The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK home furniture retailers has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK home furniture retailers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK home furniture retailers has just been published. It covers the 11 largest retailers in the UK, including Swoon, Oak Furniture Superstore, LuxDeco, Furniture Village, Furniture and Choice, Oak Furnitureland, The Cotswold Company, Dwell UK, Loaf, Heal's, Barker and Stonehouse, and Housing Units.
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 home furniture retailers to win brand exposure, drive online views, and increase in-store footfall (where relevant). 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 Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form below or schedule a call.
Q4 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just six of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 home furniture retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK home furniture retail brands or request a copy of the report for the full review.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site 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 and 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 underperform. 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. Retailers in any sector will need to effectively keep on top of changing stock levels, and implement a strong redirect strategy when removing items for sale. This will reduce 4xx errors, and prevent users from heading down dead ends or turning elsewhere from frustration.
In the last report, Loaf had 957 4xx errors. In Q4 2023, it’s decreased this to 19, improving its consumer on-site experience. However, there’s been an increase in 4xx errors for several home furniture retail brands, with Furniture Village seeing an increase from 8 in the last quarter to 1,738 this quarter. This brand needs to assess broken links to decrease this figure by the next quarter.
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 will see a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. With mobile browsers accounting for 72.9% of all e-commerce sales in 2021, home furniture retailers must ensure that their site is prepared for an increasingly mobile-first consumer base.
LuxDeco is the only home furniture retail brand to score above 50 this quarter (54). Ten of the 12 brands have either seen the same score or an increase to their site speed, suggesting that they’ve implemented strategies to enhance their consumer experience. Dwell UK is the lowest-scoring brand (dropping from 25 in the last quarter to 3). It’ll need to compress its images on the homepage to help increase this score.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority (DA) 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. Furniture retailers will want to look towards interior design publications and bloggers who will be interested in their brand and create content within the right niche.
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. This quarter, the DA rating ranges between 69 and 22, compared to 69 and 21 in the last quarter. Oak Furniture Superstore scored the lowest in the last quarter and has slightly increased its rating to 22 in this quarter. The bottom four brands (which score below 50) will need to increase their website’s health to improve their DA.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for core, 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. Non-essential items and treats are likely to see falls in consumer interest due to the cost of living crisis. Consumers are, therefore, more likely to hold on to older pieces of furniture for longer, only replacing or buying items when there is a great need.
Four out of the 12 home furniture retail brands had a decrease in organic mobile traffic YoY. However, the top-performing brand, Swoon, encountered a 159% increase in mobile traffic.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results are 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. For home furniture retailers, they will want to pay particular attention for 'image' and 'local pack' rankings, which will help improve product visibility, along with capture attention from local shoppers who may then visit in-store.
Furniture Village continues to secure the number one position for the most Universal search results. This brand receives most of its searches for ‘images’, which is to be expected. Oak Furnitureland has the highest number of searches for ‘local pack’ (641). Its competitor brands should look for ways to increase their ratings in this category to improve online visibility, such as responding to customer reviews.
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 new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Home furniture retailers should specifically look towards high purchase-intent phrases and terms when building out their longtail keyword strategy, including things such as delivery options and financing.
Furniture Village still sits at the top of the scoreboard for the most rankings for longtail keywords. For this quarter, Oak Furnitureland isn’t positioned as closely to this brand for within the top three positions. While Furniture and Choice sits in the bottom six for overall searches, it’s within the top three for the top three positions on search results, suggesting that its longtail keyword strategy is successful.
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 brands 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 in 2019. Facebook ads are an opportunity to show furniture items within lifestyle settings or showcase current offers and deals, inspiring social media users to browse and purchase from the retailer.
Furniture and Choice uses a combination of videos and an image for its Facebook ads. This brand also uses a variety of creative language to test which receives the highest conversion rates. It’s also opted to keep text fairly short, which can lower its cost per conversation.
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 a long period of time. It's great for your engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content that achieves traffic over a long period of time. Pinterest presents a strong opportunity for home furniture retailers as their comparatively affluent audience is well-immersed in the inspiration and consideration phase of planning any purchases.
Loaf has the highest number of total engagements (11,951), and The Cotswold Company is at a close second with a total of 11,443 engagements. The Cotswold Company has the highest number of Facebook Likes while Loaf is at number one for Instagram followers. Dwell UK has the smallest Facebook following, and it needs to increase its post uploads to improve its social media presence.
Website Readability & Accessibility
About 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. Home furniture retailers will want to think about the impression they are conveying to customers needing additional accessibility, and ensure that key product details are made clear for everyone browsing the site.
We’re pleased to see that Oak Furnitureland has decreased its errors (from 453 in the last report to 122 in this quarter). Furniture Village now has the highest number of errors (127) of all the brands. Oak Furnitureland flagged for 354 alerts, which it needs to address to improve its consumer experience.
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q4 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.