Homebase named UK’s worst online shop in Which? survey | The Independent

Homebase runs Britain’s worst online shop, according to a new survey.

Consumers found the DIY retailer’s site difficult to navigate and not always up to date with stock information, according to a poll of more than 10,000 people by Which?

One disgruntled customer told the consumer group that Homebase’s “unattractive site is not very clear”.

The struggling DIY chain, which was bought for just £1 earlier this year, confirmed in August that it would close 42 stores as part of a turnaround plan.

The most highly rated shops in the survey were smaller, specialized retailers such as Liz Earle, Richer Sounds, Rohan and Seasalt Cornwall.

Alongside Homebase at the bottom of the table were Sports Direct, Dorothy Perkins, WHSmith, B&Q and JD Sports.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct divided opinion with one respondent complaining of “very poor quality” products while others praised what they saw as good value.

Dorothy Perkins was criticized for slow deliveries and complaints handling that was below the level that customers expected.

B&Q’s website, DIY.com, only fared slightly better than its rival Homebase.

“It’s one of the slowest sites I’ve ever encountered,” said one customer. “It’s a poor website that is not user-friendly,” said another.

Liz Earle was crowned the best online retailer with a satisfaction rating of 94 per cent. The skincare shop was praised for its natural “high-quality products”, “excellent service” and “good money-off offers”. Many shoppers also mentioned that they were likely to get free gifts in their orders.

Which? also asked people what makes them shop online. Two-thirds of respondents said they liked being able to buy at convenient times.

About three in five (63 per cent) said it was easier to find exactly what they wanted online and more than half said it was easier to compare prices across different stores.

Harry Rose, editor of Which? magazine, said: “The online shops with the happiest customers tend to be the ones that offer a personal service, quality items and deliver quickly and conveniently.

“Where the big players are lacking, either with poor service or confusing websites, smaller more specialized online retailers have seized the opportunity to make their mark and give shoppers exactly what they want.”