It’s been widely reported that online fashion retailers are currently facing choppy waters, with even Asos recently seeing its profits plunge: pre-tax profits fell 87% to £4m for the six months to 28 February against the same period in 2018. This has been blamed on everything from heavy discounting to website traffic issues, but it’s interesting to see that while Asos is struggling, close competitor Boohoo appears to be thriving.
Over the Christmas 2018 period, where other retailers reported their worst sales for the period in a decade, the Boohoo group reported 44% overall growth. So, how are Boohoo bucking the trend where their competitors are failing? Let’s take a look at just a few of the clever ecommerce features utilised by Boohoo that may well be contributing to their current success…
‘New In Today’ feature
A “New In” section is a pretty standard ecommerce feature, but Boohoo take it one step further with their “ New In Today” section. This feature means that Boohoo customers can shop fresh stock every day, which helps to keep customers coming back, and may even encourage shoppers to buy something every day.
It’s telling that following Asos’s profit plunge, one of the first things they did was make changes to the way customers navigate around the site, with an emphasis on how New In products are displayed. An easy-to-use New In section can be key to encouraging both return custom and frequent purchasing.
An emphasis on offers
Boohoo frequently runs seasonal offers and promotions, which always take centre stage on site, not only in the form of banners on the homepage but also in the drop down menu.
The offers are always impossible to miss, and encourage impulse purchases and a sense of urgency. There is also a focus on seasonal promotions: Christmas party wear, discounted holiday wear etc which are an effective way of driving sales throughout the year.
Many of the features of the Boohoo site are centred around making it as easy as possible for the customer to navigate around the site and find the product they want as quickly as possible.
One of the ways that Boohoo do this is by grouping items into specific collections such as ‘Occasion Shop’ or ‘Festival Shop’. Collating items into easy-to-access collections cuts out the inconvenience of having to scroll through hundreds of items, and may even inspire customers to buy something from that collection that they might have missed otherwise (i.e. they may have come to the site looking for a dress, but while shopping the ‘Festival’ section may notice a skirt they like too).
“Something similar” recommendations
Another way that Boohoo inspire customers to purchase something that they may not have been actively looking for is via their ‘looking for something similar’ feature. Using this feature, customers can keep browsing similar items and maybe find something more suited to their needs, or something extra to add to their basket. This serves as a more advanced version of the “We think you’ll love” section at the bottom of the product pages.
Quick buy feature
Boohoo make purchasing extra-simple with their ‘Quick Buy’ button. This is a common ecommerce feature and offered used by other retailers, but it’s often called something different- “Quick View” or “Quick Shop”- which aren’t as strong a call to action as “Quick Buy”.
This feature allows customers to add to basket without ever leaving the category page, enabling a more streamlined experience and increasing the odds of shoppers adding multiple items to their basket as they can simply scroll and add, scroll and add…
If a user is browsing a category- Dresses for example- Boohoo provides clear, permanent filtering buttons at the top of each page to ensure easy filtering. This means that the user can skip between styles of dresses – “Occasion”, “Party” etc without having to move away from the main category page, or click ‘back’ etc.
The ease of this obvious filtering system adds to the streamlined experience which is all geared towards helping shoppers make quick purchasing decisions.
Boohoo’s focus is on quick sales and impulsive purchases, helping users to find what they want as easily as possible, and encouraging users to purchase additional items that they may not have even been looking for. The simple navigation, tempting offers, and easy path to purchase all go a long way to helping Boohoo stay ahead of the pack in the ecommerce world.