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Boohoo Group – the collection of online fashion brands including boohoo.com, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal – has seen a year-on-year growth of revenue across all of its businesses.
The e-commerce retailer reported a 48% increase in year-on-year revenue to £856.9m, as well as the completion of several IT projects for its boohoo.com and boohooMAN brands, and investment in customer-facing technology across its portfolio.
John Lyttle, Group CEO, said: “In my short time within the business, I am delighted to have been able to meet a number of hugely talented people and have already been able to see many parts of the business.
“This has confirmed my belief and optimism that the group’s investments into its brands and infrastructure have allowed it to develop a scalable multi-brand platform that is well-positioned to disrupt, gain market share and capitalise on what is a truly global opportunity.”
As customers become extremely demanding of their retailer experience, expecting a personalised and convenient service, some retailers are finding the balance between bricks and clicks a difficult challenge.
But for digital-first retailers such as boohoo, the challenge lies in developing new customer service technologies to keep up with fickle customer behaviours.
For Boohoo.com, catering to these customer demands has meant introducing services such as free returns, next-day delivery if an order is placed before 11pm, and an increase in overseas collection points for packages.
In the 12 months ending 28 February 2019, the boohoo.com brand saw a 16% increase in revenue from 2018 to £434.6m. The brand also announced over the past year that it has finished implementing several technologies to improve customer experience.
These included adding its returns portal to more of its locations to allow consumers to easily send items back if needed, as well as the addition of visual search to its site so customers can use images to search for items similar to those they have seen in pictures.
Different ways of searching for products on websites, such as visual searching – recently introduced by Marks and Spencer – and voice searching – introduced by ASOS over the past few months – are becoming increasingly popular as firms try to narrow down the huge amount of choice available to consumers and reduce the overwhelming feeling this can cause.
For the PrettyLittleThing (PLT) brand, Boohoo Group introduced an automated chatbot to act as a first port of call for consumers wanting to know more about the brand and its products.
Chatbots have also been on the rise in recent years as brands have begun using them to reduce the number of repetitive tasks and queries performed by call centre staff.
The PLT brand is focused on younger customers, who are not only more likely to use digital shopping methods, but may also be influenced about what to buy on social media – hence the brand’s partnerships with celebrities as part of its marketing strategy.
As well as moving its distribution centre to Sheffield in 2018, the PLT brand has been focused on using its own micro-service architecture to separate several of its systems over the past year to better scale in line with consumer demand, orders and website traffic – the PLT brand saw a 107% year-on-year revenue increase.
US-focused brand under the Boohoo Group umbrella, Nasty Gal, also saw an increase in revenue over the past year, growing 96% to £47.9m, and has seen an increase in orders from the UK.
As online shopping increases in popularity due to convenience and customer demand, Boohoo Group claimed in its full year results statement the current state of online shopping poses a “favourable backdrop” for future business growth.