THE five online retailers in Ireland with the best performance have been named as Countrylife, Harry Corry Interiors, Michael Murphy Home Furnishing, Shoeshop.ie by Cordners Shoes, and Vaughan Shoes.
Industry representative body Retail Excellence unveiled its shortlist yesterday for National Online Retailer of the Year.
It is one of more than a dozen honours awarded annually by Retail Excellence to its members.
Retail Excellence's selection of the five finalists from scores of entrants followed an independent website audit by Cork-based e-commerce specialists StudioForty9.
That firm analysed each nominee's page loading speed, first impressions, ease and accuracy of product search, navigation, shopping cart and checkout functions, delivery options and employment of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques.
"To achieve top-five status is something to be very proud of. The investment being made by Irish retailers in their online websites is growing each year," said David Fitzsimons, group chief executive of Retail Excellence.
"With Irish consumers now spending €850,000 each hour online, Irish retailers have a big opportunity to drive online revenue.
"Add to that the fact that Enterprise Ireland now funds qualifying merchants with their novel online retail pilot grant worth €25,000," he said.
"Brexit will also provide a significant opportunity to Irish online merchants as pricing on co.uk websites will soon increase due to the application of customs duty."
Retail Excellence, which is backed by AIB Merchant Services, represents about 2,000 retailers in Ireland.