Online giant Amazon has topped the latest eChannel Retail Benchmark report.

The eChannel Retail Benchmark from eDigitalResearch, looks at digital customer experience from first impressions to making a purchase – as well as everything in between, assessing the entire end-to end customer experience across key digital channels – including websites, mobile sites and apps.

Amazon top the benchmark study thanks to their core multichannel functionality, especially across the search and purchase sections of the customer journey. Consumers particularly liked their accurate and fast predictive text on keyword search, extensive integrated customer reviews on product pages and their one-click purchase functionality – available on all three of their digital channels.

Department store Debenhams came a close second thanks to their recent site design re-fresh. Their new homepage is cleaner, fresher and tidier whilst still maintaining their clear Debenhams branding. One surveyor commented on the “stylish and professional” look of the homepage, while others thought that the site was “attractive and easily recognisable,” encouraging them to explore further.

Marks & Spencer’s overall multichannel digital customer experience has slipped following their site re-launch earlier in the year, scoring poorly in both the first impressions and checkout stages of the customer journey – two key areas where changes were made as part of the sites development.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “Amazon have long led the field with their multichannel customer experience, introducing ideas such as predictive search text and one-click purchases. While they still don’t lead the way when it comes to design or first impressions, Amazon clearly understand their customers – they know that people are often wanting to make purchase quickly and their digital channels more than deliver on this front.

“Instead, when it comes to department stores, customers are looking for an engaging brand experience where they feel inspired. This is clearly the motivation behind Marks & Spencer‘s recent website refresh, with an emphasis on content and features. However, earlier in the year, we found that high street retailers need to combine a great experience with excellent functionality across channels, something that Marks & Spencer lacks and is probably a key driver behind their recent drop in online sales.”

As in previous benchmarks, the results also found that having a consistent customer experience across channels will keep customers returning – those that shop regularly with brands notice if a feature is missing when shopping via their mobile. However, the challenge remains in optimising all features effectively without overcrowding or cluttering mobile sites or apps.

Download the eChannel Retail Benchmark results, including full league tables, by completing the short registration survey:

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