The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK homeware retailers has just been published. Learn how the top 10 UK homeware retailers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for homeware retailers in the UK has just been published. It covers the 10 largest homeware retail brands trading in the UK, including Ikea, Wilko, Dunelm, B&M Retail, The Range, Wayfair, Robert Dyas, Argos, The Very Group, and Habitat.
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 homeware brands to win brand exposure, drive online views, and generate 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 or schedule a call.
Q4 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just six of the metrics we evaluated these top 10 homeware retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK homeware retailers or request a copy of the report for the full review.
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 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. Homeware retail brands, which will be juggling large volumes of ever-changing stock, are likely to fall into the common trap for retail brands in not updating links to old products, leading to 4xx error codes. This can be avoided by ensuring an effective redirect strategy is in place when pages are removed.
Wayfair has seen a huge increase in its number of 4xx errors — from just 3 in the last report to 2,668 this quarter. This homeware retail brand needs to assess for broken links to avoid a decrease in traffic.
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. Homeware brands will feel the pressure to include high-quality images of their products on their home pages, along with representing their full product range, but care must be taken that any images or videos are not an excessively large size or resolution.
Mobile speed scores range from 57 (Ikea) to 7 (Wilko). Wilko needs to make improvements to its speed score to prevent visitors dropping off, as poor speed performance can decrease traffic and conversions.
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. Homeware brands will have the opportunity to outreach to and collaborate with influencers and publications across a wide spectrum of niches, from cooking, to gardening, to lifestyle, to parenting (and more!).
The DA range for this quarter is between 91 and 66, with all 10 homeware retailers continuing to sit in the ‘excellent’ bracket. Robert Dyas and B&M Retail (both previous scoring 68 in the previous quarter) saw a very slight drop in their DA rating. These are also the two homeware retailers with the least number of backlinks, which they should optimise to bring up their DAs.
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. As the cost of living crisis is impacting consumers, we've noticed a decreasing interest in treats or expendable items, which many of our homeware retail brands' product lines will fall into. Consumers may be opting to replace items less frequently, hold off on non-essential products, or seek cheaper prices elsewhere.
All 10 homeware retail brands continued to see a fall in organic mobile traffic YoY, suggesting there’s a universal issue. Robert Dyas saw the biggest drop with a 44% decrease. Increasing its keyword visibility can help to improve its mobile traffic score for the next quarter.
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 retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. 'Images' and 'local pack' results are a great option for homeware brands, who can show their current product lines, and nearest locations, direct from the SERP.
Once again, Argos is the homeware retailer to beat, scoring the highest for the most Universal Search results. B&M Retail continues to have zero appearances for ‘reviews’, which it should look to increase (given that it’s a customer-facing brand) to improve its ranking for overall Universal Search 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 new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Homeware brands will want to look to descriptive terms about products that show high purchase intent, such as 'cream woollen throw', '16-piece dinner set', or 'king-sized green floral duvet'.
Robert Dyas and Habitat continue to rank for the fewest longtail keywords in position 3. Longtail keywords have a lower cost per click, so these homeware retailers need to capitalise on this strategy to improve their SEO rankings.
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. For UK homeware retailers, Facebook ads are an opportunity to reach more customers and show key styles and ranges within lifestyle settings.
Very uses a variety of content styles across its three Facebook ads. This includes a collaboration with another brand, an image carousel, and a vertical video. This content diversity suggests this homeware retailer is testing its engagement and conversion rates.
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. Visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are a great opportunity for brands to show their products within a lifestyle setting, and inspire social media users to make their own purchases.
It's great to see many homeware retailers favouring Pinterest — a platform that allows retailers to showcase images and inbound links to increase conversions and website traffic. Ikea resumes to outperform the other homeware retailers with 32.3m Facebook followers. B&M Retail continues to outperform this retailer on Instagram, with 1.5m followers.
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. Not only will juggling a large volume of products make maintaining technical compliance challenging, but can sometimes cause problems with accessibility, due to the instinct to link to a variety of products from one page.
B&M Retail’s alerts have crept up from the previous quarter (1,728) to 2,002 this quarter. The main factors resulting in this are redundant alternative text and redundant links, which it needs to adjust to improve this score for the next quarter.
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.