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Best and worst online shops of 2016

Where to shop online - and the retailers to avoid

Shopper holding credit card over laptop

Shopping online? We’ve found a big gap between the best and worst stores

AllBeauty.com tops the list of the nation’s favourite online shops, according to our largest ever survey about online retail.

We surveyed more than 10,000 people about their experiences of shopping online to find out which retailers offer the best prices and reliable delivery – as well as ones that could leave you feeling unimpressed.

When you shop online, you want to know that you’re getting a good deal, that your package will arrive when you expect it to, and that your item matches its description.

But with so many retailers to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to spend your hard-earned cash.

We can reveal the top and bottom online shops, as voted for by you, in the tables below. You can get the full rundown of the top 100 shops with our guide to the best and worst online shops.

Best online shops

AllBeauty.com comes top of our leaderboard this year. Its customers raved about the online make-up shop’s deals on cosmetics, its selection of products and quick delivery.

AO.com and LizEarle.com, which were our joint winners last year, come second and third respectively. Customers praise AO’s delivery service, while Liz Earle wows customers with excellent product availability and beautifully wrapped packages.

We calculated customer scores for 100 of the most popular shops by asking whether shoppers were satisfied with their experience with the shop and whether they’d recommend it to a friend, and ranked them from best to worst.

Top 13 online shops
Rank Brand Customer Score
1 AllBeauty.com 87%
2 AO.com 86%
3 LizEarle.com 85%
= Toolstation.com 85%
5 JohnLewis.com 84%
6 FeelUnique.com 83%
7 Amazon.co.uk 81%
= FragranceDirect.co.uk 81%
= Lakeland.co.uk 81%
10 BeautyBay.com 80%
= Lush.com 80%
= Screwfix.com 80%
= WexPhotographic.com 80%

Worst online shops

EE is bottom of our table for the second year running, with some customers criticising its difficult-to-navigate website and poor deliveries.

Homebase fared badly again, with some customers finding it difficult to organise deliveries, and B&Q lost out on a high rating with an online search function that confounded some shoppers. 

Vodafone also did badly, coming in the bottom five retailers for the second year running. 

Bottom 11 online shops
Rank Brand Customer Score
90 Missguided.co.uk 68%
= Sainsburys.co.uk 68%
= SimplyBe.co.uk 68%
= TescoMobile.co.uk 68%
94 SportsDirect.com 67%
= WHSmith.co.uk 67%
= Wickes.co.uk 67%
97 Vodafone.co.uk 66%
98 DIY.com (B&Q) 65%
99 Homebase.co.uk 63%
100 EE.co.uk 56%

Where to shop online

Buying products that you haven’t had the chance to inspect in person can be a leap of faith, so you want to be sure you’re handing over money to a retailer you can rely on.

Which? editor Richard Headland said: ‘With more and more of us shopping online, especially in the run-up to Christmas, it seems there’s still a big gap between the best and worst retailers if you’re looking for choice, value and convenience.

‘The best online shops offer competitive prices and a seamless experience, while others need to up their game to avoid letting customers down.’

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