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Shops and websites rated

How we rate shops

By Vicki Crowe

Article 5 of 5

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Find out how we rate shops, and what it takes to be a Which? Recommended Provider.

Every year Which? surveys thousands of members to reveal the most- and least-loved online and high street shops. But how do we work out who should be named a Which? Recommended Provider?

In our surveys, we ask thousands of shoppers to rate retailers on a number of aspects, from range of products to customer service.

Our retail experts, consumer rights experts and statisticians then layer on extra criteria to work out which of the most highly rated websites and shops also qualify for Which? Recommended Provider status.

Members can log in now to unlock the Which? Recommended Providers list below. If you're not a member yet, join Which? for instant access to this as well as thousands of product reviews. 

How we rate online and high street shops

In June and July 2019, we asked 7,604 Which? members about their shopping experiences online over the past six months.

In January 2019, we surveyed 7,784 Which? members about the in-store purchases they had made during the past six months.

For each survey, we’ve got two sets of results: an overall table based on shoppers’ general experiences with each retailer over the past six months; and category tables, for which shoppers rated stores based on a recent specific experience of shopping for a particular product.

We need at least 30 responses for a retailer to make the tables. Overall customer score is made up of the ratings shoppers give for satisfaction and whether or not they would recommend a retailer to a friend. 

To calculate category customer scores, we asked shoppers whether they were satisfied with their experience of shopping at the retailer for products within a certain category, and whether they would recommend the retailer for that category of product.

To see the overall results, head to our round-ups of the best and worst online shops and the best and worst high street shops.

What it takes to become a Which? Recommended Provider

Which? Recommended Providers (WRPs) are brands that we have endorsed and would recommend you use. They have to have a good customer score and high star ratings.

The criteria for online and in store are slightly different.

  • Online Which? Recommended Providers must have a customer score of 80% and at least four stars across the board. They also have to pass a check from our legal team to make sure that their terms and conditions abide by the law when it comes to your consumer rights when shopping online. Retailers that act as a platform to third-party sellers (such as Amazon and eBay) can’t be Which? Recommended Providers, and we exclude retailers for which we have specific product safety concerns.
  • In-store Which? Recommended Providers must score at least four stars for customer service and three stars for value for money. They must also have a returns policy of at least 28 days, including sale items. We exclude stores that publish information implying a limitation of customers’ statutory rights in relation to faulty good and any retailers for which we have specific product safety concerns.
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