Research companies routinely ask consumers where they like to shop. Sophelle wanted expert opinions, so we asked 2,000 of the best and brightest retail experts which ecommerce sites they think are best. Learn who they believe are the Top 5 Leading eTailers, and consider adopting some of the qualities that make them stand out for your own business:
Retail professionals are continually impressed by Sephora’s personalization marketing, that enables both customers to receive specialized product recommendations they may not have pursued on their own and brands to reach much wider audiences. Expert retailers applaud Sephora’s website for its ease of use and dynamic, fun content.
“I admire how they are always ahead of the game in terms of personalization, recommendation and speed.”
— SVP, Digital Center of Excellence at global personal care company
Walmart supplements its brick-and-mortar success with a streamlined, efficient website that customers can depend on. Skilled retailers value its neat category landing pages that provide a simple and reliable navigation structure. Walmart recently adopted a timely delivery option in addition to the widely valued pickup feature, made especially useful in the age of COVID-19. Customers and retailers alike appreciate capabilities allowing buyers to quickly locate and repurchase past items as well as the trustworthy app that notifies users when items are available for pickup.
“Love the category landing pages, navigation structure for delivery & pickup included and PDP information.”
— Sr. Director at $5b retail chain
When professional retailers want an efficient shopping experience to take care of their pets’ needs, they look no further than Chewy. Chewy’s vast market offerings provide both bountiful options with customer reviews and comprehensive education through video how-to guides. According to digital savvy retailers, Chewy maximizes the customer experience with a platform that retains records of past purchases and proposes simple auto-ship solutions with their subscription-based model. Customers are happy and organized knowing their pet items will arrive on time even if they forget.
“Chewy.com is best in class on many fronts. They are very consumer friendly in how they present their brands.”
— Elias Aguilera, SVP, Merchandising at Total Wine & More
Retail experts dubbed Target the most improved etailer due to its agility during the pandemic; as soon as in-store shopping faltered, Target pivoted and enhanced its digital shopping functionalities. App users now have the ability to filter search items by delivery method which allows them to choose curbside pickup, one of the most on-trend delivery options for its safety. Target offers the same notable multitude of items both in-store, on-app, and on-website, making it easy for customers to navigate and choose the method that works best for them. Target transactions are quick and simple for consumers to use.
“Target – seamless transaction and convenience.”
— Paul Stonick, Chief Creative Officer at SportsBiz
Amazon ranked number one most compelling ecommerce site by a landslide due to a number of practical UX functions that both expedite and inform the shopping experience: when shoppers know what they’re looking for, Amazon typically yields an abundance of options with convenient search filters to help them narrow down and choose wisely. Once shoppers locate a potential winning item, they’re able to sift through photos and reviews of the product before deciding to purchase. And because Amazon hooked customers on the addictive drug called Prime, buyers can make that purchase with the click of a single button with stored credit information. The checkout process couldn’t be more seamless, and delivery is equally as prompt and reliable. Retailers gushed about its “expertly scaled machine learning that not only provides recommendations to customers, but also to vendors, suppliers, and internal teams to make the most efficient decisions.” Due to Amazon’s consistent, predictable, and effective interface, it easily lands the #1 spot on the list.
“Amazon is the most comprehensive source for products and their user experience is optimized for buying a specific item.”
— Paul Gaffney, CTO at Kohl’s
Honorable Mention: Nike
Although Nike nearly missed the top five most compelling etailers, their cutting edge content was noted by retail professionals. Nike is commended on its user-friendly site and push notifications featuring new product launches making customers aware and excited about items coming soon.
Honorable Mention: Athleta
As opposed to the other omnichannel brands, Athleta was recognized by skilled retailers for weaving female empowerment into its value proposition. Retailers lauded Athleta branding for embracing size inclusivity and diversity. They’re looking beyond efficiency, and retailers are taking notice.
Compelling experience drives user preference. Compelling shopping experience is consistent throughout all of the best ecommerce sites. The takeaway is that product alone isn’t enough, nor is best price. Having the widest selection of products only matters if users can adequately search for and locate items with intuitive navigation and personalized recommendations.
Shopping is omnichannel. Even though we asked the experts to focus on ecommerce sites, omnichannel considerations were driving factors in their evaluations because eCommerce sites don’t stand on their own. Rather, websites should be an integral and seamless part of the customer journey.
Strong competition earns respect. The experts weren’t allowed to select their own company’s ecommerce site for this survey. Many selected their competitor’s site and wrote with admiration, offering a refreshing reminder that healthy competition fosters innovation.