New Look Bags Competitive Advantage with…

New Look Bags Competitive Advantage with Hitwise Search Insight

New Look has been styling the nation for more than 40 years, with fresh, on-trend and affordable fashion. Success has seen it grow into a truly global player, combining close to 850 physical stores across Europe and Asia with an expanding online presence in over 120 countries.

Never forgetting its heritage as a positive and disruptive force in fashion, New Look is now using Hitwise’s powerful search insight to take the fiercely competitive online retail environment by storm.

The Challenge

Success stems from a clear understanding that fashion companies which stand still finish last. With high street dominance in the bag, New Look is now disrupting the brutally competitive online fashion environment, where established and emerging brands clamour for audience attention.

“Relevance is king,” said Ash Madhav, Ecommerce Analytics Manager At New Look, “The image of a celebrity wearing a particular piece can be across the net in seconds — stimulating instant demand. With the best designers and buyers, trends aren’t an issue — it’s how we match customers to our products.”

Search is key. Customers looking for “Alexa’s BAFTA bag” won’t find it if a retailer still refers to a “striped tote”. Similarly, rapid changes in fashion terms can wrong-foot brands — customers wanting a “shacket” may never find a retailer’s “shirt jacket”, even if it’s exactly what they’re looking for.

With 20 percent of UK customers’ fashion budgets now spent online and sales topping £10 billion a year, failing to keep up is costly. New Look needs the power to see audiences in near real time — understanding how they search for and consume online fashion offerings.

The Solution

“Hitwise immediately turns complex data into actionable insight,” said Ash. “It’s critical because, in e-commerce, time really is money. If our product descriptions or approaches are out of sync with customers, lost opportunities can represent a big hit on the bottom line. As we ramp up e-commerce, we ramp up reliance on Hitwise.”

Hitwise immediately turns complex data into actionable insight. It’s critical because, in ecommerce, time really is money

Ash Madhav, Ecommerce Analytics Manager

Hitwise puts context around New Look’s data, bringing a rich understanding of customer demand in the industry. It delivers a wide range of insight to: pinpoint demographics (age and gender); identify new or returning customers; show where gaps are and how to plug them; and highlights the competitors who are seizing market share within specific groups — as well as how they are doing it.

This last point is crucial, with Hitwise allowing New Look to benchmark their online performance against competitors, continually updating understanding of the approaches that attract customers. Ash said, “We can see what searches a competitor is using, the share they are getting and where their traffic is coming from. There is no other tool in the business that can give us that.”

With insight that’s always easy to access and understand, and product presentation and description that’s always on trend, New Look’s web and marketing approaches are always optimised.

Results

Hitwise is used across the board to optimise search, website and marketing performance — with enhancements made tactically in real time and strategically over seasons. It means New Look meets changing customer needs by anticipating what they are looking for and how they search for it. Hitwise is used:

Daily
On the fly optimisation based on day-to-day traffic changes, the marketing channels with traction and the most effective approaches — to apply insight in near real time.

Weekly
Early trend spotting and changes to customer behaviours by comparing traffic share over the course of seven days.

Monthly
See who’s up, who’s down — and why —by ranking performance across category areas and competitors.

Annually
Accurate strategic decision making that’s informed by benchmarking internal and competitor year-on-year performance.

Changes inspired by Hitwise include the creation of ‘portfolios’, based on the most effective key word searches. Now New Look goes to market with the terms that matter to customers, such as “Going Out” and “Holiday Shop” — capturing a greater share of traffic. Digging down deeper, Hitwise has shown the company that there is demand for swimwear all year around & that’s an actionable opportunity — reflecting changes in the ways that customers work, rest and play.

The company has also created custom dashboards within the Hitwise platform based on specific product areas such as menswear and maternity. These dashboards alert New Look to dips in performance and allow it to go in, see precisely why this is happening and what they need to do to turn it around.

“Hitwise delivers great insight, through the understanding of customer demand through search terms & allows us to constantly benchmark against our competitors on traffic share. [The] Hitwise interface is simple to use and has proven indispensable to the whole team. We’re always finding new ways to leverage value. Recently we have taken on conversion and abandon basket modules to get an end to end insight from traffic to conversion. Hitwise is the first thing we dive into every morning.”