Amazon tops online poll

Online toy retailers scrutinised across a number of different criteria for new report
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A new report into online toy retailing by content provider Brandbank, rates Amazon as providing the best overall toy retailing experience, ahead of ELC and Argos.

While the report credits the three with the best performance, no single toy offering came out with particularly high marks based on its system of rating across a number of different criteria and the overall verdict was ‘could do better’.

The report concluded that there was “great scope for toy retailers to enhance product display and usability to improve the purchasing environment for consumers”.

All retailers provide the basic elements of search boxes, allowing consumers to browse the website’s products, and also zoom functionality, enabling customers to zoom into product images.

The websites scored highly on making it as easy as possible for consumers to complete purchases. Ease of purchase was measured by analysing the entire process.

Features such as visibility and availability of ‘buy now’ buttons and the number of stages in the purchasing process were used as measurement criteria, as was the overall usability of the final checkout system.

However, there were many other basic elements which varied significantly between retailers, says the survey.

Product images are one major area where some retailers could improve. The high ranking retailers included multiple, high resolution product images, often demonstrating the product in a lifestyle setting.

However, other websites fell down in this area, showing only one, often low-res, product image.

There is also a clear opportunity for toy retailers to make use of more advanced, rich media features such as quick-view boxes, video and 360-degree image rotation.

On the most part, these extra features are not utilised despite their ability to improve the purchasing experience.

1. Amazon
2. Early Learning Centre
3. Argos
4. Toys R Us
5. The Toy Shop
6. John Lewis
7. Hamleys
8. Tesco Direct
9. Smyths Toys
10. Play.com
11. WH Smith
12. Toy Master

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