This research paper is an industry audit of the fashion ecommerce vertical, specifically of the way fashion ecommerce websites have invested in online content.

Overview

The report examines how true the mantra of ‘brands as publishers’ is in the sector through comparisons between publishing methods, and builds on James Gurd’s earlier paper for Econsultancy: Where Content and Commerce Collide. This paper acknowledges the main trends and outcomes of this report while putting a looking glass over the specific tactics and best practices deployed by leading fashion ecommerce websites.

Throughout the paper, a wide variety of publishing methods used by fashion ecommerce sites are reviewed. Brands and publishers in this space have very different objectives, which means there are major differences in publishing strategy. By the end of 2014, very few companies have realised a close convergence of publishing and ecommerce. The report identifies the consistent winners at content marketing within the fashion ecommerce industry, while noting the merits of the wider group.

Methodology

In the course of this research, 20 leading websites in the fashion ecommerce sector were examined to gain an understanding of unifying trends and differences in their deployment of a content marketing operation. Fifteen of these were recognisable high street brands and, of those, 13 had an international presence. Five ecommerce pureplays were also included in the study. Industry experts were also interviewed to gain further understanding of how companies use content in their marketing operations.

Contributors

  • Steven Pavlovich, CEO, The Conversion Factory
  • Siobhan Mallen, International Womenswear Editor, ASOS
  • Alex Outlaw, CMO, The Idle Man
  • Simon Hayes, Strategy Director, 8 Million Stories
  • Matt Ridout, Head of SEO, Farfetch
  • Claire Higgins, Head of Digital Marketing, Selfridges

Who should read this report?

The report is focused on fashion ecommerce, so it is primarily useful for people working in that space. It is an industry audit and could be used as part of a competitive analysis to understand the different practices deployed. Anyone wanting to see how key players in the space are operating with regards to content marketing should find the report useful. 

The fashion focus aside, almost anyone who is involved in digital content production or ecommerce should be able to take something from it.