The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK kitchen retailers has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK kitchen retailers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK kitchen retailers has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national kitchen retailers, including Magnet, Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, Harvey Jones Kitchens, Tom Howley, Wren Kitchens, deVOL Kitchens, Kutchenhaus, Kesseler, Howdens, Wickes, Moores Furniture Group, and Sigma 3 Kitchens.
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 kitchen retailers to win brand exposure, generate online views and drive 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 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 kitchen retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK kitchen 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 & 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. Kitchen retailers will want to ensure that key pages, such as style/ colour options, pricing and payment information, and installation guides, are clearly signposted, so prospective customers can get all the information they need to place an order.
In our last report, we noted that deVOL Kitchens had 183 4xx errors. For this quarter, deVOL Kitchens has reduced its 4xx errors to 134. However, Howdens has seen a significant increase in 4xx errors from 34 to 599. This kitchen retailer will need to assess that no key pages are being blocked for consumers as this could cause conversion issues.
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. As with ensuring their site is easy to navigate with limited 4xx errors, kitchen retailers will want to provide a seamless, fast site experience for their users.
This quarter saw a small increase in mobile speed scores with a range of 8 to 56. Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, which scored only 8 points, must make updates to its homepage by switching to lazy loading and/or using fewer fonts to improve the consumer’s experience.
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. Kitchen retailers can look to creating content that home, food, and lifestyle publications will want to engage with, something that a digital PR specialist can assist with.
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. . DAs for this quarter range between 6 and 73. Moores Furniture Group is at the bottom of the leaderboard again. This kitchen retailer also has the least number of backlinks. It would be wise for them to develop a backlink strategy which could generate opportunities to improve its DA.
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. Due to the cost of living crisis, we'd expect to see a fall in traffic to the kitchen retailer sector, due to consumers holding back on non-essential purchases, such as new kitchens.
All kitchen retailers saw a decrease in organic mobile traffic this quarter. While Moores Furniture Group saw the lowest drop in traffic (4%), this is a significant drop in performance compared to the last quarter, where it saw a 158% increase.
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 retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. For kitchen retailers, 'image pack' is a strong opportunity to sell products directly from the SERP, with high-quality product images that engage prospective customers.
Howdens continues to secure the top position for the most appearances for universal searches (35,993). A strong performance for ‘People also ask’ results, generally points to a strong presence for longtail keywords, a great opportunity to build visibility for transactional phrases.
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. Kitchen retailers should look to consider phrases that include high-conversion intent terms, such as 'installation next week' or 'payment plan options', as a way to secure traffic from visitors specifically looking to buy.
Howdens has overtaken Wren Kitchens with the most appearances for longtail keywords. Sigma 3 Kitchens has seen an improvement from the last quarter with a total of 3,247 longtail keyword appearances, compared to only 38 last quarter, taking it from the least-performing kitchen retailer last quarter to position 6/12.
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. For UK kitchen retailers, Facebook ads are an opportunity to ensure customers see availability, products, and deals.
Wickes has a strong sense of branding across images and videos, ensuring that its content is unique to this kitchen retailer. It has the same CTA across all three ads but with a diversity of videos, images, and questions, suggesting that its testing which strategy results in the highest engagement.
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 retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. As with developing their digital PR strategy, kitchen retailers can look to developing content that fits with home, food, and lifestyle, in order to appeal to a wide variety of users.
This quarter shows that some of these kitchen retails favour Pinterest, which is an excellent approach for this sector. Howdens, which favours Pinterest, saw 461 backlinks from Pinterest, demonstrating that this social media platform is a wise choice. Howdens also has the largest total of engagement on social media (74,459). Wickes takes the lead with 208,400 Facebook Likes, while deVOL Kitchens has the most Instagram followers (745,200).
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. For brands operating within the home improvement space, accessibility should be a key consideration for their site, as it will help convey that accessible design is also part of their approach to home solutions.
Magnet continues to score the highest number of accessibility concerns. While Magnet saw a reduction in contrast errors, its seen an increase in alerts (117) and errors (168). This kitchen retailer could make improvements to its images to assist with accessibility, as it currently has 1,354 missing meta descriptions.
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.