This piece originally appeared in the September print edition of Ragtrader, subscribe to the magazine here. 

Global etailers are tailoring their content to suit Australian consumers, Imogen Bailey reports.

Boohoo Group has over five million customers in almost every country in the world. There’s a good bet only a handful of these would purchase a bikini in December.

With a head office based in the UK, Boohoo Australia country manager Madeline George says a localisation strategy has been critical to the etailer’s popularity.

Since 2013, it has unleashed a range of domestic initiatives including the appointment of ambassadors, dedicated Australian collections and activations for the spring racing season.

In December last year, Australian influencer Steph Claire Smith became the latest ambassador to front an exclusive collection.

“When I came on board to head up this market, one of my priorities was to make creative changes to represent the Aussie girl better, while also working closely with our brand director to ensure we’re still aligned as one brand,” George says.

The crossover between localisation and global alignment has manifested itself most recently in Boohoo’s new global campaign ‘Bring Your Own Body’ which includes two Australian faces, George explains.

“We launched a campaign called ‘Bring Your Own Body’ which promotes body positivity for all shapes and sizes.

“We shot this locally in Australia with two Aussie influencers to then include in a global campaign.”

Although Australia plays into the global communications strategy there are key differences between the Land Down Under and the other markets the business operates in, the biggest being the climate, George explains.

“Seasonality is the biggest difference here. All of our content our customers see in our shop front (homepage) is shot specifically for Australia.

“Every month we drop a capsule collection for Australia that is designed specifically for us in house, and covers the core categories that we know our girl is shopping.

“Content for us is driven by our influencer strategy. Influencers are at the heart of what we do and this is what dictates the direction of content, as well as the distribution,” George says.

One of the content pieces George considers highly successful came from Boohoo’s team of micro-ambassadors. The For The Future collection garnered 52 Instagram stories and a total following of 800,000.

“For The Future is our newest range that uses recycled plastic that has been directed away from landfill and repurposed to create new yarn.

“We tapped into our micro-ambassador programme to launch this collection and it was a big success,” George says.

Fellow global, eCommerce fashion business The Outnet has ramped up its content offering, launching an ‘Editorial’ page on its website.

The Outnet content director Claudia Mahoney says that this page is already making a difference to customer engagement on the website and social media.

“We are hugely excited to have launched our ‘Editorial’ page as part of our migration to our new platform and to date we have noticed a definite upswing on customer engagement and click through rates.

“Customers who come to The Outnet are looking to be inspired and our editorial content positions us in a place of fashion authority, which encourages longer dwell times on our pages and an increase in our average order value.

“Engagement across our social platforms has hugely increased with the help of exciting editorial content, with Pinterest enjoying a 1600% increase in average daily impressions and Instagram seeing a 120% increase in engagement rate in 2018,” she says.

Mahoney says that The Outnet caters to all its customers around the world through its website and social content and that global content featuring renowned designers resonated particularly well with its Australian customers.

“On the back of a series of successful events and collaborations in Australia engaging with in-market customers, we’ve established that content highlights include our global campaigns, such as our recent 10th Anniversary Exclusive Collection.

“In celebration of our 10th birthday, some of the world’s most renowned fashion designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Paco Rabanne and Giuseppe Zanotti were enlisted to create an exclusive collection of iconic pieces, with model and presenter Jessica Kahawaty and singer-songwriter Paloma Faith featuring in the campaign among others, who resonated particularly well within the Australian market,” she explains.

However, to capture the attention of Australian consumers specifically, Mahoney says that utilisation of segmented email communications helps the business localise its content.

“Through geo-targeting we are able to promote localised activity with dedicated emails for specific events, such as Spring Racing and Australia Day, ensuring that we remain relevant to our Australian customer.

“Our new ‘Editorial’ platform allows us to establish a current season point of view in an off-season environment, whilst also providing our customer with fashion advice and inspiration.

“For spring racing we were able to direct customers who visited the site with a specific occasion in mind to our relevant dress boutique via our Editorial page, allowing our customer a smooth and enjoyable shopping journey.

“Whilst we endeavor to be mindful of shooting product that is seasonally appropriate, we are also aware of balancing this with the needs of our customers around the world,” she says.

While spring racing season is a key Australian content event for The Outnet, Boohoo’s core customer engages highly with festival season content, George explains.

“We want our marketing to by hyper-targeted to the 16-24 year old girl and cater to her season, moment and needs.

“Festivals are a big one for us. We’ve just signed a deal with SandTunes Festival so we’ll be using this to drive sales in the lead up to festival season.

“Our events strategy is driven by shopping moments (festival) and also local events like Vivid festival,” George says.

This content adds to the data pool Boohoo utilises to grow its Australian business and further tailor its marketing communications, George says.

“We track engagement rates (likes, comments, views) of our content on a daily basis to see what performs best and what drives the biggest sales uplift.

“We see a strong connection between content that is engaged with and sales associated to this. Often this content is seeded out by our influencer network and our sales strategy is run by discount codes so we can see direct uplift.

“Our base continues to grow daily, therefore our CRM strategy constantly needs to be refined to ensure we are slicing and dicing our base in the most efficient and effective way possible,” she says.

For Boohoo, the last five months of the 2019 content schedule are jam-packed with an international trip on the cards.

“Coming up we have an influencer content trip overseas where we take six Boohoo girls away for a week and shoot content and categories to support Spring. We’ll then roll this out across email and paid social,” George says.

“For summer, we have an exciting launch with an Australian brand ambassador who will be the face of Boohoo to showcase our offering across our summer categories.”

Meanwhile, The Outnet is scheduling more editorial content of international fashion weeks, Mahoney says.

“We endeavour to provide interesting content at all touch points, whether that is across site, email or as part of our VIP ‘Front Row’ program to inspire a conversation with our customers and create a fashion community.”

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