Jo Alexander leads garden website ranking

Jo Alexander has extended its lead as the UK's best performing garden centre website in Q3, according to the latest quarterly testing of the online operations of garden centre operators undertaken by specialist Sitemorse exclusively for Horticulture Week.

The garden furniture specialist achieved a score of 8.22 out of 10 compared with 8.12 in quarter two, which places it some way ahead of second placed Haskins Garden Centres with its score of 5.74 versus the 6.12 it delivered last time.

Jo Alexander will undoubtedly have benefited from the drier conditions in July that helped drive greater demand for garden furniture, according to Planalytics, whose research found sales in the category were up 32 per cent compared with the same month last year.

The sites tested comprise both transactional and non-transactional and the testing involves using automated software that, page-by-page reads the first 125 pages of each retailer’s sites to generate a ranked table based on checks to Quality, User Experience, Accessibility, Performance and SEO capability of each of the websites.

Both big guns of the sector again performed to very similar levels as Wyevale Garden Centres scored 4.30 while Dobbies Garden Centres achieved 4.28. It will be interesting to see how the former develops its online operations now that one of the new owners of the business is Andrew Bracey, former chief financial officer of Ocado, following its £217 million purchase from Tesco, say Sitemorse.

Only nine websites are listed in the table in quarter three compared with 11 in quarter two because both Frosts and Hillier Nurseries were excluded. Merchants are not included in the testing if they have used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general "rules of accessibility" of internet sites, according to Sitemorse. 

Sitemorse has been advising its clients on how to improve their web presence for more than a dozen years, and has hundreds of clients across major corporates, local and national government, utilities, financials and the health sector that use Sitemorse to help them improve the performance, compliance and quality of their online assets, web, mobile and social.

The company offers digital insight to many large and small organisations in public and private sectors, as well as publishing regular unique INDEX benchmarks spotlighting the online leaders in a number of sectors, from London-listed blue chips to universities, central government to consumer finance providers.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

How can horticulture businesses respond to Brexit-fuelled inflation? Neville Stein outlines the options.

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Phase two of the redevelopment of the former Badger Nurseries has delivered rapid and impressive results, Matthew Appleby discovers.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Garden retail Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. NEW: 2016 listing just published

Garden Centre Prices

GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 21 September 2016
GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 24 August 2016

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here