31 May 2012
The sixth annual Hot Shops Top 100 list was as competitive as ever as only five of the 100 retailers which made the list this year kept the same place as they did in 2011. It was the online-only fashion retailers which were the most impressive, with ASOS (up 4 positions year-on-year), Very (+14) and boohoo (+13) all improving their rankings from this time last year.
Zara, TK Maxx and Urban Outfitters were the stand-out performers from the multi-channel apparel retail section, with all three seeing significant gains in the yearly rankings. Zara only started being fully transactional last year and since the 2011 Hot Shops Top 100 list has gone from just scraping into the top 100 to becoming a well-established member firmly placed at 73 this year. New Look also performed well to break back into the higher echelons of the list. Despite fierce competition at the top, New Look was ranked 12 in this year's list, up nine places since February and an improvement of three places on 2011.
Although a newcomer to the Top 100, the overall fastest mover this quarter was Netflix. The American company had previously tried and failed to break the UK movie rental market but with a new business model which includes online streaming, Netflix is making great strides and this quarter jumped an astonishing 63 places to take the number 34 spot. Netflix's top competitor LoveFilm was ranked 17 this year, up an impressive 10 places year-on-year.
The sectors which did not fare so well this quarter were travel and electronics. Because of the two seasonal peaks in the year in January and July it was to be expected that this quarter travel sites would slip in the rankings. Bucking that trend was budget airline Ryanair which actually managed to rise three places to 22, the only travel brand to improve its position from last quarter. Year-on-year, travel agencies Thomson, First Choice and Expedia all improved on their positions indicating a recovery in the travel sector from last year's challenging trading conditions.
In the electronics industry PC World, Comet and Currys all fell in the rankings due to a decline in interest in buying big ticket items such as TVs, laptops, computers and white goods. However, despite falling in the quarterly rankings, Comet was five places ahead of where it was this time last year. After going into administration video games retailer GAME predictably plummeted down the Hot Shops list, finishing at 64.
James Murray, Digital Insight Manager for Experian Marketing Services commented:
“The return of Netflix to the UK market has been interesting to watch over the last eight months and the website now commands 11 per cent of the online Video & Games shopping market. At its current rate of growth it won't be long at all until Netflix is mounting a serious challenge against LoveFilm although at the moment it seems there is room in the video streaming market to sustain growth for both competitors.
“So far 2012 has been an encouraging year for fashion retailers and in particular the online-only retailers including ASOS, Very and boohoo. We've been saying for a while now that the gap between multi-channel and online-only retail has been narrowing and these results are further evidence of that trend. Finally, with less than 100 days to go until the London Olympics it is not surprising to see increased visits going to cycling websites Halfords, wiggle and Evans Cycles. In 2008 when Chris Hoy won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics we saw visits to cycling websites triple, and we would expect a similar effect this year if our top athletes can perform at the London Games.”
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, commented:
“The rising popularity of digital content-providers is clear to see, with both LoveFilm and Netflix recording very strong traffic growth. We would expect to see this trend continue over the coming period as this kind of content works particularly well on long train journeys through tablet devices and when Smart TVs start to become pervasive, it will be a perfect fit.
“It is very interesting to see the fashion retailers doing well in terms of traffic, as during the same period (April) we saw the clothing sector record its lowest ever growth throughout the 12 years of our Index: just 1 per cent. It seems that people were thinking about updating their wardrobes for summer even if they were not buying due to it being one of the wettest Aprils ever.”
Experian Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Experian Hitwise gives marketers a competitive advantage by providing daily insights on how 25 million Internet users around the world interact with more than 1 million Web sites. This external view helps companies grow and protect their businesses by identifying threats and opportunities as they develop. Experian Hitwise has more than 1,500 clients across numerous sectors, including financial services, media, travel and retail.
Experian Hitwise (FTS:EXPN), www.experianplc.com, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, France and Brazil. More information about Experian Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.com/uk.
For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit the Experian Hitwise research blog at www.ilovedata.com and the Experian Hitwise Data Centre at www.hitwise.com/datacentre
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit www.experianplc.com
Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.