Select Page

    Reading Time: 5 Minutes

    Founded by Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane in 2006, boohoo.com is a UK-based online fashion retailer. The company successfully positioned itself as a brand for young girls and women. It also quickly gathered business attention in the fashion industry.

    Off late, boohoo has been in the news for some of its ads. Ads can be tricky in ways that they are packed and unpacked. At the same time, out-of-the-box ads are capable of shaking or broadening our perspectives.

    In this article, we shall delve into some of the business moves and positioning that helped boohoo script its success story.

    Focus on fashion for the youth

    According to UNESCO, in 2012, people under the age of 30 constituted as much as half of the world’s population, which surpassed 7 billion the same year. That presents a massive market segment globally and that’s majorly where boohoo has been focusing on. And as of 2019, the median age of the world’s population stood at 29.8 years. The boohoo group clearly states that it is targeting the market segment constituting of people in the age group of 16-40 years in the U.K. as well as internationally. Clearly, the target audience for boohoo is the young customer who is aspirational and aims to wear designer fashion clothes.

    Adding relevant brands to the portfolio

    Branding is a powerful driver of business. Adding powerful brands can escalate business growth with a multiplier effect. That’s exactly what boohoo achieved by acquiring PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal. In 2017, boohoo acquired these two brands and registered robust growth in its total revenue and profits in the two consequent financial years. Adding these two brands to its product portfolio helped boohoo achieve a phenomenal jump of 97% in revenue from 2017 to 2019. During the recently concluded financial year, the company has reported robust numbers that include revenue of £856.9 million and PBT of £59.9 million by virtue of adding these brands to its portfolio.

    Low Price High Volume

    These are interesting times when most of the fashion retailers are finding the going tough; boohoo is consistently outperforming and is becoming the darling stock of analysts all over the United Kingdom.

    One of the most important things that boohoo does is that it targets fast fashion by focusing on low prices and keeping the turnover high. Unlike its competitors, who are known for carrying a broad range of expensive designer clothing, boohoo focuses on keeping the prices low and stocks only the key seasonal trends. A prime example of this would be boohoo’s comparison with one of its main competitors ASOS – one of the pioneering companies in fashion eCommerce. Around 11% of the products that ASOS sells are in the range of £5 – £9.99. In the same price range, boohoo keeps 23% of its products. This means that boohooprimarily focuses on cheaper garments and hence is more popular amongst youngsters who choose not to indulge in expensive fashion wear.

    Test and Repeat

    Another witty strategy followed by boohoo is that of ‘test and repeat’. Here, a brand tests small quantities from a wide range of products to get the hang of the market response and later increases the production of those items if the demand or market response criteria are met with.

    Combined with its ‘Low Price High Volume’ strategy, boohoo effectively targets the experiential mindset of millennial shoppers who are inclined towards change and keeping up with the trends in fashion.

    Boohoo’s business model is a shining example of how a company can tap the millennial market.

    Riding on the smartphone trend

    According to another report, round almost 7 out of 10 teenagers are now shopping on their smartphones as opposed to desktops or laptops. With a rising number of smartphone shoppers around the world, boohoo understands the significance of the mobile shopping experience. Two-third of boohoo’s online traffic comes from smartphones. This has turned the company to put special emphasis on creating a seamless mobile experience for its visitors and shoppers.

    In 2016, the company launched smartphone apps in the international markets and also upgraded its app for its main market i.e. the United Kingdom. The company added features like ‘wishlist’ and account settings making the mobile experience richer by miles. The boohoo app provides a smooth UX platform and also gives added discounts to its loyal customers which acts as an incentive to shop from the app.

    Understanding where your customers are – plays an important role in determining the success of your sales strategy. Boohoounderstands that its customers are on smartphones and are increasingly making purchase decisions from smartphones. Being able to adapt and adjust its marketing efforts based on changes in its key business variables is one of the major reasons why boohoo is able to consistently perform well.

    Social Media Marketing: Use of influencer marketing, positioning, and social shopping

    According to a survey, 89% of marketers say that the ROI from influencer marketing is nearly as good as or even better than other marketing channels. A resounding thruster to influencer marketing is that social proof is increasingly becoming a norm. A loyal fan base, trust on influencers, and offbeat content that doesn’t look as intrusive marketing helps in conversions and promulgate a brand.

    Boohoo has tagged itself along with the wave of influencer marketing. It understands that influencer marketing is an emerging phenomenon in marketing and could play a vital role in the promotion mix. The group has partnered with celebrities with enormous social influence like Paris Hilton and Gemma Collins for endorsement. Apart from the big names boohoo also partners with popular fashion influencers on Instagram and Snapchat.

    Boohoo’s association with Jordyn Woods is a good example of its efforts in using influencer marketing on social media. Woods is a popular face amongst the youngsters and is considered to have strong social connections with other star influencers. She is associated with boohoo for its new range of plus-size clothing.

    With the combination of digital marketing tools and influencer marketing, boohoo can accurately track the success rate of each influencer campaign and make the necessary adjustments in its other campaigns accordingly.

    With the increasing dominance of social media, brand positioning on various social media platforms just cannot be left unaddressed, especially by eCommerce companies. A trace of boohoo’s brand positioning on social media is evident with#BoohooBabes. That’s the tag used to connote the brand persona of boohoo.

    Boohoo reckons the rise of social media usage and that most of its customers are active social media users and hence, it has veered into the world of social commerce or social shopping. The company has included the element of social shopping in some of its official social media pages.

    Breaking the cliché

    The fashion industry has been targeted by many feminine activists who claim that the industry promotes the ideal image of a woman as one with an hourglass body figure. Doing so creates an inferiority complex amongst many young women who then consider such portrayals as the standards and seek to mold themselves. Taking a different approach, boohoo has sought to unfreeze the stereotyped sense of fashion. Unlike the conventions, boohoo has moved forward with faces that resonate more with common people.

    By adopting this strategy, boohoo has positioned itself as a socially responsible brand that believes in empowering women irrespective of their physical attributes.

    Boohoo is yet another example that shows action and ingenuity are essential ingredients for success. You just cannot sit there and wait for business to happen. Business got to be made happen. When smartphones started to become popular, boohoo read that and launched its app. Most of the youth are not financially independent or are reluctant to spend much into fashion wear; boohoo sought to address that with economical pricing. Boohoo did not do anything alien; it just never stops finding better ways to connect with its customers.

    About YRC

    Your Retail Coach (YRC) is a retail consulting and outsourcing company in India offering a wide range of services in retail offline,retail eCommerce, and retail omnichannel, catering to a multitude of industries and clients including fashion retail players.

    Your Retail Coach (YRC) helps retail enterprises set up their eCommerce business. Our experience and expertise in both offline and online retail channels will help businesses quickly establish their retail operations and set their brands in motion.

    YRC assists retail businesses in managing their supply chain via services and support in warehouse management, procurement, inventory management, dispatch and team management riding on proven models of logistics and use of technology.

    YRC provides the necessary assistance to businesses in setting up and maintaining a robust distribution network across the country.

    With its domain experience and expertise in the retail sector, YRC not only helps retail players in managing online sales channels but also assists in setting up brick and mortar stores and provide a range of operational assistance services.

     

     

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.