The Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK online appliance brands has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK online appliance brands perform across the digital space.
The latest Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK online appliance brands has just been published. It covers the 12 largest national online appliance brands, including AO, Appliances Direct, Euronics UK, Appliance City, Hughes Electrical, Boots Kitchen Appliances, Hotpoint, Beko, Smeg UK, AEG, Miele GB and MyAppliances.
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 online appliance brands to win brand exposure locally and online views. 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 Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of a 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. For online appliance brands, having an easy-to-navigate site is essential for consumers looking into online appliance brands and particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as best-selling appliances, special offers, and any key feature pages that customers may need to access.
Whilst most of the online appliance brands we researched had a fairly low amount of website errors, all 12 of the brands had at least a few 4xx or 5xx errors showing. Boots Kitchen Appliances are seeing the worst level of 4xx error codes, with 211, and need to be looking into the cause of these errors (or risk seeing customers turn elsewhere).
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. Online appliance brands need to ensure their customers have a positive experience on their mobile site to instil high levels of trust and ensure customers are able to quickly access the information they need about their potential new appliances.
We would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, whereas only three of the 12 online appliance brands did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 7 and 71, with Hughes Electrical lagging behind. All the brands that are scoring below 50 have some serious work to do on improving their mobile page speed.
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. Online appliance brands should be continually pushing to improve their DA, they can do this by collaborating with and outreaching to external publications and bloggers within their niche to build their backlink profile.
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. Only ten of the online appliance brands achieved a score of average or above, with the DA ranging from 31 to 74. AO are scoring the highest of all 12 online appliance brands showing a strong strategy for building Domain Authority. Those at the lower end of the scale need to be focusing on building a stronger backlink profile to compete with the higher-scoring online appliance brands.
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. For online appliance retailers (where the customer buyer journey is longer than in the FMCG market), they should be optimising across a full range of awareness, consideration, and conversion keywords, ensuring they have multiple touchpoints for customers as they travel further through their decision-making process.
We looked at how all 12 online appliance brands have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that only two of the online appliance brands in our report have gained organic mobile traffic year on year. Appliance City saw the biggest loss with a 56% drop, whilst Smeg UK saw the biggest gain with a 93% increase.
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. Online appliance retailers should be utilising all universal search features as potential customers will be interested to see how previous customers have found their experience via Reviews, FAQs and People Also Ask, so they can ensure they're making a sound investment in their new appliance.
We could see that Image Pack was the highest used universal search feature, with AO taking the top spot reaching 7,400 results. Some brands are underusing all universal search feature options and only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small number of results need to work towards the numbers their competitors are achieving.
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. There are many longtail keyword options online appliance brands could be using such as ‘best place to buy washing machines’, ‘where to buy fridges online’, or 'hotpoint oven next day delivery'. Though these may have lower monthly search volumes, the high purchase intent makes them high-value and an important piece of your keyword strategy.
Smeg UK and MyAppliances are ranking for a low number of longtail keywords compared to their competitors, and both these brands are ranking for very few in the top 20. Both brands should be looking at how to improve their rankings on their existing longtail keywords, but also at how to expand their strategy to include new specific search terms.
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecasted 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 appliance retailers, who are generally aiming to win one-time large ticket purchases as opposed to regular customers, Facebook advertising provides a quick way to reach their audience almost as soon as they've hit their consideration phase.
Below, we can see examples of AEG’s Facebook ads, using bold, strong, creatives to capture the attention of users, including a mix of images and videos. Showing appliances in a lifestyle setting inspires users to imagine the products within their own homes, and the trendy, fashionable styling ensures they're seen as aspirational, exciting items to own.
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 which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Social media could be especially useful for sharing information about different appliance styles and special offers.
We saw in our research that Euronics UK are falling behind their competitors when it comes to both Facebook Likes and Instagram Followers. Euronics UK need to look into how they can compete with the other online appliance brands and create a social media strategy that users want to engage with and keep following long-term.
Website Readability & Accessibility
Around 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, even subconsciously, brands lose customer interest as they turn to other online appliance brands that can better meet their accessibility requirements.
All of the online appliance brands appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites, with all 12 seeing an array of errors, contrast errors, and alerts. Appliance Direct is seeing the worst amount, hitting 230 alerts on their website. The online appliance brands seeing issues should be reviewing and optimising their accessibility, and investigating to see what the issues within their websites are, and whether they are losing them potential customers.
Q1 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just six of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 online appliance brands on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q1 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.