In full-year results out this week, fashion pureplay Boohoo.com unveiled fast growth in both sales (£294.6m in the year to February 28, +51% on last year) and pre-tax profits (£30.9m, +97%). We took a look at the strategies driving that success.
Joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said: “This year has also seen some major capital and infrastructure expenditure. We invested in a large warehouse extension and additional office space to provide for our planned further growth and we have secured planning permission for the next stage of the warehouse expansion. We have also invested in a new website platform for boohoo, which has brought many improvements, including website flexibility and response times.”
While the UK remains Boohoo.com’s largest market, it said 140% growth to revenues of £39.6m in the US market exceeded its expectations. In Europe growth came in at 50% (or 44% after exchange fluctuations were discounted) and in the rest of the world it was 40% (42%).
The retailer enables customers to get in touch via social media channels including WhatsApp. To date, said Boohoo, it has 0.8m Facebook followers, 0.3m on Twitter, 1.5m on Instagram and 2m on YouTube. Getting in touch with customers via social media has been a focus over the last six months: its average weekly post on Facebook now reaches between 15m and 20m, on average.
Boohoo plans a new French language website for 2017, with local language support from customer services. It has also launched pop-up stores in Paris and Los Angeles as it looked to raise awareness of its brand among students.
Commerce through content
Boohoo.com focuses on content through a Stylefix area of it website, which includes fashion tips, style videos and blogger articles, and enables users to make their own contribution.
It says work with celebrities, including international model and blogger Jordyn Woods, has helped it to reach a larger audience.
Operations and logistics
New innovations during the year included the introduction of boohoo Premier, an unlimited next-day delivery service for an annual fee. Boohoo operates a midnight cut-off for next-day and Sunday delivery, and offers collect+ returns in the UK. We operate a midnight cut-off for next day delivery, Sunday delivery and collect+ returns in the UK.
The retailer plans to extend its warehouse for a second time, and says the new extension will include a “significant amount of automation”.
Mobile devices accounted for 70% of sessions during the year, up from 66% a year earlier. During 2017, said Boohoo, it would be launching more country-specific apps. Existing UK, US and Australian apps already had been downloaded about 2.2m times. It is to improve its app platform, and will rolls out an app for the US market in 2017.