NEW YORK - Web researchers at Change Sciences Group released new data today revealing how e-commerce web sites perform when real people attempt to complete common tasks. Nine web sites were ranked for usability, engagement and conversion based on how they support people looking for a product with specific attributes and pricing. To reflect this common need, people were asked to shop for a closet organization system at least six feet wide and under $500.

In terms of usability scores, the three top performing sites were Amazon, Overstock, and Walmart. Amazon was found to be the most engaging site with the highest likelihood to convert despite not having a home focus. The bottom four performers for usability were Container Store, IKEA, Sears, and Target. Container Store, which is known for its expansive collection of storage and organization supplies, had poor usability, making it difficult to find a product that is configurable. The data also suggests that IKEA's simple Scandinavian design did not translate into simplicity for online shoppers looking for a specific item to satisfy a specific need. Sears performed well for finding a specific item but people did not feel as successful as they did on other sites, indicating that the biggest hurdle for some sites can be intangibles like trust and brand perception.

Founding partner Pamela Pavliscak explains, "The data is powerful because it reflects a common challenge people face when shopping online, namely finding a specific item for a specific need. There's no 'one size fits all solution' -- you need something that works within specific constraints and you don't have a lot of time. You want a microwave oven that will fit under your cabinets, or in this case, a closet organization system that's a certain size under a certain price. Finding and purchasing products for the home is nuanced and can lead to a lot of frustration for customers if they can't easily find what they need."

To learn more about the research, visit The user experience of the following sites is covered in the full report: Amazon, Container Store, Home Depot, IKEA, Lowes, Overstock, Sears, Target and Walmart. Change Sciences will add other sites to the data set upon request.

About Change Sciences

Change Sciences is a group of qualitative researchers, data scientists, and programmers dedicated to helping organizations improve usability, engagement, and conversion. It counts 18 Fortune 100 companies as clients and has completed more than 700 projects in the last five years for clients in financial services, healthcare, entertainment, travel, government, e-commerce, and e-learning.

Source: Change Sciences

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