No UK brands guaranteed next-day delivery; Ted Baker has a 1-3 day timeframe, and charges $30 for this service.
Click-and-Collect: 48 per cent of the retailers offered click-and-collect services through stores or Parcelpoint. Again, all offering this were Australian – 12 of the 15 Australian retailers.
Live Chat & social service: 24 per cent of retailers offered Live Chat, and 24 per cent promote their social channels within their sites’ customer service sections, to provide quick responses to customer queries. Glassons has adopted Facebook Messenger as an alternative to Live Chat.
Phone customer service: Only 32 per cent of retailers provided a satisfactory response to a phone enquiry. 24 per cent had a message asking customers to leave a message or email them instead, and 28% did not publicise a number at all. Six of the 10 UK retailers did not offer a phone number, and the four who did weren’t offering phone support in Australian business hours.
Search engine optimisation: Only two of the 25 retailers (The Iconic and Missguided) were ranking on the first page of Google search results for at least 40 per cent of their organic keywords. UK retailers outperformed local brands on SEO, with a higher average score on this measure.
Localisation: Only four of the 10 UK retailers were merchandising summer products on their home pages. We saw scarves, gloves, coats and even skiwear promoted though it was the hottest Australian summer on record.
The retailers included in the ranking are: Asos, Boden, Bonds, Boohoo, Cotton On, Country Road, David Jones, Forever New, Glassons, Glue Store, Gymshark, Kookai, Missguided, Myer, Peter Alexander, Portmans, rebel, Reiss, River Island, Seed Clothing, Showpo, Superdry, Sweaty Betty, Ted Baker and The Iconic.