We’re in 2020, but search is still not so useful. Let’s look at something that parents, holiday cottage owners, and others might be looking for, and assess the online offerings in terms of the future of retail.
Importantly, if you’re actually looking for a Zed Bed, I’ll list out your options online, and you’ll be able to see what’s out there all in this page… see the jump links below if you know what you want already.
Zed Beds or Z beds (works only if you pronounce the Z with British intonation, hence I spell it phonetically), are folding beds. The Z is the shape these beds fold into.
Also known as: camp beds, folding beds.
They look like the picture below:
A cousin to the Z bed, is the Z Chair, which is a soft, pliable, folding chair, which can expand out to become a servicable bed. Most useful for toddlers and small children, can provide a sleep-over bed for friends and family, or can also provide refuge for a bleary-eyed parent to a non-sleeping child!
Also known as: Futons, Single Z Chairs, Chair Beds.
They look like the picture below:
Z Sofa Beds
The big brother to the Z Chair is a Z Sofa Bed. It’s bigger – for more than one person – to sit and to sleep on, but again it’s a foldable bed.
Also known as: Sofa bed, double futon.
Online Retail Assessment
Let’s assess the stores out there who sell Zed Beds into the UK market.
Amazon is a monolith in the online retail world, and indeed the retail scene in the UK, apart from the big 4 supermarkets, is dominated by Amazon. You can buy everything there… including Z Beds.
They hold the top organic spot in Google search with a listing page which is generally useful, as pictured below:
Now, you can see, above, the products feature Z Bed as top product, a Z Chair, and then another Z Bed. Because these inndividual listings have all got pretty SEO stuffed names (Amazon is a marketplace, and marketplace listers are clever about knowing what you call their products), we must assume there’s an element of human curation or machine learning at play here, because this list is very tightly on point with regards to matching user intention.
A nice category page – not clear if this is accessible from the menu – if it is, it’s buried way deep. This is a search landing page, and it works.
eBay Z Beds Page
Where Amazon is, eBay is close behind. Arguably, eBay got their act together with regards to running tight category listings before Amazon, so it’s no surprise to see them popping up in second place in UK organic search with the following product category page:
eBay’s page is actually sharper than Amazon’s, more intuitive, and contains both filters and clear breadcrumbs which work. It’s definitely better for the shopper – though it present more options. This isn’t necessarily a good thing – a curated list is perhaps a wiser move in retail 2020.
Either way, eBay presents a good alternative to Amazon, and you can also pick up a second hand bargain here, at auction. Note that eBay makes the retailer choose the category, and they impose limits. This is a good thing for the purchaser, because then the listings are more relevant.
We’ve seen two good options above, so let’s see what not to do. Wayfair’s search results page for “zed beds” shows in the first page of Google organic results for the same phrase. Let’s see what’s in there:
Wait, what!? We have a lamp, a dining set, a bathroom set and a rug. Actually, this entire page does not contain one zed bed. Thumbs down. -1. Mark this with L.
Argos is an interesting one. This shows where we’re at in terms of online search in 2020, because their page on Guest Beds does not even feature the word “zed beds” in the page… anywhere. Matter of fact, the letter Z is in the following category page only once (in the filters, as a part of the word “size”. This shows Google understands what a z bed is, and that they aren’t afraid to link up well formatted pages full of them.
Actually Argos features the same or similar products to Amazon and eBay, and are in fact often cheaper for the same thing.
It’s a useful page, with helpful filters.
This is a good example of an online store which, with a tiny bit of effort, could lift it’s search performance based on user intent, and score a lot more organic traffic. Argos are leaving money on the table, in my view.
In any case, see the Argos page full of relevant guest beds, here. They are nicely priced.
A Note on Affiliate Links
Please note that several of the links above are my referral link – or affiliate link. I may be paid a commission by some of the retailers who sell these products. This payment allows me to create this curated and detailed listing, by hand, to assist you with your online shopping. It also pays me for my time while I critically assess the current range of online stores, as I consider the Future of Retail here in my blog.
I’m an eCommerce website producer and developer, so I spend all day every day looking at online stores. I know what’s out there, and can help you to find what you need. If you run an online store and want consultancy, please feel free to contact me, any time.