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Boohoo.com: engaging to expand

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BOOHOO.COM IS SUCCESSFULLY engaging new and existing customers in the UK and around Europe as it expands internationally. Its strategy is focused on building customer lifetime value in a business that, in its latest financial year to 29 February 2016, saw more than 4m shoppers buy. In that year, it reported turnover of £195m – 40% up on the previous year – while pre-tax profits of £15.7m were 42% up. At the time, joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said that active customer numbers, order frequency and conversion had all increased as the company worked towards boosting 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.

The Manchester-based fast fashion business has local, responsive websites for eight European countries as well as, further afield, North America and Australasia. “Our young, social customer base spends significant amounts of time developing connections with their interest groups,” it said in those results – explaining the brand’s focus on social media. InternetRetailing research shows that of the nine customer communication channels that Boohoo.com supports, seven are social media networks. Boohoo, says researchers, has chosen generic customer communications that can be used by customers around the world. A switch region function on Facebook and area-specific feeds on Twitter mean that customers can interact with the brand in French, Dutch, German and Spanish. It performs particularly well on Twitter, where it had more than 447,000 followers at the time of the research. It has strong visibility in Google search, with an average reach rate of 54%.

This reflects Boohoo’s strategy of supporting its UK and European websites through active engagement on social media and email, and through marketing that engages with the wider world. In the UK, for example, it has run a student ambassador programme in universities, while in France, it has sponsored reality TV series Secret Story. It also works with local bloggers and personalities whose significant social media followings can help to promote the brand.

Within its latest full-year results, Boohoo stated that its focus is on “creating communities to put the customer’s voice at the centre of each campaign using social media feeds within our content hub Stylefix”. An improved customer contact strategy sees a focus on engaging and rewarding shoppers. Push messaging around promotions, offers and trends comes through its iPhone and Android apps. That’s a highly relevant communication channel for Boohoo.com, which sees more than 66% of shopping sessions take place over mobile devices.

This fast fashion retailer’s engagement strategy makes it well-placed to expand its brand across Europe.

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