Boohoo.com responds to customer move towards mobile commerce
Boohoo.com has launched a series of dedicated apps and taken all of its websites responsive at home and in international markets at a time when two-thirds of the visitors to its website now come via mobile devices.
The youth fashion pureplay said it had launched Android and iPhone apps for the US and Australian markets as well as for the UK, while responsive websites had been introduced for European sites. The effect, it said, was to improve service through both smartphones and tablets, which together now accounted for 66% of sessions. It said international sales growth had accelerated through its focus on key markets.
Boohoo.com, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, today reported revenues of £195.4m in the year to February 29, 40% up on the same time last year. UK sales grew by 38%, while sales in the rest of Europe were up by 25%, or 35% at constant exchange rates, and those in the rest of the world were up by 56% (63% CER). Pre-tax profits of £15.7m were 42% ahead of the £11.1m reported in the same time last year.
Boohoo had 4m active customers, 34% up on the same time last year, and said a trial in selling to third-party internet retailers had been successful and would now be expanding as it looked to build the brand internationally and to broaden its customer reach.
Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint chief executives of the online retailer, said the market for internet fashion was expanding as customers opt for the convenience and lower prices retailers offer online. They said: "We are pleased to report a year of strong revenue growth across all geographic regions. Active customer numbers, order frequency and conversion have all increased on last year as we continue to invest in building customer lifetime value. By refining the mix of promotional and marketing expenditure in each of our key markets, we have achieved growth ahead of our plans.
They said a good reception from customers for its expanded product range had contributed to its sales growth, and added: "We have enhanced the mobile experience through new apps in UK, USA and Australia as well as introducing more flexible delivery and return options and later next-day delivery cut-off times."
Those improved delivery times included reducing shipping times to Australia by a day and introducing more collection and return options via third-party stores and distribution networks. From this month, UK customers will be able to choose their preferred return option through a website portal.
Boohoo used app platform Poq to develop the international apps. Poq chief executive Oyvind Henriksen said: "Internationalisation can be challenging for retailers, especially when it comes down to tailoring content to different regions, but thanks to powerful technology it's never been easier to deliver great apps that support international expansion."