Homebase.co.uk and B&Q's DIY.com came bottom of the list in a survey of Which? members.
The annual Which? survey of over 7,000 shoppers reveals the best and worst websites for online shopping.
For the third year in a row, DIY store Homebase.co.uk came bottom in the list of 100 online retailers, with a score of 57%. Shoppers bemoaned its poor customer service and stock availability.
The struggling DIY retailer was bought out last year for just £1 and stores have been closing since then. This downward trend appears to have affected the store’s online offering, too.
The survey, which ran through June and July 2019, asked respondents to rate their online shopping experiences over the previous six months.
For each retailer they’d placed an order with, shoppers were asked how satisfied they were with their experience and whether they’d recommend the retailer to a friend.
Which? then used these responses to create a customer score for each website.
One shopper told Which? that their complaints with Homebase had been entirely ignored, leaving them out of pocket, while another said they ordered products online only to be called later and told they were out of stock.
Fellow DIY chain B&Q (DIY.com) came 99th in the Which? table, scoring 59%. Again, customers thought the website lacked range and said they could find better prices elsewhere.
The editor of Which? magazine, Harry Rose, commented on the results: “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 is you value a genuinely enjoyable shopping experience, then you might be better off with a smaller brand that can offer a more personalised service.”
A spokesperson for Homebase explained: “Following the sale of Homebase in June 2018, we knew there was work to do to improve the shopping experience for our customers.
“Since then, and as part of our turnaround plans for the business, we have been working hard to bring back the Homebase our customers know and love.
“A big part of this has been improving our website, and we’ve already made hundreds of changes, such as introducing a new ‘search and filter’ function and adding over 16,000 products online.
“While there is still more to do, we now have the foundations in place to ensure we have everything customers need for home and garden projects under one roof, from ideas, inspiration and advice through to the tools and support to help get the job done.”
B&Q's reacted to the result in a statement: “Our customers shop with us in lots of different ways and their shopping needs depend on whether they’re undertaking a big home improvement project or a smaller fix-up.
“Many use our website to look for inspiration and to research products and prices before coming into store to make a purchase. Many more customers also take advantage of our click & collect service, usage of which has grown year-on-year.
“All customer feedback is important to us and we’re committed to improving our online shopping experience.”