Online4Baby.com and Silver Cross have beaten bigger high street names to be voted the best baby retailers by shoppers, according to new Which? research.
The consumer champion surveyed more than 3,000 people about their experiences using shops that sell a range of baby products. The retailers were rated for customer score as well as product quality, value for money and staff helpfulness and knowledge.
According to Which?’s research, three-quarters (74%) of shoppers made their most recent baby-equipment purchase online. Buying the big items for a new baby used to mean being shown the ropes by a knowledgeable salesperson at a bricks and mortar shop, but these retailers have been disappearing from the high street and the Covid pandemic appears to have cemented the shift to online shopping.
Oldham-based Online4Baby and Silver Cross each received a customer score of 81 per cent, higher than popular high-street retailers including John Lewis and Boots.
Online4Baby received four stars for product quality, value for money and staff knowledge and has been awarded Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status.
Being awarded a WRP means that not only did a company perform outstandingly in Which?’s survey, but also passed Which?’s stringent behind-the-scenes checks on its terms and conditions and returns policies.
Eight in 10 of Online4Baby’s customers in the survey said they would recommend it to a friend. Shoppers praised its easy-to navigate website, great product range and the cost savings to be had. They also praised its customer services team, saying they were helpful and knowledgeable, offering support seven days a week.
Silver Cross also earned a customer score of 81 per cent, receiving four stars for product quality. However, respondents also said it offered less value for money than some of the other retailers, scoring it three stars.
With a customer score of 80 per cent, Maxi-Cosi was praised for its high-quality products and impressive value for money. The helpfulness and knowledge of staff was, however, rated slightly lower than other top performers.
Towards the top of the table, John Lewis received a customer score of 79 per cent. The retailer was awarded a WRP and given four stars for product quality and staff knowledge, but three stars for value for money. A customer praised the retailer for its “fantastic customer service, good loyalty program and great warranty periods”.
Mamas and Papas was another strong performer which was given WRP status, receiving a customer score of 78 per cent. It scored four stars for its product quality and staff knowledge and three stars for value for money. One person said: “’Easy to order, excellent quality.”
Another high scorer and WRP was Joie Baby. The retailer received a customer score of 76 per cent, scoring four stars across all categories. One customer said the retailer had a straightforward returns policy and that its products were good value for money.
At the bottom of the table was Baby Monitors Direct, which scored two stars for product quality and value for money. With a customer score of 65 per cent, the retailer received three stars for staff helpfulness and knowledge. One customer described the customer service as “awful”, however another said they were satisfied by product quality and speed of delivery and would recommend the site to others.
The Range received a slightly higher customer score of 67 per cent, being awarded two stars for product quality and staff helpfulness and three stars for value for money. One person reported: “’We had an issue with the toy and wanted to return it to the store as it was faulty. The company wasn’t very helpful and we had to speak to HQ to resolve the issue.” Despite this, another customer praised The Range for its excellent selection of products and great value items.
Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, said:
“Most people now buy baby products online rather than going into a physical shop, but our research suggests that mums and dads-to-be still value excellent customer service in addition to good-value and high-quality products.
“It’s great to see several retailers ticking the boxes for their customers, proving to be reliable retailers for a range of must-have baby products.
“However, we would always recommend getting your car seat professionally installed or checked by an expert if you buy it online. If that’s not possible, most brands have detailed installation guides on Youtube which you can follow and pause while you fit yours.”
Notes to Editor
- Results based on an online survey of 3,293 respondents, conducted in May 2023. Customer score based on satisfaction with the brand and likelihood to recommend. Sample sizes in brackets. A dash (-) means the sample size is too small to give a star rating.
- Four shops in our top 10 list were awarded Which Recommended Provider status; Online4Baby.com, John Lewis, Mamas & Papas and Joie Baby.
- Which? only award WRPs to stores which have top customer scores, plus at least four stars for customer service, delivery and three stars for value for money. Which? also only allows stores to become WRPs if they give customers at least 28 days to return non-faulty goods. Which? excludes any retailers that give misleading or unclear information about returns.
Table of survey results
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