Boohoo Clothing: the Big Player of Digital Fast Fashion Era

  • BRAND FOCUS
  • 6 min read
  • 30 July 2020
Boohoo Clothing: the Big Player of Digital Fast Fashion Era

Key takeaways : 

Boohoo clothing is a digital fast-fashion player that puts a lot of importance on size inclusivity and has more than 13% of its women’s assortment dedicated to Boohoo plus sizes.

Boohoo has several new arrivals that exceed the thousands per week and accounts for almost 5 times more products and styles as compared to big players like Zara.

Promotions on Boohoo’s clothing website appear all year long to appeal to its young targets, always seeking the latest trends at the lowest prices.

 

Who among us has never watched a reality TV-series and wanted to have the exact same outfit as the cast? We all, secretly or not, want to look like our favorite celebrity and want to dress up like him or her. Fast fashion has made it easily accessible for anyone, and now, in this digital era, new digital players are getting more and more attention.

 

 

Boohoo is one of them. The British brand was set up in 2006 as a clothing website and has quickly become part of an eponym group which owns many other Digital native vertical brands (DNVB) such as Pretty Little Things, NastyGal, Karen Millen and recently acquired Warehouse and Oasis

 

Boohoo clothing new arrivals

 

Social media is an integral part of Boohoo‘s marketing strategy, with more than 6.6 million followers on Instagram, the brand is targeting young consumers aged 16-24. On top of that, collaborations with influencers like the Kardashian-Jenner are constant for Boohoo clothing, providing even more awareness to the brand. The British brand’s customers have grown with digitalization. They are clearly part of the one out of seven women who still consider being seen in the same outfit twice a fashion faux pas. This Ultrafast and ultra-cheap business model successfully appeals to their targets with more than 3,000 new styles launched every single week on the platform.

 

The merrier, the better?

According to Retviews data is that Boohoo, in terms of assortment mix, is not that different compared to its competitors. All the retailers analyzed focus on dresses and accessories and shoes for the women’s customer group. 

 

 

However, what is noteworthy to mention is the visibly high proportion of Boohoo dresses which represents almost a quarter of the brand’s assortment. Also, the accessories and shoe categories of the brand do not even account for the share of Zara’s accessories only. What could justify this strategy while accessories are often seen as ease extra units

 

boohoo clothing assortment mix

 

Compared to its competitors,  Boohoo retails an infinite number of articles the British brand offers. Zara and Topshop both account for less than 20% of Boohoo‘s assortment in terms of the total number of articles.

This is aligned with Boohoo’s business strategy: faster than fast fashion. Having a wide variety of articles that suits all trends its young target is looking for. 

 

Boohoo Plus Size: size inclusivity

Boohoo is a brand that appeals to the younger customer group and size inclusivity is a huge topic for the millennials and Gen-Z. What has been observed through Retviews data is that Boohoo embraces size inclusivity and has a plus-size collection only dedicated to that segment.

 

 

This does not sound really surprising as Swedish giant H&M also has one named H&M+. However, what is noteworthy to mention is how important the share of the plus-size collection is for Boohoo. Compared to only 4% of the total women’s assortment of H&M that is dedicated to its H&M+, Boohoo dedicates 13% of its assortment to that category. Also, the number one retailer in the world, Zara, does not even have a dedicated collection to plus-size but offers a broader range of sizes for specific products. A question can then be raised: is size inclusivity less important for traditional retailers than for digital players?

 

boohoo plus size: boohoo vs H&M

 

New Arrivals: do the DNVB follow the standard calendar?

In terms of new ins, what can be observed is that Boohoo clothing does not follow the standard calendar but a more one that is suited for its young target.

For instance, the new collection coming after-sales period, as usual, but a high peak for June, therefore summer collection that is suited for after school. The same can be observed for Topshop, which is one of Boohoo’s biggest competitors as fully online and offline integrated.

 

 

What is also noteworthy is that when looking at the growth rate, as it is a relative measure, the level of new incomings seems low compared to big fashion giant player Zara. However, once looking into the number of articles launched every month and every week, Boohoo outnumbers its omnichannel competitors significantly. 

 

Boohoo clothing new arrivals

 

Forever discount: all year long promotion?

Based on  Retviews data, we can observe that Boohoo has an entirely different strategy than the usual retailers.

When we have a look at the percentage of discounted references, which represents the percentage of articles that are discounted and/or have had a price change among the total assortment, what can be observed is that the British brand is marking down on average 99% of its assortment, all year long. While competitors like the number one retailer in the World, Zara,  is following the normal seasonal calendar and commercial plan.

 

Boohoo clothing discounts

 

What would explain such a difference? We assume that this might be due to the brick-and-mortar integration, which obliges the brand to be fully omnichannel and to adapt their strategy based on the sales market. While Boohoo’s biggest competitive advantage is to be a DNVB, therefore, only available online. The brand does not have to follow sales market rules such as not being legally allowed to have any article put at a lower price than the purchased price.

 

 

Little budget: Boohoo gets you the best deals

When one thinks about Boohoo clothing, low prices come in mind. But once we have a look at Retviews data, what we can observe is that the lowest price without promotion at Boohoo is actually the same as Topshop and is higher than Zara’s minimum price (excluding accessories).

 

Boohoo clothing price vs zara and topshop

 

What is noteworthy to mention here is that the most frequent price on Boohoo is actually lower than its average price, while for Zara, it is the opposite. This shows the importance of Boohoo to stay on top of the mind as a more affordable alternative than its brick-and-mortar competitors. This goes alongside Boohoo’s strategy and target audience, which has a lower budget and who do not want to wear the same outfit twice. 

 

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