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Nike has edged out the competition in a report that compares the online buying experience offered by seven of the world’s top sports brands.

The latest Qubit benchmark looks at the on-site effectiveness and UX of Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Fila, Asics and Converse.

Sites are judged based on more than 80 industry best practice criteria that give an insight into the UX and how easy it is for visitors to make a purchase.

As mentioned, Nike came out on top with a score of 80% closely followed by Adidas with 79%. Reebok came in third with 68%, just two points above the average score of 66%.

Here’s a summary of the 'find', 'choose' and 'buy' sections of the report...

Find

Reebok scored the top mark in this section with 82%. User-friendly features such as hyperlocal targeting on the homepage, an auto-complete search tool and clear calls-to-action contributed to this website having the highest score for the initial customer experience. 

Most of the companies performed well in this section, however Fila lost out with a score of just 33% due to a lack of easily accessible help for ailing customers, and general difficulty of navigation.

Looking more closely at the navigation elements, the report notes that the use of breadcrumbs in aiding people in their search is another useful tool in making a customer’s journey user-friendly. 

Most of the retailers made use of breadcrumbs however some of the websites, including Nike, didn’t include them as part of the site navigation.

Adidas' breadcrumbs

Choose

The ‘choose’ section of the report focuses on the search function and product page design. Nike achieved the top score here with 86%.

Features that greatly improve the search function include predictive search, filters and speed of results. This is something we’ve previously investigated in our post looking at best practice tips for ecommerce site search.

All of the retailers scored highly for the search tool and the results pages, which displayed consistent, high quality imagery.

Nike search results for ‘mens shoes’

When it came to the product pages all of the brands provided a range of high quality imagery and decent product descriptions.

Fila lost points at this stage though as its descriptions were deemed to be too short.

Product reviews are another crucial feature as customers often look for reassurance or advice when choosing what to buy. Nike achieved a high score at this stage thanks in part to its thorough customer reviews.

Nike's product reviews

Product page design is something we’ve previously investigated in-depth on the Econsultancy blog. For more information on this topic check out our article looking at where to place 30 product page elements.

Buy

This section looks at the final stage in a user’s journey where the transaction is completed. The benchmark looks at elements such as:

  • Clear formatting of the summary page.
  • Upfront packaging costs.
  • Easy-to-use checkout.

Nike proved to be the most effective at this stage with a score of 89%, followed by Adidas at 84%. These two led the pack by quite a way, with Reebok at 67% and Puma and Fila tied at 66%.

While nearly all of the retailers offered a clear summary page, Asics lost marks for only displaying an estimated delivery charge. This is frustrating for customers who are generally used to knowing how much shipping is going to cost.

On the plus side, Asics did slightly redeem itself by offering a guest checkout option. Forcing people to register an account is a major cause of abandonment so it’s best to avoid this requirement if possible.

Asics checkout

Surprisingly only Fila had a postcode lookup tool, a simple but important tool for users to make the checkout process smoother. 

Overall though the information displayed on the registration pages was kept to a minimum by all retailers which made the pages easy to understand. 

Most retailers accepted the usual methods of payment and had a clear cancellation policy available, leaving no room for confusion.

The full Qubit report can be downloaded here.

David Moth

Published 17 February, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1676 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Nick Fine

Could you please provide references for this article? I'd love to know the methodology used to determine these scores.

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Nick, Qubit carried out the research so you'll need to get in touch with them for the full methodology. The report may be downloadable from their site.

over 2 years ago

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Robin Jack, Research Analyst at Qubit

Hi Nick,

Thanks for the interest. You can find the full report on our website at the link below.

Regarding the methodology, we have an array of over 100 criteria gathered from what we have seen to be effective over the course of running thousands of tests on the websites of our clients. These are all binary criteria (yes-or-no questions), and the weighting of each question is assigned according to the effectiveness we have seen these criteria to drive.

We currently do not publish the list of criteria.

http://www.qubitproducts.com/content/sports-brand-benchmark

over 2 years ago

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Philip Thorne

After reading this I thought I might drop along a comment, really by way of shameless self promotion. I run a small digital media company where our main service is the production of a marketing devices for promoting footwear on the Internet. It was the frustration with devices used on these type of sites, that led me to devise Mechanical. I thought maybe you or the readers of this blog might be interested in what this is.

http://www.mechanism.co.uk/mechanical/whatarethey/

over 2 years ago

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