Online shoe retailer Javari has the best user experience of 51 leading e-commerce websites, according to a new study. 

Javari, which is an offshoot of Amazon, achieved this thanks to excellent scores for search and navigation, as well as its delivery and returns process. 

I’ve been looking at the eDigital Research report in detail, as well as what Javari is doing well online…

The results

Here’s the top 20, based on average review scores. Javari wins comfortably, though Amazon’s fourth place is slightly surprising. 

As guest blogger Paul Rouke pointed out on this blog, Amazon doesn’t always provide the best user experience, but its brand credibility and competitive pricing help to overcome this. I wonder if the sheer familiarity of users with Amazon played a part in this score, though a 100% mark for email response clearly helped. 

Note also that Rymans, which relaunched its website last year, has managed to achieve a very respectable score. For the sake of space, I haven’t shown the full top 51, but it’s Currys and Dixons propping up the table. 

H&M recent tinkering with it’s website has helped to lift it off the bottom slot it occupied in the last report, though there’s still plenty of room for improvement there

BHS, which is one of the poorer websites I have reviewed recently, scored a higher score than I might have expected, though much of this may be down to some excellent scores for delivery. 

What is Javari doing right? 

The homepage seems unremarkable to me, and I think the fact it doesn’t fill the whole screen does detract from the look of the site. 

The site performed very well for keyword search (96%) and navigation (94%), and I can see why. 

Site search works well, with an auto complete function that helps to steer customers in the right direction, and intelligent alternatives offered for typos and misspellings. The ability to search within specified section of the site is also useful:

It also deals with (slightly) more complex search queries well. For example, a search for ‘brown boots’ will return lots of brown boots. This may seem obvious, but it’s something which a lot of sites don’t do so well. 

Navigation works well too. I like the option to shop by size on the drop down menus for example: 

The filtering options are excellent and very comprehensive, as well as being easy to add and remove:

Well implemented filtered navigation means less work for the customer, as they can easily narrow their product search so only relevant products in the right size, colour etc are shown.

Since it makes it more likely that people will find a product that suite them, it’s also great for conversion rates.  

There are a couple of areas where Javari could improve though. For example, it’s necessary to register before entering the checkout process. 

This can be a barrier to purchase, though any negative affects here may be mitigated by the fact that people can login with their Amazon details. If people do have an existing Amazon account, this means that entry of address and payment details becomes unnecessary, thus speeding up the whole process. 

The survey suggests that Javari is getting ‘the last mile’ right, with a score of 97.5% for delivery. It also scored very highly for quality of customer service, both by phone and email. 

In fact, its contact page is a great example of providing customers with clear information, as well as options for contact methods:

Customers can call a freephone number (which goes straight to a real person), while an email option is also provided, though only via a contact form. The option to call customers back and schedule a call is also a great idea. 

In fact, the whole page gives the impression of a retailer that is happy to be contacted, and eager to ensure that it is at the customer’s convenience. 

The eDigital Research report can be downloaded here.