First off, I’d like to thank you Michael Aldrich, bless your soul, for making online shopping a reality for us all. If you hadn’t developed your system, chances are we would be wistfully scrolling down Vogue mag while trying to make room in our timetables to bus hop to the mall.
However, prior to this brilliant mind’s invention, there were many marketers and innovators that caused fundamental changes in our manner of purchasing. Remember when you had to go to the market to buy lace and satin and silk to have it sewn into a dress by a tailor? Probably not, as you weren’t born in the Romantic Era.
Then fashion houses started to gain fame and along with them, designers, stores and franchises. It was the glorious Sixties, Paris was no longer considered the fashion capital of the world and skirts were getting shorter and shorter despite Coco Chanel’s rearguard action against them. The main target was the youth and the trade point was the ’boutique’ which sold limited quantities of each article of clothing.
Now in the Twenty Tens we don’t have to lift a foot to have our pret-a-porter sent right to residence. Custom made clothing for us regular folk is quickly fading (although I predict it will make a vindictive comeback in the years to come), and why wouldn’t it when we have our favourite boutiques at home? Going shopping is almost just an ‘activity’ young people take on, to get a tan and hang out with friends, or to run into their crush so they can tweet about it. It’s the era of no limitations; you have the whole world in one place, there are no ladies of court, no royals and even celebrities are not set on as high a pedestal as they used to be. I can’t remember the last time I walked into a store to buy anything clothing or accessory related. … Oh, wait, yesterday I did get the sandals from Mango, but what I mean is, I can’t remember the last time I left my house with the purpose of going shopping! While shipping costs might be a main source of discouragement for many, do you really gain more utility from driving to the mall than clicking away, spending 4.99 to have your shopping delivered to your house? Besides all the winning dot com companies now know that offering free shipping is the way forward and that’s one of the many ways in which Boohoo.com is changing the game. You may argue that items from Boohoo.com are of less quality than some other online stores and while this might be the truth, more young women are beginning to care less about the embossing on our belts and the labels in our dresses. Not because we don’t like quality but simply because, well, sometimes we can’t afford to spend all our earnings on brand names.
Boohoo.com recognized a need for accessibility by younger shoppers (16-25) in 2006 when online shopping wasn’t yet ‘everything’. People in this age range either don’t work, are very new to the workforce, or are just beginning to enjoy their career choices. They tend to have less money to spend on luxuries. Looking good is imperative to them and they wouldn’t mind doing so on a budget. I find Boohoo to be one of the most interesting businesses in the world as well as a great role model for people who are seeking to succeed in the etail arena. What the online boutique lacks in quality it more than makes up for in just about everything else. Why else would it win award after award? Here are a few reasons why Boohoo.com is the leading etailer:
Like their slogan promises, the online shop offers ‘Twenty Four Seven Fashion’. Not only did they recognize the need for affordable clothing and accessory, they predicted that young people of the future would be glued to their smartphones and PCs and would always be too busy. They confidently went ahead and built their company with every intention to relate with people on a worldwide basis.
They are constantly innovating. Boohoo.com keeps an eye out for the latest trends for youth. Over a hundred new styles are added on a daily basis. They know that the way to attract a strong customer base is to be consistent in their activity. They always have something up their sleeves to bring you back the very next day. Many street fashion outlets try to chase after them to copy their fresh marketing ideas. E.g the student discount and their crazy delivery scheme. Every day is a free delivery day; free delivery over 15 euros, free delivery over 30 euros, compelling you to want more. Not only is the delivery free, it’s also super high speed as they partner with private postal services to keep you satisfied. We all know buying online is a slightly slower way to get what you want at once, but these days new trends are emerging everyday. If the customer has to wait two weeks to receive their package chances are they won’t want it any more.
The customer service is impeccable. Write and it shall be written back to you. I believe customer service is the most important thing for an online store and many online stores out there need to take a page from Boohoo.com. Although etailing is no longer in the breakthrough stages for younger customers, people still want to feel as though they can trust the seller with their money. They would still love to try on the shoes and make sure it’s a perfect fit. They don’t want to feel like they’re dealing with an automated service. Truth is we would all love to go to the stores and get the clothes ourselves so we can get help from the pretty lady at the check out, but we can’t be bothered. So we would like to know that there’s a pretty lady on the other side of the web that knows what she’s doing. One fascinating thing Boohoo.com has done in this area is to send you an email when you fill your basket and log out. Now I must say, I hate getting automatic emails, but Boohoo has done it such a way to make the customer feel as though the service is tailored to size. So you log out, or your battery dies and the pages are unrecoverable, you get an email saying ‘HI, can we help? We noticed you didn’t make it to the checkout…’ with images of the articles in your basket to remind you to click and continue shopping
Affiliate opportunities. They have enviable affiliate opportunities that pay commission to referrers, offering benefits such as the blogger shop and other VIP schemes.
They cater to both genders. While many online stores do have items for men, Boohoo offers the same service at the usual affordability. Some stores charge higher prices because of the antiquated business belief that men don’t shop a lot and they love to spend a lot when they do. Yes, a middle aged Google consultant may like to shop custom made clothing, but a twenty one year old young adult working for minimum wage would really like to buy cheap fashionable clothing, thank you very much. Although I do think they need to change the look of Boohoo Man pages in order to appeal to their male customers.
They cater to all body types. Boohoo.com specialises in everything in particular from Plus sizes to Petite. I can’t for the life of me, understand why some fashion houses have a snobby attitude towards bigger sizes. Curvier women deserve to be catered to as well while spending the same amount of money as everyone else and petite women shouldn’t be told that ‘their size’ isn’t available. Side note: They’ve launched the Boohoo Boutique, with higher quality clothing still at low prices. Next.
p.s I’m super excited to announce that the Boohoo Giveaway begins tomorrow, 15th of June! Like Mode Barbara and Follow on Twitter for the details which will be posted tonight.