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Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites. 

Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.

Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?

Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...

To determine the websites' overall user experience, four areas were examined and weighted accordingly:

  • Homepage (40%).
  • Product detail page (30%).
  • Shopping basket (15%).
  • Checkout (15%).

Here's some further stats to really sell the tablet experience, from the IMRG:

  • Tablet devices now account for 85% of mobile sales, year-to-date.
  • Tablet users spend 20% more than desktop consumers.
  • Tablet users spend twice as much then smartphone users.

Finally, for the press release portion of this article, here’s a look at the table:

Topshop

Here’s the homepage on a tablet:

Here's what the navigation looks like:

And the product listings:

And the product page for this rather fetching floral boiler suit:

It’s around this point that we all realise that Topshop’s site isn’t responsive. Nor is it a specific mobile site. Nor is it really any good at all.

Okay that might be going a bit far, but what we’ve come to expect from an effective tablet or mobile site is far from this experience.

The homepage isn’t optimised for smaller screen viewing. The search function is fiddily and text illegible. The product listing images are tiny. Even on the product page itself, the main image is rather marginalised by extraneous info and a wealth of links.

It’s a passable experience on a tablet, nothing special. However Topshop does have a dedicated mobile site that’s a fairly exemplary ecommerce experience. Unfortunately I can’t access it from the tablet or a desktop, and any user discovering this site will more than likely do so through Google regardless of a better experience being provided elsewhere.

Adidas

The Adidas tablet site offers a much more user-friendly experience than Topshop.

Better search, which brings up options as you type. Bigger product listings. Large images on the product page itself.

The shopping bag is also clear and well laid out, with obvious calls to action and clear shipping options.

The customer also doesn’t need to register, you can just zip straight on through to purchase with the minimum of personal info needed and an option to use PayPal.

Nike

As with Adidas and Topshop, this is once again the desktop site as viewed on a tablet. There’s no responsive or mobile site to access here.

The product listing pages aren’t particularly inspiring. Tiny images of shoes, with a floating menu on the left that doesn’t quite float properly.

The product page on the other hand is great, with large images, clear options, bright call-to-actions and it’s relatively free of clutter.

That’s the top three retailers in the study covered. Let’s take a look at the very bottom:

H&M

H&M probably has the most attractive homepage of the lot. 

Perhaps it’s just down to the co-opting of modern flat design, with its compartmentalised boxes, that makes me think it’s attractive though.

The first thing I’d like to do here is search… Where’s search? I can’t find search. I have to tap the tiny ‘men’ tab at the top of the screen.

I'm taken through to a products listing page that's smaller than the homepage, in order to accommodate the menu bar on the left. There’s still no search function.

The product listing pages are small, the product page itself takes ages to load, although once you’re on it, the option to see full screen images is an effective feature.

The checkout is a time-consuming trawl through multiple drop-down menus as you register as a new user.

I'll agree with QUISMA on this one.

In conclusion...

I find the research a bit confusing. I’m not really sure why Topshop would rate so highly, when frankly I found the UX to be average. 

All of the websites featured are the desktop versions of the sites, scaled down to fit the tablet. Although none of them feature responsive design, some do have separate mobile sites, which almost encourages a user to seek that out instead, as desktop sites on tablets really aren’t the optimal experience for ecommerce.

If tablet devices really do now account for 85% of mobile sales and tablet users spend 20% more than desktop consumers why aren't these retailers taking advantage of it by offering an excellent browsing experience?

If anything, studying this research has proved the necessity for responsive design. Just take a look at this article highlighting UK clothes retailer Fallen Hero and the success it’s achieved with its responsive overhaul. I'm going to do some investigating of my own to find out which UK retailer really does provide the best tablet experience, so if you have any ideas, please let me know in the comments below.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 10 December, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (7)

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Jeremy Rosenberg

H&M do have a tablet site - in fact they are one of the few major UK clothing retailers who do. I think the review missed this as the screen shots above indicate that he was browsing in private mode - so the website didn't know which device he was on and just served the desktop site. Hopefully this article will be updated.

almost 3 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

Yep, you're absolutely right, H&M does have a tablet site, and I did indeed have the iPad set to private so I missed it. I apologise.

To reappraise: the product pages are much improved on the tablet site, however, there's still no search function and it's still not the easiest site to navigate.

almost 3 years ago

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Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum.co.uk

Jeremy

> H&M do have a tablet site - in fact they are one of the few major UK clothing retailers who do.

Aren't they a Swedish HQ?

almost 3 years ago

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Jeremy Rosenberg

> Aren't they a Swedish HQ?

I think the relevant point is that these are companies that operate in the UK and the impact their sites have on UK users

almost 3 years ago

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afruz

Hi,
any opinion about the Gucci and Ferragamo sites both on web and mobile?
Thanks
Afruz

almost 3 years ago

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Lee Duddell

This would be a good piece of research if the methodology had any merit. It doesn't. You are right to doubt many of the findings.

almost 3 years ago

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Jason Kenner

Great Read! I always check http://blaketablets.com/ for the latest tablet reviews, they really helped me decide which one to buy.

almost 3 years ago

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