The Q4 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 Q4 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 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 sleep retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing sleep 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. 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 Bensons for Beds and Happy Beds were each recording the highest volume of 4xx errors, with 459. While Bensons for Beds has increased this figure to 527 in Q4, Happy Beds has reduced this down to 23 - making the site one of the most technically compliant. Mattress Next Day is now the least technically compliant site, with 585 4xx errors.
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 Mattress Man had fallen from a chart-topping mobile page speed score of 55, down to 20. In Q4, Mattress Man has regained ground, meeting a score of 54. Beds.co.uk has the lowest mobile page speed score, reaching only 2.
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 Q4, DA is ranging from 71 for Dreams, to 18 for Beds.co.uk.
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.
Two sleep retailers are achieving an increase in organic traffic year on year. And So To Bed, the only retailer to achieve an improvement in organic traffic in our last report, has increased this traffic growth to 172%. As in our previous reports, Bedstar is seeing the biggest fall in organic traffic, losing 47% year on year (though this is down from a 78% drop in Q2).
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.
Dreams remain the most prolific user of Universal Search results overall, including 5,000 'People Also Ask' results, 24,300 'image' results, and 3,700 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 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.
And So To Bed is still ranking for fewer longtail keywords when compared with most competitors. However, when looking at which positions these keywords rank in, And So To Bed is outperforming four other retailers 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 Bensons for Beds recent Facebook ads below. Bensons for Beds has used multiple ad formats in order to assess the best performing creative for the intended audience. The use of a vertical format, 'Reels' style video means Bensons will fit seemlessly into organic content, capturing a readily-engaged, scrolling audience.
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 has secured the highest number of followers of 58,000 - 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 had increased its levels of accessibility alerts from 279 to 295. In Q4, Dreams has seen this increase even further, with the figure now hitting 356. 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.
GET THE FULL 79-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.