The Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK sleep retailers has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK sleep retailers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK sleep retailers has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national sleep retailers, including Beds.co.uk, Dreams, Mattressman, And So To Bed, Land of Beds, Mattress Online, Happy Beds, Bedstar, MattressNextDay, Feather & Black, Soak & Sleep, and Bensons for Beds.
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 sleep retailers to win brand exposure, drive online orders, and even generate in-store footfall. 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 Q2 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 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. Sleep retailers will need to ensure they're keeping on top of changing lines in stock, and that key pages such as product comparison content and delivery information are clearly signposted.
In our last report, we noted that And So To Bed have been steadily reducing their technical errors, with their site now recording only 28 4xx errors (down from 36 in our previous crawl). Bensons for Beds and Happy Beds are each recording the highest volume of 4xx errors, with 459. Both Bensons for Beds and Happy Beds must ensure their users aren't being directed down dead ends, costing them sales.
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. For sleep retailers, they'll be offering similar, if not the same, products as competitors, so it's essential that users are able to access what they're looking for quickly, to avoid them turning elsewhere.
In our last report, we noted that four sleep retailers were recording scores within the 'okay' range of 50-89. In Q2, we discovered only Mattress Next Day were achieving this benchmark, with a score of 55. Mattress Man, who previously topped this chart with a score of 79, have now fallen to just 20. Mattress Man must review whether any recent changes to their site may have impacted mobile site speed, and therefore user 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. For sleep retailers, who are selling similar product lines to their competitors, an effective digital PR campaign will not only help improve DA, but gain valuable backlinks that may refer customers to their site.
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. In Q2, DA is still ranging from 71 to 20, with the highest score being achieved by Dreams.
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. As with many e-commerce sectors, we are seeing a sector-wide fall in traffic to sleep retailer sites, indicating this is an area consumers are cutting back on during the cost-of-living crisis.
While, in our last report, all twelve retailers had lost traffic year on year, And So To Bed are now achieving gains in organic traffic, securing 54% more desktop traffic and 103% more mobile traffic when compared to 2022. The biggest falls in traffic are still being seen by Bedstar, who have now lost 78% of their traffic year on year.
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 sleep retailers, 'reviews' and 'image pack' results are a useful way of grabbing attention from potential customers directly from the SERP, and standing out from competitors.
'Reviews' are the most widely used Universal Search result, with all twelve retailers making use of the opportunity and Happy Beds securing the most appearances, with 2,400. Dreams remain the most prolific user of Universal Search results overall, with 5,000 'People Also Ask' results accounting for a significant portion of their Universal Search profile.
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. As mentioned, when retailers are selling similar, if not the same, products, capitalising on organic visibility and being strategic with keywords is essential for capturing opportunities for sales.
In our last report, we noted that And So To Bed were ranking for a much smaller amount of longtail keywords when compared with their competitors. However, when looking at which positions their keywords rank in, they are outperforming Land of Beds, Beds.co.uk, and Feather and Black when it comes to securing results in the top 3 positions. Being able to perform well for converting keywords is preferable to winning mid, or low-ranking results for a much larger number, as efforts and strategy are more tightly targeted to buying-intent phrases.
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 examples of Feather & Black's Facebook ads below. Feather & Black have used Facebook ads to promote their strong, distinctive branding, along with key lines and styles for the season
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. Though we generally see brands favour Facebook and Instagram as their platform of choice, Pinterest is an exciting avenue for sleep retailers to consider, as they can tap into a comparatively affluent audience who are immersed in the consideration stage of the buying cycle.
In our research, we saw that four sleep retailers are favouring Pinterest as their content platform, with the remaining eight most appearing on Meta's platforms. In terms of Instagram, a visual platform that is useful for any brand in the homeware space, Bensons for Beds have secured the highest number of followers of 56,700 - representing an ongoing audience readily available to market towards.
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. With blue often being a favoured colour within the sleep sector, sleep retailers using blue as part of their brand colour must ensure there is sufficient contrast between text and background colours, in order to remain accessible.
In our last report, we noted that Dreams were delivering 279 alerts in our accessibility review. In Q2, Dreams have increased on this number to 295. Though alerts are not as critical as errors, they can represent missing or unnecessary alt text and headers, indicating problems for users needing a screen reader to access their site.
Q2 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics, we evaluated these top 12 sleep retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 79-PAGE Q2 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.