Why does Which? say Homebase is the worst online retailer?

Shoppers complained about the retailer ignoring complaints and selling products that were actually out of stock.

Homebase was ranked worst among the UK’s online shops, according to a survey carried out by consumer group Which?.

Finding itself at the bottom of the Which? survey, DIY retailer Homebase.co.uk achieved a customer score of 57 per cent.

The most highly rated shops were all specialist retailers, with LizEarle.com (93%), RicherSounds.com (93%) and WexPhotoVideo.com (93%) all tying in first place. WexPhotoVideo was praised by its customers for the availability of knowledgeable staff via email and live chat.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said:

“We continue to see the same brands performing poorly in our survey, with some of the bigger retailers offering disappointing levels of service and inferior websites which often seem to run out of stock.

“Our research shows that if you value a genuinely enjoyable shopping experience, then you might be better off with a smaller brand that can offer a more personalised service.”

So, what is Homebase doing wrong?

One of the complaints about the Homebase Website stated by Which? was that the retailer was “selling products that were actually out of stock”.

With around 250 stores across the UK and Ireland, keeping track of what is in stock, what is on the shelves, and what has been reserved, is no easy task.

Common Problems with Inventory Management

1. Overselling

One big problem for ecommerce stores is having insufficient stock in the warehouse to comply with the online orders. This is more common than you think. It becomes even more of a struggle to keep under control around critical shopping periods like Black Friday and Christmas.

2. Disconnected online and offline channels

When your inventory isn’t kept up to date, your sales channels won’t have accurate stock information. It’s important to have consistent information across all sales channels (e.g. your ecommerce store, your Ebay shop) in order to keep a strong brand image and improve your customer’s trust.

3. Unreliable Customer Service

Common queries for all online stores include questions such as “When will this item be back in stock?” or “Is this available at my local store?”. In order to give honest and accurate answers, a company must keep up to date with stocks and availability in order to let clients know where and when they can expect the products.

The Solution:

An EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) system sends and receives sales and stock data in real time. Each of your online (website, app, marketplaces…) and offline (POS or brick-and-mortar stores) channels know how much they can sell and how much is being sold every day.

Dentons Digital offer, and have implemented, an EPOS system in many solutions, often combined with a website built on the Magento 2 platform.

These EPOS solutions are perfect for business owners with successful physical shops who are ready to start increasing their online presence. They save on staff time by reducing the need for labour-intensive stock checks. They also mean business owners can keep all stock information in one place.

These systems make selling items online easier for business owners, and buying items online easier for consumers.

Want to discuss implementing an EPOS System and updating your ecommerce website? Get in touch with us today for some friendly advice.

Want to grow your business online?

Get Some Helpful Advice

Fill in the form below, and one of the Dentons Digital Team will be in touch.

If you would rather, you can ring up for a chat, or drop in for a coffee. We can help and advise you on how to improve your digital presence. There are no catches.

About The Author

Phil Mitchell

Phil Mitchell

Phil has been interested in technology since he got his first Acorn Electron and started programming in basic. He has worked for many companies in the digital field whether that is developing or marketing. His main skillset is driving traffic primarily via PPC advertising as he said ‘it is binary you spend X amount and need to make more than that to profit. You either make a profit or not there is no talking around it.’

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