UK Second Hand Mobile Resellers - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2023

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The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK second hand mobile phone resellers has just been published. Learn how the top 12 resellers perform across the digital space.

The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK second hand mobile and technology resellers has just been published. It covers the largest 12 resellers' websites in the UK, including Mazuma Mobile, musicMagpie, Fone Store,, Back Market, The iOutlet, Envirofone, Handtec, 4Gadgets, The Big Phone Store, Smart Cellular, and MTR Group.  

Second Hand Phones - Logos Sept 23

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other second hand mobile phone resellers to win brand exposure, drive traffic online, and increase both orders and the acquistion of new stock. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.Second Hand Phones - COVER

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will under-perform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Second hand mobile and technology resellers will want to ensure customers can find information on buy and sell rates for different models, along with details needed for postage and order tracking.

Any site will want to ensure that their 4xx errors and 5xx errors are as low as possible. However, four of the twelve resellers in our report have seen over 1,000 4xx errors, indicating a huge amount of digital dead ends on their sites. The iOutlet is the poorest-performing second hand mobile phone reseller, with 2,985 4xx errors. The iOutlet, along with the other three resellers seeing a significant amount of errors, will want to ensure that fluctuating stock availability does not impact their users' ability to navigate their site. 

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. In a saturated market, second hand mobile phone sellers must ensure that both customers looking to buy and sell are getting a positive user experience from every touchpoint.

None of the twelve resellers in our report have reached the 'okay' mobile page speed benchmark of 50. Closest to reaching this figure was The Big Phone Store, which secured a score of 45. The slowest site in our audit is Fone Store, which scored only 9. Looking in greater detail, this could be due to high quality product images - though large images make stock look appealing, they can cause delayed loading times. Fone Store will want to ensure they are considering an equal balance of mobile site speed optimisation and aesthetic appearance.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Second hand mobile phone sites can look at exploring the environmental impact of using second hand technology, as an interesting central topic for a digital PR campaign.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. Second hand mobile phone resellers sit within a large range of DA scores, the highest of which is seen by musicMagpie, with 71. At the lower end, Fone Store (13) and Smart Cellular (23) should both be looking at backlink reclaimation as a first port of call for building DA, and becoming more competitive.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. Second hand mobile phone resellers have an opportunity to gain organic traffic, due to an increase in interest in both buying and selling second hand mobiles, due to the cost of living crisis. Customers are likely to be looking for a more affordable way to purchase a handset, along with selling their older models to raise some extra cash.

Only four of the twelve second hand mobile phone sites have been able to secure a rise in organic traffic year on year. Back Market have secured the biggest increase in digital footfall, with a 46% increase year on year. Handtec has seen the largest drop in traffic since 2022, losing 64% of their traffic.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal Search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Second hand mobile phone resellers will want to ensure they have a strong performance for 'reviews' results, ensuring that potential customers can feel confident in getting a good deal, from both buying and selling their old technology.

'Reviews' are the most appeared-for Universal Search result for second hand mobile phone and technology resellers, with Back Market leading the way, with 44,400 appearances. 'FAQ' and 'people also ask' results appear sparingly across all resellers, despite being a great opportunity to share information and build authority direct from the SERP. Second hand mobile phone and technology resellers should consider whether optimisations to on-page content can help improve visibility within these results.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Second hand mobile phone resellers can optimise towards high purchase-intent phrases, such as 'fast delivery', 'payment plan', or even specific models.

Smart Cellular, Handtec, and Fone Store are each ranking for thousands of long tail keywords overall, but less than 100 in the top three positions. Smart Cellular in particular are seeing a disparity in total ranked versus top ranked keywords, seeing only 86 of their 9.4k longtail keyword appearances in the coveted top three spots. 

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019

We've included Back Market's Facebook ads below. Back Market have used two video formats - a square ratioed video, along with a vertical, 'Reels' style format. The vertical video will fit natively within organic content, engaging with a readily 'plugged in' audience, and more likely to gain interest and build brand awareness.

Back Market Facebook Ads - SEPT 2023

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Second hand mobile phone resellers can create shareable social content that details cost saving, environmental impact, and other key benefits of using a second hand mobile phone.

Facebook is the preferred social media platform for all second hand mobile and technology resellers, with the exception of musicMagpie, which secured the most engagements on X (formerly Twitter). Back Market has the largest Facebook audience, with a total of 431,800 likes, in addition to the most Instagram followers, with 18,000 followers. A large audience on organic social platforms reduces the need to rely too heavily on paid social ads for brand awareness, whilst also helping to make any other campaigns more accurate in their audience targeting.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Sites which have large volumes of products, with different models that may only differ slightly in their specifications, must ensure that information is presented as clearly as possible, to improve accessibility.

musicMagpie have the least accessible site from our audits, with 578 alerts present in our crawls. Looking in further detail, these alerts mainly consist of redundant title text, which can cause barriers to those using screen readers to access the site.

Q3 2023 winners leader board

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 second hand mobile phone resellers on, check out our quick-look table below;

SecondHandPhones W&L Sept23

Get the full 79-page Q3 2023 report

To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by The Average Tech Guy on Unsplash

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