The internationalisation and expansion of UK retail brands has been one of the key digital trends in 2013. At global performance network, Affiliate Window, we recently received an interesting research piece highlighting the growth of UK brands within international territories. This has stemmed from UK retailers capitalising on the dual momentum of the country’s sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure and a seemingly insatiable appetite for British goods. A number of fashion brands have been successful in entering new territories and in the past year we have seen an influx of these into the US.
Brands entering the US
This influx has included successful British fashion labels such as T.M. Lewin, Superdry, Monsoon and most recently Jack Wills. In this time we have seen exponential growth as more fashion brands enter the US market and consumers’ adoption of these brands increase steadily. The chart below demonstrates the month on month growth of transactions that have been generated by UK fashion retailers within the US.
A number of factors are behind this growth: the increase in the number of advertisers that have entered the market has obviously boosted performance as these brands recognise there is consumer demand for their goods.
By delving into individual advertiser’s data, the increased uptake of these brands is evident. Looking at Advertiser A, this growth pattern is clearly illustrated for November 2012 through to February 2013. While some of this growth can be attributed to seasonal trends, increased sales volumes further resulted due to affiliate take up of the programme and consumer interest.
Similarly Advertiser B, a more recent entrant into the US market who experienced almost 200 per cent growth three months post launch as the brand developed a foothold within a competitive market place.
The role of mobile devices
As we have seen across a number of other sectors, mobile commerce has really changed the landscape. The way that consumers interact with brands has experienced a significant shift and mobile devices are a key component of this. Within fashion specifically, consumers are looking to engage with content and tablets especially, provide the platform for them to interact with the brands. There are numerous publishers with apps based around fashion leading to growth in the sector across mobile devices.
Since the start of the year mobile devices have become more prevalent. While in December 2012 90 per cent of transactions tracked through desktops on Affiliate Window, mobile hit a peak in April 2013 with 20 per cent of sales originating from a mobile device. Mobile performance is dependent on advertisers having a mobile optimised customer journey in place, complete with affiliate tracking. As more advertisers launch and improve their mobile offering, we expect a further shift towards mobile devices. Across the network more than 20 per cent of traffic through mobile devices and this is set to increase even further in the run up to Christmas. It is essential that advertisers are fully prepared to capitalise on the opportunity this presents.
The sector benefits from a wide range of promotional types with strong performance. While coupon sites typically drive the most significant volumes there are also a number of opportunities across content publishers and those specialising in PPC. Strong performance across mobile devices is particularly recognised by those publishers utilising dedicated apps/mobile sites in promoting fashion brands.
With the size of the US market, there is no denying it is an intimidating territory but an extremely lucrative one for advertisers to enter if they get it right. A number of key fashion brands have reaped the rewards with well executed launch strategies. The shift in consumer behaviour and the way people access the internet has made it even more important for advertisers to adopt a mobile strategy in order to benefit from the significant increase in mobile traffic over the past few months. With a strong base of affiliates spanning a number of promotional types already performing exceptionally well, any UK based fashion retailer looking to enter the market has the foundations in place to be successful.
Research conducted by Matt Swan, Client Strategist at Affiliate Window.