Online advertising – aggressive competition for visibility between fashion retailers

London, 30 April, 2010 - A number of major fashion brands have lost visibility online -particularly in the paid advertising space, since November 2009, reveals the latest research by Greenlight, the UK's leading independent specialist search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) consulting firm. The report, ' Fashion Retail Sector Report - Issue 5', also found that consumer online search volume for womenswear was three times greater than for menswear. It also reveals the 60 most prominent websites and brands in both natural* and paid search.**

Greenlight used industry data, gathered in February 2010, to classify 1,100 of the most popular terms that UK consumers used when they went online to search for fashion products. Key findings include:

  • There were 6.8 million searches performed in February 2010 for fashion-related keywords. This is a 13% increase since December 2009 when 5.9 million searches were made;
  • Womenswear accounted for 51% of searches compared to a mere 17% for menswear;
  • With 2.4 million queries, search volume for 'Dresses' was at its highest in February (when compared to the previous 12 months), accounting for 33% of all fashion-related searches;
  • 'Mens Jeans' was the most search for term in menswear, with search volume more than doubling on November 2009's 49,500 searches to 165,000 in February 2010;
  • Only 12 websites were visible for more than 10% of fashion-related search terms in natural search in February, indicating there are massive gains to be made for many players within the market;
  • ASOS, HouseofFraser and Debenhams were the top 3 most visible sites in integrated search (natural and paid search);
  • Marisota made considerable strides in the visibility ranks. It ascended Greenlight's integrated search league table, moving from position 26 to 5 in February, as its paid search visibility increased by 26%. New Look moved from position 5 to 4;
  • The top 5 fashion retailers including ASOS, HouseofFraser and Debenhams, attained significantly higher visibility in natural search than in paid search. Other retailers such as Marisota and Very achieved no visibility in natural search, focusing solely on paid search;
  • In paid search, Of the top 10 most visible advertisers in November 2009, only 3 remained in the top 10 in February (Very, Littlewoods and Oli), indicating the aggressive competition between fashion retailers in the paid search space;
  • Of the top 10 advertisers in paid search, eight were multi-channel retailers; one was purely an online retailer and one a museum: V&A.

(Table showing Greenlight's top 10 of the 60 most visible fashion brands in both natural and paid search, shows below. If you are unable to view it please contact the press office)

Top 10 of the 60 most visible fashion brands in both in natural and paid search, UK

No. Website/Advertiser Natural Search Paid Search
1 69% 1%
2 61% 0%
3 53% 7%
4 32% 13%
5 0% 40%
6 0% 39%
7 37% 0%
8 34% 2%
9 0% 31%
10 0% 31%

Source: Greenlight

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