Boohoo and its understanding of target audience helps it to weather lockdown

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
May 06, 2020, 10:34 AM UTC

Fashion retailer Boohoo operates its namesake brand, menswear edition Boohooman, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, Miss Pap and high street brands Karen Millen and Coast. Despite its many names Boohoo follows an online-only model, meaning that the nationwide lockdown in response the coronavirus crisis has led to minimal disruption.

Boohoo’s chief financial officer reported that customer acquisition had grown significantly alongside sales during the lockdown, after an initial drop, with loungewear and nightwear standing out as bestsellers. YouGov data echoes this, with current customer scores increasing from +1.6 in the middle of February to +3.7 at the start of April (whether someone has purchased from a brand in the past 3 months).

Boohoo’s target audience is those in their mid-teens to early twenties; an age group which the brand has a significant hold on already. YouGov Profiles data shows that 11% of 18 to 24-year-olds have purchased something from Boohoo for themselves in the last three months while 25% have spent up to £30 on nightwear and underwear, contributing to Boohoo’s bestseller items.

The retailer attributes its recent success to the lockdown forcing its customer base to spend longer on social media, and the brands swift altering of marketing strategy to focus solely on digital channels. Boohoo reported high engagement with social media posts – important considering over half of those aged between 18 and 24 say they have seen clothes or accessories advertised online and gone on to purchase it online (53%), and a quarter have purchased clothes through an app (26%).

Boohoo’s understanding of their target audience’s shopping preferences has allowed them to take advantage of this situation. Nearly two in five (38%) 18 to 24-year-olds have bought clothes on their mobile phone in the past year, while nearly a third say they buy nearly all their clothes online (32%).

Consideration of the brand among 18 to 24-year-olds has also been steadily increasing since February reaching a high of 25.1 on the 27th March, showing there has been little decrease in appetite for new clothes during the crisis.

Previous YouGov research shows that clothes and beauty products are the second most ordered item online after groceries since the lockdown began (29%) indicating that this Boohoo’s winning response to the lockdown is unlikely to falter.  

Image: Boohoo

This article previously appeared in City A.M.