UK Supermarkets - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q2 2022 Published Today

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The Q2 2022 benchmarking report for UK supermarkets has just been published. Learn how the top 8 UK supermarkets perform across the digital space.

28th June 2022

The latest Q2 2022 benchmarking report for UK Supermarkets has just been published.  It covers the largest 8 national supermarkets, including Asda, Tesco, Iceland, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Morrison's, and Co-Op - it highlights year-on-year digital performance, plus winner and loser comparisons in 20+ online performance metrics.

Supermarkets logos

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 supermarkets to win brand exposure locally, online orders and 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 take-aways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.

Supermarkets Report Preview

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand 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 under-perform. 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.

Many of the UK supermarkets have varying degrees of technical errors that will be hindering organic traffic and conversion performance. An example includes Asda seeing 270 4xx errors on their site. Though this is understandable when dealing with a significant amount of stock, Asda may find redirects in these areas are significantly more powerful for conversion performance, as they provide users an alternative rather than a dead end.

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.

In our research, we discovered that the only supermarket achieving an ‘ok’ mobile page speed score is Sainsbury’s, with all others falling short of the 50-89 score range. Looking in more detail at mobile core web vitals, we can see that Waitrose have a score of 15 seconds when it comes to largest contentful paint. This matters more for your page speed index score than any other metric as it measures the time it takes for the largest above the fold content element to load. Waitrose must look to improve this to avoid losing customers due to poor [age 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 gage of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, ie. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads.

Domain authority is considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. ‘Good’ DA score depends on the competition level of the industry. In our research, UK supermarket domain authorities range from 73 to 85, with Lidl sitting at the bottom of the (very strong!) scale.

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.

Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that of all the supermarkets in our report, only Coop and Lidl have gained organic mobile traffic year on year. This indicates Coop and Lidl are undergoing constant optimisation and other supermarkets should follow suit in order to compete.

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 brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings.

For Tesco, their 42,300 appearances in FAQs (which answer real, long-tailed queries from users) make them quickly visible and appear above all other results. For supermarket brands neglecting to optimise for FAQ results, they could be missing out on crucial traffic from users looking for information on ingredients, recipe content, or examples of how to use current products.

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 brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index.

Though Tesco are leading the way on FAQ search terms, Asda have a massive 1,205,596 long tail keywords in the top 4, indicating an SEO strategy poised for conversions. Without visibility on these high-converting keywords, other supermarkets risk losing highly-valuable traffic.

Facebook Adverts

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.

Below, we can see how Aldi Scotland have been running paid social ads to promote their special buys, tying into current content by featuring an image from the new series of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Aldi are well known for being current (and some would say, very cheeky!) with their social media content, a brand tone of voice they have carried into their paid ads.

Aldi Facebook Ads

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 brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time.

We noted that all the supermarkets have been consistently creating content, that has achieved them good levels of engagement. Each supermarket is showing consistent cycles of content production from week to week, indicating that they all have content strategies in place.

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, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere.

Though each supermarket is delivering accessibility errors, Aldi’s 438 alerts pose a significant problem for the brand. Aldi should think carefully about how they improve their accessibility for users and ensure nothing on the site is likely to make anyone turn elsewhere out of frustration.

User Journeys & Conversion Rate Performance

3.42 seconds are all it takes for a user to judge a site solely on its appearance. For sites with a low clarity score, this means users are getting a poor impression of your brand and aren’t seeing your vital cues to convert.

Iceland achieved a clarity score of 46%. With the highest score we recorded coming in at 75%, Iceland must make improvements to their readability, usability, and competitor benchmarking to improve their user experience and better craft their journeys.

Additionally, we use attention maps to judge user behaviour and assess how customers are interacting with a site. You can see from these examples just how wildly different site designs can impact user attention;

Supermarkets Attention Map

Q2 2022 Winners and Losers Summary

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 8 supermarket brands on, check out our quick-look table below; 

Supermarkets Winners and Losers June 22

If you want to explore how you can improve your performance relative to your competitors, reduce media spend wastage and drive more performance from less, read the 10 Week Performance Accelerator for CMOs & Marketing Leaders.


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 Phil Robinson.

Photo by Tara Clark on Unsplash

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