Online retailers failing to inform Christmas shoppers

Online retailers are failing to provide shoppers with adequate information and recommendations in the run-up to the busiest shopping period of year.

A study by benchmarking company Global Reviews found that none of the 15 leading online retailers, including HMV and John Lewis, displayed the latest date to place orders for Christmas on their website.

Only Amazon, Argos, Blackwell and Tesco Direct had a link to the last order dates for pre-Christmas deliveries.

Global Reviews also identified the online retail industry's failure to recommend gifts for customers. Only three companies out of the total 15 assessed in the study scored over 50% in this category. Amazon again led the field with a score of 72% for advice on gift selection, while the average score was only 30%.

Adam Goodvach, Global Reviews founding director, said: "As a pre-Christmas review, we expected companies to have invested more in gift recommendation, especially large retailers selling more products. This can help establish customer loyalty while a bad experience with gift delivery dates can do considerable damage to a company's brand."

Despite these flaws, online retailers were found to have reliable information about their products, simple, functional shopping baskets and clear checkout systems.

Global Reviews used a benchmark of more than 100 criteria to rate each website.

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