ASOS and Very rank tops in Greenlight’s integrated search report for Fashion Retail

London, 25 February, 2010 - From Waterproof trousers and Hoodies to Women's dresses and Men's coats, UK consumers made a total of 7.1 million searches online for the latest men and women's clothing styles and fashion collections, in November 2009, more than doubling on September's total. In its latest independent research ' Fashion Retail Sector Report - Issue 4', Greenlight, the UK's leading award winning search marketing agency, reveals Women's fashion terms accounted for 51% of this volume. It also reveals the top 60 sites and brands most visible to consumers when they conducted a related search online.

Greenlight's report classified 1,100 of the most popular search terms used by consumers in the UK when they look for clothes online. The term 'Dresses' accounted for 31% of fashion-related searches, an increase of 49% from 1.5 million in October to 2.2 million in November. With a 75-fold increase on July volumes, consumer queries for the term 'Knitwear' rose dramatically from just 6,000 to 450,000 in November.

Searches for non-branded generic fashion terms such as 'celebrity fashion' and 'designer clothing' accounted for more than 170,000 searches. Interestingly, within this grouping, male-oriented terms were more searched for than female ones. This, in Greenlight's view, indicates female consumers tended to search Google using product or brand-specific terms rather than generic fashion keywords.

Based on the volumes for each keyword and their respective ranking on page one of Google, Greenlight determined the top 60 most visible fashion websites in natural search overall. ASOS followed by House of Fraser then Debenhams were the top three most visible fashion sites in November 2009 with a share of 68%, 56% and 44%, respectively. They were also the most visible for Womenswear. In Menswear, Topman, Burton and ASOS led the roost with 55%, 48% and 47% share of visibility.

(Table 1 showing the top 5 of the 60 most visible fashion websites in natural search shows below. If you are unable to view it please contact the press office)

Table 1: Top 5 of the 60 most visible fashion websites in natural search, UK

Category No. Domain Monthly reached volume Monthly missed volume % reached
Natural Search 1 asos.com 4,839,440 2,276,411 68%
  2 houseoffraser.co.uk 3,983,528 3,132,323 56%
  3 debenhams.com 3,157,403 3,958,448 44%
  4 dorothyperkins.com 2,812,426 4,303,425 40%
  5 newlook.co.uk 2,373,078 4,742,773 33%

Source: Greenlight

In paid search, Very was the most visible advertiser in November attaining 52% visibility, followed by USC with 40% and Littlewoods with 39%.

Monthly searches specifically for generic fashion products which were not brand-related accounted for 2.1 million searches in November 2009. In this particular category, Marks and Spencer was the most visible advertiser in paid search, achieving 56% share of voice, an increase of 33% when compared to that in July 2009.

(Table 2 showing the top 5 of the 60 most visible fashion advertisers in paid search shows below. If you are unable to view it please contact the press office)

Table 2: Top 5 of the 60 most visible fashion advertisers in paid search, UK

Category No. Advertiser % share of voice
Paid Search 1 very.co.uk 52%
  2 usc.co.uk 40%
  3 littlewoods.com 39%
  4 johnlewis.com 39%
  5 marksandspencer.com 25%

Source: Greenlight

In integrated search, ASOS achieved position one. By comparison, House of Fraser attained position two in November, as it increased natural and paid search visibility by 26% and 8% respectively. Very attained position three, having not previously featured in Greenlight's July league table.

No site or advertiser succeeded in achieving considerable visibility across both mediums. Fashion brands appeared to focus on either natural or paid search, not on both.

Please note: If you plan to run this story online, please link any references to Greenlight via the following: http://www.greenlightsearch.com/sectorreports/fashionretail.html

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