This case study provides strong improvements for the backlink, content and social media marketing strategy for Stylebop. All the suggestions are based on a thorough competitor analysis.
Buying luxury fashion on the Internet has become more and more popular over the last decade. Mario Einmuth, CEO of the luxury online-retailer STYLEBOP.com had the right intuition when he founded his online-shop in 2003.
The latest designer collections are only a click away, and it’s never been easier to get fashion wherever and whenever you want.
STYLEBOP.com is today one of the world’s leading online retailer for luxury fashion.
In this highly competitive environment, it is of uttermost importance to remain competitive and to keep up with your challengers in all relevant online channels, especially SEO & social media.
Therefore this case study provides strong improvements for the backlink, content and social media marketing strategy. Its competitors make up leeway.
Nevertheless, there are opportunities to boost traffic for each big player in the market.
It is obvious that there is a strong competition between the single retailers and that they are involved in an exciting head-to-head race for the best position within the Google search results, for the best links with the highest traffic potential and the highest number of social signals. This examination is aimed to provide a strengths and weaknesses analysis of STYLEBOP.com and to suggest improvements for its marketing strategy.
STYLEBOP.com is located in a highly competitive market. A study by the consulting firm McKinsey shows that an increasing turnover is expected in e-commerce for luxury fashion. In 2014 a total turnover of 319 million euros was generated. This is an incentive for more and more established players to enter the market (e.g. Zalando-Lounge, the Ludwig Beck beauty online shop). Even with consumers, online luxury shopping is becoming increasingly popular: The majority appreciates the exclusive offers that are only available online. The study "Digital Luxury Experience 2013” found that 52 % of the consumers who regularly buy luxury goods do that entirely online.
Turnover E-Commerce Luxury Fashion in Germany in 2014
Already established online stores and therefore direct competitors to STYLEBOP.com are NET-A-PORTER.com, mytheresa.com, and yoox.com. The subsequent investigation will focus primarily on the first three competitors. Yoox.com embarks, as you will learn in more detail later, a slightly different strategy than the three other online retailers.
A good starting point for a competition analysis is the comparison of the Sistrix Visibility Index of individual websites. Thereby, a first impression can be obtained on the balance of power. To get a better overview, we also look at the search metrics visibility index below. To get a significant comparison, it is advisable to look at more than one index; that’s why we also look at the search metrics visibility indexes.
Sistrix Visibility index Germany
Sistrix visibility index USA
Visibility Curve Germany
Visibility Curve the USA
Extracts from the findings of sistrix.com and searchmetrics.com show how the current visibility curve looks like and how it has developed over the last two years. STYLEBOP.com ranks in Germany with a Sistrix visibility index of 1.826. After a peak period in 2014, the company is now fighting to hold its position against the competitors mytheresa.com (1.405) and yoox.com (3.003). The development of NET-A-PORTER.com seems to lag behind constantly. The Sistrix Visibility index in Germany is only 0.384.
Sistrix Visibility Index in comparison in April 2014 and April 2016 (Germany and USA)
However, the picture is quite different in the United States: In the USA NET-A-PORTER.com had clearly the highest visibility (3.291) in April 2014. But the index has decreased by about 50% to 1.660 in April 2016, and NET-A-PORTER.com has now a real competitor with yoox.com and its growing Sistrix visibility index of 0,9833.
STYLEBOP.com and mytheresa.com seem to develop hardly and are assuming an outsider position in that market in the USA.
At yoox.com we can see an upward trend in Germany until October 2015. That was when yoox.com and NET-A-PORTER.com merged. However, this trend decreases again by the end of October. The visibility index (by Searchmetrics) of NET-A-PORTER.com seems unaffected by the merger. It is slightly decreasing.
Visibility Curve after the merger Germany
NET-A-PORTER.com experienced a small downward trend in the United States from mid-September until January 2016. At yoox.com a weak, but the continuous downward trend can be revealed up to now.
Visibility Curve after the merger the USA
Similarweb collects its traffic data using browser plug-ins that allow a comprehensive evaluation. The Traffic Share of similarweb.com shows a similar picture: NET-A-PORTER.com wins the most visits worldwide. Overall, the company owns a share of 67 %. Mytheresa.com has a traffic share of at least 25 % whereas STYLEBOP.com owns only 7.75 % and thus lags far behind its competitors.
Traffic Share among the competitors
Results Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool)
Results Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool)
The results of the Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool) show a good summary of the current situation. It turns out that the website of STYLEBOP.com has the fewest number of backlinks (43,821). Nevertheless, it has with a Power*Trust value of 30 very good quality metrics compared to its competitors. The Power measure is based on the force and the number of links and the overall strength of a URL, whereas the Trust measure provides information of how much Google trusts the links. Combined, the strength, quality and potential impact of a URL can be assessed quickly.
If we recall searchmetrics.com’s visibility curve, it is obvious that a high number of backlinks does not necessarily lead to better visibility. Also, regarding backlinks Trust and Power play a major role, as well as content, content relevance, on page optimization and link sources.
Additionally, one does not know which links are valued and which are not. Since the introduction of the Disavow Tool, only Google and webmasters know which links are integrated. Webmasters use the opportunity to distance themselves from some links. Practically, that means that Links could be labelled as invalid for Google. A possible punishment by Google could be removed or prevented.
The results of the Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool) also show the social metrics, the buzz, and the impact metrics. The buzz metric measures the Social Media signals and is divided into signals from shares and likes. The buzz metric includes the data of Social Media channels Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Slideshare and LinkedIn. This metric summarize the immediate success of your content in Social Media channels.
The results of the Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool) shows a relatively small rate of the buzz metric for STYLEBOP.com with 5k compared with NET-A-PORTER.com (845k) and yoox.com (187k), but quite similar compared with mytheresa.com.
The Impact data measures user engagement and includes the metrics of comments, clicks, views, downloads, and links. Here you can again compare the metrics of STYLEBOP.com and mytheresa.com (92k and 111k). In comparison with the other two competitors, this number is very trivial: NET-A-PORTER.com with 5M and yoox.com with 1M.
Founded in 2004, the luxury online store STYLEBOP.com is growing. Nevertheless it faces tough competition. After the merger of mytheresa.com with the American luxury department store Neiman Marcus and NET-A-PORTER.com with yoox.com, many analysts ask themselves, whether STYLEBOP.com can also remain permanently independent and family-owned. The figures speak for the online retailer: The store made approximately 70 million euro net sales in 2013, trend: upwards. "In continental Europe, no one is bigger than us," states the CEO to the business magazine brand eins. Currently, STYLEBOP.com sends designer fashion to about 100 countries and CEO Einmuth wants to offer more regional websites. In 2014, suited for the tenth anniversary, the revenue mark of 100 million euros has been exceeded. STYLEBOP.com has set itself the task, to pass promptly on designer fashion to its customers with its slogan "From Catwalk to Sidewalk".
In October 2015 it got official: the merger of NET-A-PORTER.com and yoox.com has been completed. The common goal was to be the world's leading online retailer for luxury fashion. The estimated annual turnover of the two giants was 1.3 billion euros. About 24 million people from around the world visit the website each month. That corresponds to a conversion rate of 8.33 %.
After the merger, the company transferred its seat to Italy and lost its founder and creative mind, Natalie Massenet. This decision led the fashion industry to a turmoil: Massenet is considered a revolutionary of the fashion industry and was the flagship of the company. It remains to be seen how NET-A-PORTER.com and yoox.com will develope without Massenet in the future. At the moment the company relies on exclusivity.
It is striking that both STYLEBOP.com and myteheresa.com were founded in Munich and that within just two years. In contrast to the pioneer STYLEBOP.com, mytheresa.com was bought out by the American luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus in 2014, when its annual sales amounted to about 130 million euros. The retailer expects an advancing internationalization from this merger.
The Head of Operations Carsten Rosenberger reports an annual business growth of 50 % to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (German Newspaper). Mytheresa.com aims exclusively at women. The store carries only about 180 brands. The clear target audience is reflected in the design of the website: delicate pastel colors in contrast to the cool clean-chic of the competition.
So far the Italian online retailer yoox.com pursues a different strategy: Instead of quickly making available designer fashion, it sends luxury-outlet goods at a bargain price and thus meets a broad customer base. In 2014 the shop had a net turnover of more than 524 million euros.
Despite its global focus, Yoox.com promises its customers to find the right offer for every customer no matter what particular local conditions such as language, currency or clothes size is given. With approximately 14 million customers who visit the shop every month, the concept seems to work. You can choose from about three dozen designers and so secure popular outlet clothes or reduced designer pieces.
The study "Digital Luxury Experience 2013” found that 52 % of consumers who regularly buy luxury goods do so entirely online. This online - oriented target group is also very active on the social media platforms. How these customers can be addressed best and where there is still potential for improvement is shown here.
But let us have a look at the Buzz and Impact Report of our four luxury fashion sites. As already mentioned the Buzz metric measures the Social Media Signals and is divided in signals from shares and likes. Following channels are included in the buzz metric: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Slideshare and LinkedIn. The Buzz metric summarize the immediate success of the content in Social Media channels and afterward to identify the content that works best for the audience.
If we look at the screenshot below, we can see that NET-A-PORTER.com has the highest BUZZ rank with 845.000, while mytheresa.com and STYLEBOP.com just reach 4.000 and 5.000.
The results of the Impact metrics are similar, with 5M for NET-A-PORTER.com and a relatively low number for STYLEBOP.com (92.000) and myhteresa.com(111.000). The Impact data measures long-term user engagement and includes the metrics of comments, clicks, views, downloads, and links.
Results BUZZ and Impact metrics of the four online retailers
Social Media Data of the four online retailers
STYLEBOP.com attempts to be very active on Facebook. Two posts per day seem to be the rule: Most of the time the look of a famous fashionist/a is presented. In addition, you can see the best street styles, a catwalk outfit or trendy accessories and how to wear tips. Although the page is liked by more than 370,000 people, there is not much feedback. On average there are hardly more than three likes per post.
STYLEBOP.com on Facebook same cover
STYLEBOP.com on Facebook different posts
A similar picture emerges on Twitter: The contents much more, though: 3 up to 10 tweets a day are virtually identical to those on Facebook, the follower’s response is even lower.
STYLEBOP.com on Twitter same cover
There are two posts on Google+; there is no response. That might be because only 242 people are following the account. Here STYLEBOP.com focuses a bit more on the prominent examples, which can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. This situation is reflected in the low numbers of Buzz and Impact metrics for Google+, in comparison to NET-A-PORTER.com and yoox.com (see below).
STYLEBOP.com on Google+
STYLEBOP.com is also representing on Pinterest. And here can be some success seen. The most popular topic on the platform besides cooking, living, and family is of course fashion because the percentage of female users is much higher than of men.
Most Pins of STYLEBOP.com get between 3 and five re-pins and about 100 repins per pin board. The profile has a strongly growing number of followers: There were 1,500 Followers 6 month ago. The number grew to meanwhile 3,700 Followers. Now Stylebop has 42 Pinterest pinboards and more diversified Content than on Facebook, Twitter & Google+.
STYLEBOP.com on Pinterest
With Instagram, the most important platform for fashion, STYLEBOP.com reaches a much bigger audience: The account has more than 97,500 followers now (which is an Increase by 100% to half a year ago), and every photo gets about 200 to 500 likes.
STYLEBOP.com on Instagram
mytheresa.com’s social media activity is comparable to STYLEBOP.com. This online retailer manages to integrate more varied content. This effort especially seems to pay off at G+: With 700 followers mytheresa.com is clearly ahead of STYLEBOP.com. On Instagram a similar picture emerges: About 206,000 user follow the profile and like the photos on average 1,000 times. The competitor also succeeds on Pinterest: It has much more pins per pinboard and over 337,600 followers.
The key to success on Pinterest seems to be the diversified pinboards: Here the topics accessories, special occasions, shoes and key pieces alternate. Within the pinboards, not only mytheresa.com’s clothes are presented, but also inspirations like beautiful pictures of landscapes, home accessories or delicious dishes. The pin boards do not only present mytheresa.com’s products in the best possible way, but they also create an atmosphere and celebrate fashion to wear.
mytheresa.com on Instagram
mytheresa.com on Google+
Let’s have a look at the boards of mytheresa.com in comparison to NET-A-PORTER.com and STYLEBOP.com. The images of mytheresa.com convey feelings and needs, for example, the pinboard with the topic “mytheresa Travels The Globe”. Here you see a mix of pictures of beautiful places in the world and the perfect matched style pieces. NET-A-PORTER.com has changed its strategy in the last months. In the past the pinboards of NET-A-PORTER.com has shown only clothes, it has seemed like another type of an online shop. Now you find pinboards of different topics based on a similar strategy like mytheresa.com to convey feelings and needs.
STYLEBOP.com seems to pass through the same development as NET-A-PORTER.com. You can still find to many pinboards which show just pictures of clothes. But they start new pinboards where they also try to convey feelings, for example, the “Travel Bug”. But if we look at the metrics of Buzz (4,000) and Impact (111,000) again, we can see that the interactivity on the Social Media platforms has more potential even on Pinterest, because it is not enough to have a high number of likes on your site, if nobody is willing to share your content.
Pinboard mytheresa Travels The Globe
Pinboard festival fever of NET-A-PORTER.com
Pinboard Travel Bug of STYLEBOP.com
On the other social media platforms, the giant competitor applies a strategy similar to mytheresa.com and tries to integrate different content according to the habits of the different platforms. However, this is possible only to a limited extend and much of the content seems to be familiar to us.
Still, the strategy works! Especially the Instagram account is very successful with 1.4 million subscribers. With 5,000 to 10,000 Likes per image and numerous commentaries, NET-A-PORTER.com stands apart from its competitors. Instagram is considered the most popular social media channel for fashion bloggers, who exclusively use this platform. So it is hardly surprising that NET-A-PORTER.com focuses on Instagram.
The news is that NET-A-PORTER.com now has got its social network The Net Set. This "social shopping network" makes it possible to buy clothes directly from the app. At the same time, users can upload their favorite outfits. Based on these images, The Net Set finds new styles for its users. With this new features, NET-A-PORTER.com wants to attract the numerous followers on Instagram to The Net Set. Within the app you can “admire” your favorite designers and similar to the Facebook groups, you can follow so-called “Style Tribes.”
Shopping App/Shopping Network “The Net Set.”The Net Set is promoted by popular trendsetters like Poppy Delevigne, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Nicole Warne, Chloe Norgaard and Laura Bailey. The young ladies hit the nerve of time and the taste of their numerous fans. These testimonials are role models and give the app emotionality. Testimonial advertising can have many positive aspects like a higher intent to purchase and a higher brand affinity.
Popular Testimonials for „The Net Set“
Shopping App/Shopping Network “The Net Set.”
Yoox.com has the highest BUZZ (187,000) and Impact (1M) metric after NET-A-PORTER.com. Its Facebook account is most successful after the strong competitor, with 745,924 likes and a high interaction. This constrains the high number of the Impact metric. Yoox.com is also very successful on Twitter and Google+ with a relatively high number of interactions per post. The weak point of the online fashion shop are the two photo-based platforms, Instagram and Pinterest. The online retailer has to catch up its competitors to get more attention on these Social Media platforms.
Impactana is a tool that helps to find content ideas and influencers to succeed in content marketing. Let us look at the results for stylebop.com.
Looking for: “stylebop” AND “fashion” AND comments>5
The results of this search are content which includes both “stylebop” and “fashion” as terms, and this content has more than five comments.
Impactana result page for “stylebop” AND “fashion” AND comments>5
The result page shows a short information of the content and the author, but also the BUZZ and Impact metrics. The BUZZ metrics includes all social signals, divided into shares and likes from different Social Media Channels.
Impactana BUZZ metric
Right to the BUZZ metric you can find the Impact metric. This is an important one because it measures the long-term user engagement in comparison with BUZZ metric, which gives information about the short-term user engagement. It measures the number of backlinks, comments, clicks, views and downloads.
Impactana Impact metric
Change the search details to get results for pages which have a high metrics of Buzz and Impact: "stylebop" AND "fashion" AND impact>1k AND Buzz>1k
Impactana shows eight results for this specific search, which you can order by decreasing number of impact. If you compare these results with the results for NET-A-PORTER.com for the same search details, then it is obvious that NET-A-PORTER.com has more influencing content. Impactana shows 184 results for the following search details: "net-a-porter" AND "fashion" AND Buzz>1k AND Impact>1k. The highest number of Impact metric is 156k.
Impactana Results for “fashion” including “net-a-porter” on the site:”pinerest.com.”
Impactana Results for “net-a-porter” AND “fashion”AND impact>1k AND Buzz>1k, ordered by decreasing number of Impact
Impactana offers a possibility to visit the pages, where the content comes from or to see more content from this page. It is also possible to start a quick backlink analysis with LRT for the page or the whole domain.
In conclusion, this comparison shows that NET-A-PORTER.com has more content, and it comes from sites with a high BUZZ and Impact metrics. But it also allows stylebop.com to search for these sites to get also good and strong content.
Three recommendation results from this direct comparison of STYLEBOP.com and its competitors:
- Vary the contents on each platform! Your target groups use different platforms and expect interesting and different content.
- Instagram: Well done! Here, its competitors can learn a thing or two from STYLEBOP.com. Pinterest: Less is more! The competitor mytheresa.com proves that you can attract more followers with fewer pinboards. The recipe for success does not seem to be the number of pictures. It is crucial to address the right target group. The picture language on Pinterest and Instagram is not the same.
- Improve your performance on Pinterest! This platform is growing and its users are consistent with the target group of STYLEBOP.com. It is an excellent way to increase your brand awareness and to attract customers to your website. If one harmonizes the campaigns with the platform Pinterest and interrupts product photos with inspirations, the fan base will feel more addressed. Photos of the current Easy Casual Look could be ideally combined with the whole season’s theme. In combination with colors, landscapes, and the latest food trends a more varied mood board could be the result.
mytheresa.com’s pin board mytheresa Feels like Summer
A look at the theme pin board “in the navy” STYLEBOP.com presents itself in a rather boring way. The theme allows unlimited design possibilities. STYLEBOP.com needs more context content. The navy offers a lot of different pictures which can be shown on the board, like ships or restaurants on the beach, etc.
A lot of potential slumbers within STYLEBOP.com’s pin boards on Pinterest.
STYLEBOP.com’s pin board in the navy
- Stylebop.com would have big marketing potential by looking for sites with high BUZZ and Impact metrics, look for the most influential articles, blogs, pages and authors and contact them for cooperation. The question to ask is:
What are my competitors doing and how can I do it too - only better?
Stylebop.com should also look for the fashion bloggers and viral Facebook posts. For the search of “fashion” AND inurl:”facebook.com”, the best result is a page of a young fashion blogger with about 78,000 Fans and a high Impact metric of 391k.
Impactana results for “fashion” AND inurl:”facebook.com.”
A look at the backlinks as well as the social media marketing strategy of the competitors has shown that here professionals are at work. Individuality is important especially within the fashion industry! An online store should never give up its unique selling proposition and adapt to the masses. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile taking a look behind the scenes of the competitors and to explore some best practices and apply them to your context.
Another way to take advantage of the competitor’s links is an investigation based on the Competitive Link Detox (CDTOX) Tool. This tool screens the competitor’s links for the ones with a low link-check-priority: The lower the risk of a Google penalty; the more one should consider a link. At the same time, one can identify one's DTOXRISK compared to the competition.
In the beginning of the report, keywords have to be classified. It is required to classify at least 80 percent.
Keyword Classification for DTOX Report
The keyword classification is done by relating the keywords to various categories like „Brand,“ „Compound,“ „Money“ or „Others.“ This procedure increases the accuracy of the calculation and assessment of risk. Especially for companies whose "Money”- Keywords aim at conversion, there is an increased risk for punishment.
Keyword classification according to categories
I decide to classify all to be more precise:
100% Keywords classification
Now we must reprocess the rules to apply the classification on the risk. It doesn’t cost any credits!
It can be said, that STYLEBOP.com has conducted a very sustainable link building and has a below-average risk of being punished by Google. STYLEBOP.com can view first-class links of competitors, to further minimize this risk and to continue to run a successful link building.
Nevertheless, STYLEBOP.com should again check its backlink profile to play safe and to end up in the "green zone." A summary of the report shows that 75 % of the links and this is after all 8,078 links, have an average recommended link check priority.
Experience has shown that toxic Link sources sooner or later loose its positive effect on the link destination or even strongly harm it. So better keep them at a distance!
Link Audit Priorities of STYLEBOP.com
Using the Competitive Link Detox Tool (CDTOX) STYLEBOP.com can have a look at first-class links of its competitors, to further minimize the risk of a penalty and to continue a successful link building.
Competitive Link Detox of STYLEBOP.com’s competitors
The report shows that STYLEBOP.com has a low DTOXRISK, just as its competitors. In comparison on the level of below average risk, DTOXRISK of STYLEBOP.com is even lower.
Link Audit Priorities of the competition - Good Links
At the same time, a look at the links marked in red is recommended, that means links with a high link check priority. The tool allows you to create a disavow file so that “bad” links can quickly be removed from the backlink profile. The red marked links signalize that no effort should be put in link building here. That lowers the DTOXRISK, and the quality of the link profile will be upgraded at the same time. Facing the already announced new Penguin algorithm that is of uttermost importance: The development of a real-time Penguin, which is expected any day, can strike directly and punish websites faster than before.
Link Audit Priorities of the competition - Bad Links
As we can see, STYLEBOP.com’s marketing strategy does not seem to focus much on Social Media. So which strategy does the online-retailer apply? A look at the backlinks of the shop reveals something about its strategy.
The Backlink Profiler gets us a detailed overview of the strongest backlinks. This tool crawls a huge amount of data with all favored measures and thus allows us a comprehensive analysis of the most actual backlink data for STYLEBOP.com and its competitors.
Backlink Profile of STYLEBOP.com
You can see that STYLEBOP.com attach great importance on being recommended by the major fashion magazines. This strategy seems to be very successful because the online retailer has gotten backlinks from all well-known international magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair or Marie Claire. The German fashion magazines Brigitte, Glamor, Jolie, and Myself, are represented in the backlink profile, too.
The Vogue recommends STYLEBOP.com, for example, if known top models like Claudia Schiffer or Candice Swanepoel releases collections. This happened earlier in 2015 at http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2015/01/28/candice-swanepoel-mother-denim-collection-pictures.
Beside this Vogue, for example, tells the story how STYLEBOP.com grew for a decade: http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2014/11/12/stylebop-shopping-mario-eimuth-leila-yavari-site-founder-interview.
NET-A-PORTER.com appears in this context, too, as seen in a shoe collection of Poppy Delevigne and Aquazzura: http://www.vogue.de/people-kultur/people-news/mode-news-poppy-delevingne-launcht-schuhlinie-mit-aquazzura.
Another Example is the special edition of jewelry by Tracey Emin and Stephen Webster: http://www.vogue.de/mode/mode-news/schmuck-liebesschwur-von-tracey-emin-und-stephen-webster or Francesco Russos patent leather shoe collection: http://www.vogue.de/mode/mode-news/schuhe-francesco-russos-faszination-fuer-lack.
The renowned fashion magazines have the advantage that they provide a perfect thematic match as well as excellent quality backlink metrics.
Power*Trust Metrics of STYLEBOP.com
Elle.com has an LRT Power*Trust of 42. Only Wikipedia, social networks, and large national newspapers have stronger metrics. The same applies to
- Vogue (Power*Trust=42),
- Harper’s Bazaar,
- InStyle and
- Marie Claire (Power*Trust=36).
Blogger does not achieve such high values.
The Buzz for STYLEBOP.com
STYLEBOP.com profits from strong Impact of social signals
If you have a look at the backlinks of the competitor mytheresa.com, it is striking that they rather are interested in networking with bloggers. Exceptional is the vast number of blogs from Scandinavia. The backlink profile of mytheresa.com contains 565 backlinks from Scandinavia and 165 backlinks of blogs from Denmark, for example:
- http://costume.dk/modenyheder/carine-roitfeld-hyldes-af-mytheresa or
- http://ella.looklab.dk/category/craving /
Although the quality metrics for these blogs are lower, Power * Trust = 16 for costume.dk and Power * Trust = 10 for ella.looklab.dk , they still address an important target group.
Backlink profile of mytheresa.com - Country distribution
This observation is confirmed by the link distribution by country. A large number of backlinks comes from the US; that is where the parent company Neiman Marcus has its headquarters. Striking is the number of links from Denmark, which supports the hypothesis that mytheresa.com networks with bloggers from Scandinavia.
Extract of the List of the Scandinavian Bloggers for mytheresa.com
In Denmark and Scandinavia numerous fashion bloggers seem to be fans of mytheresa.com. As mentioned above the link metrics are not high like the ones from fashion magazines. Those blogs don’t have higher Power*Trust than 2.
But a closer look at the blogs shows, that they all have a similar structure, so we decided to use the Backlink Profiler (BLP), a helpful tool of the Link Research Tools, and have a deeper look. We looked at the information that the BLP results offer for every URL, by click on the “+” nearby.
URL Information in BLP Report
We used the Whois tool to get more information about a URL. After a closer look through a sample of URLs, we find out that a lot of the blogs have the same IP Adress: 188.8.131.52.
So it does not confirm the impression at first view, that mytheresa.com seems to be liked by many Scandinavian bloggers. It seems like mytheresa.com does not chastely link building. Besides the links need to be set “No Follow” or “disavowed”, because there are enough penalties known of websites not doing so.
Below are some of the blogs listed including the information about the same IP address and link status.
Whois Information of amaliewessel.dk
Whois Information of cecilieslemming.dk
Whois Information of ella.looklab.dk
Whois Information of fashionbones.dk
Whois Information of irinathediva.dk
Results of BLP for amaliewessel.dk
Results of BLP for cecilieslemming.dk
Results of BLP for ella.looklab.dk
We also checked the common backlinks of some of these blogs (amaliewessel.dk; cecilieslemming.dk; ella.looklab.dk; fashionbones.dk; irinathediva.dk) with the Common Backlinks Tool (CBLT) and the result was fascinating. Any of the domains have backlinks from the same domains.
Results of CBLT for amaliewessel.dk; cecilieslemming.dk; ella.looklab.dk; fashionbones.dk; irinathediva.dk
That doesn’t mean, that mytheresa.com has just bad backlinks from these blogs, but they boosted a lot.
Power*Trust Metrics of mytheresa.com
Looking at the BUZZ and Impact, we can see that mytheresa.com has plenty of backlinks with very high metrics. This high social interaction probably results from a high number of backlinks from the blogs, even if we have to ask how long this will do well.
The Buzz for mytheresa.com
mytheresa.com profits from strong Impact of social signals
It is important for STYLEBOP.com to get backlinks from blogs, but they have to do it the right way. Sooner or later mytheresa.com has to struggle with the consequences, of their type of link building. We advise STYLEBOP.com to find their strategy to get backlinks from “real” fashion bloggers.
Overview of countries where NET-A-PORTER.com uses paid traffic
NET-A-PORTER.com is also connected to a lot of bloggers. Most of them come from the Anglo-American countries, for example:
- http://www.thefashionspot.com/ ,
- http://www.flare.com/ or
- http://iwantigot.geekigirl.com/2014/07/24/eye-sandal-pierre-hardy/ .
Within its backlink profile, the major fashion magazines appear, too.
Backlink Profile of NET-A-PORTER.com
LRT Power*Trust Metrics of NET-A-PORTER.com
NET-A-PORTER.com has more backlinks than its competitors and a lot of them with a high LRT Power*Trust metric.
BUZZ Metrics of NET-A-PORTER.com
Impact Metrics of NET-A-PORTER.com
The social interaction metrics, BUZZ and Impact, of the backlinks of NET-A-PORTER.com indicate a high number of backlinks from social active pages, for example, blogs.
Yoox.com seems to follow a similar strategy as STYLEBOP.com. Again, much emphasis is placed on good networking with the major fashion magazines. Striking is the high percentage of backlinks in the country of origin of the website: Italy. For example, the company has gotten backlinks of the Italian lifestyle magazine http://life.style.it and http://cappellini.it.
Backlinks of yoox.com
Backlinks by Country linking to yoox.com
LRT Power*Trust Metrics of yoox.com
Impactana BUZZ Metrics of yoox.com
Impactana Impact Metrics of yoox.com
If we look at the metrics of yoox.com, we can see that the Power*Trust metric is comparable to the others. The Power*Trust proves the quality of the backlinks. But by analyzing the social interaction metrics of the backlinks, we can identify that yoox.com is flagging a little bit.
The results of the backlink analysis by regarding the Impact metrics are that blogs have more impact than magazines. The highest Impact has the blog: http://fabyoubliss.com/, with about 617.000 and a BUZZ metric of 88.000 (also the highest metric at all).
More blogs with a comparable high Impact and BUZZ are:
Backlink List of yoox.com filtered by the highest Impact
What can STYLEBOP.com learn from its competitors? Let’s have a look at the backlink profiles:
1. Keep it up! A high number of backlinks in the most prestigious fashion magazines creates a great image, increases brand awareness and improves STYLEBOP.com’s ranking within the Google results.
2. Blogs , Blogs , Blogs: This is where the trends of tomorrow develop. So the approach of selected, high-quality blogs makes sense and give relevancy. But watch out to go for No Follow links nowadays!
3. Keep your eyes and ears open to find new trend-setters all over the world, like:
4. Keep in touch with popular bloggers around the world, for example with:
- http://www.shefinds.com/ ,
- or http://www.stylemepretty.com !
5. It has long been known that the Scandinavians haven an extraordinary sense of style. So why don’t target them and network with bloggers? For example:
The well-known magazines have high Power and Trust Metrics (42-25) so that one can speak of really high-quality links here. At first glance the blogs have very high-quality metrics like of high Power*Trust values and the Visibility-Index:
The Sistrix Visibility index of thefashionspot.com is on average 1.03 in the US. The page ranks to known model names in combination with Fashion Spot such as:
- "Agyness Deyn fashion spot"
- "Julia Stegner fashion spot"
- "Adam Senn fashion spot"
- "Alice Dellal fashion spot”
It thus seems to rely on committed supporters, who want to learn about the most famous faces of fashion. More important: In the US the site ranks for generic terms such as "latest styles", "fashion and beauty" or "fashion style", too. These searches match with the philosophy of STYLEBOP.com, to bring the latest trends directly to the customer. There is an audience that wants to do just that. Thus, networking makes perfect sense.
Despite high Power*Trust metrics, the blog shefinds.com seems to lag behind. The Sistrix Visibility index recovered in spring but sinks again. The site seems to be little optimized and has just a few keywords within the top 10. Among them rather uninteresting things like "cigarette smoking Celebrities". The blog should, therefore, remain under observation, an active networking can, however, be initially disregarded.
The blog of the Canadian fashion magazine Flare is particularly interesting in the United States. With a Sistrix visibility index of 0.15, trend rising, the page responds to a variety of topics related to fashion and lifestyle. STYLEBOP.com emerges mainly as a source of clothing that have been discovered on celebrities like Kate Middleton. It is striking that the posts are older. A renewed attempt to draw attention to themselves, certainly could not hurt.
Stylemepretty.com is a popular Anglo-American fashion blog, with a Sistrix visibility index of 0.23. Here you can get inspiration for wedding dresses, decoration, and food. Everything can be color-matched and combined to each other. Accordingly, the page also ranks to keywords such as "Wedding Blog" or "Style Weddings". This blog is certainly a good opportunity to present formal dresses.
The blog costume.dk has become increasingly popular in Germany and the Sistrix Visibility index has risen by 145 %. On the second results page, they rank for keywords like "Munthe plus Simonson dk".
The Fashion Spot and StyleMePretty.com - Blogs
The rapid growth of blogs leads to some questions like:
- Where to start building relationships with bloggers?Formularende
- Which blogs are especially popular?
- What blogposts circulate on social media platforms and which ones are loved by the readership base?
- Which topics are best?
- How to work together without been penalized by Google?
Answers to almost all of these questions provide the new content marketing tool Impactana. This tool quickly measures the content marketing success.
These are the results for the company name “fashion” AND “spring”. We told the tool to keep an eye out for blogs because that is a possible backlink source STYLEBOP.com could work on. To find the relevant blogs stylebop.com should look for relevant topics about for example fashion or luxury fashion.
Search for relevant Blogs with Impactana
We also looked for the existing mentions of stylebop.com in conjunction with “fashion” and as you can see the result are very meager here:
Search for relevant blogs included “stylebop”
The search for the key influencers yields no results. So STYLEBOP.com can do much better here in the future. In comparison to its main competitor NET-A-PORTER.com: It shows a completely different picture.
Search for relevant blogs included “net-a-porter”
With the help of the Buzz one can identify, how many times the different blog posts about NET-A-PORTER.com have been shared and liked within the social networks.
The Impact is a sophisticated metric that contains clicks, views, downloads, comments and backlinks. The value ultimately helps to detect long-term marketing effects.
Buzz breakdown of a post on Facebook.com including “net-a-porter”
Buzz breakdown of a post on Instagram.com including “stylebop”
To identify content for the most important keywords is another way to use Impactana. For example, STYLEBOP.com ranks for the brand “Juicy Couture”.
STYLEBOP.com does not rank for Juicy Couture in the USA
STYLEBOP.com ranks on 3 for Juicy Couture in Germany and switches Adwords
According to Google’s Keyword Planer in the USA the brand is searched for 135,000 times per Month, in Germany only 5,4000 times. STYLEBOP.com can now:
- Keep up and increase the volume for brands like “Juicy Couture.”
- Get direct traffic from influential Bloggers concerning Juicy Couture
With the aid of the tool, one can quickly target the most important blogs and influencers.
Impactana results for “juicy couture.”
Now Stylebop can contact those Blogs and ask them
- for Links
- make a shooting with one of them and
- publish on com to get mentioned by the blogger or
- let the Blogger publish the photos and
- put a banner beside or
- introduce the pieces with a link each to the appropriate com Shop URL
- Switch Banner Ads on the Blogs or rather Juicy Couture Posts
- With some phantasy and a look at the Bloggers site one finds many more ways of cooperation are possible
It is very important to be careful if you work together with bloggers. So STYLEBOP.com should watch out that the backlinks are not set as “No Follow” links because then they’re threaten to be penalized by Google. To avoid this STYLEBOP.com can arrange corporate campaigns, for example, a shooting with the blogger by wearing certain brands. Afterward this pictures can be published by the blogger, although be aware not to let it look like advertising.
As already mentioned, it is important to analyze which backlinks your competitors have got, but you do not. Before the composition, quality and penalty risk of the backlinks have been inspected, now the question arises, what backlinks are desirable for your website, too? For this purpose the Missing Links Tool (MLT) is suitable. It simultaneously provides information on the quality and relevance of the missing links. Among the commonality settings, at least two similarities should be chosen to keep the results manageable.
Compare Backlink Profile of competitors with MLT
Below the tool has been used to identify the top links of the competitors mytheresa.com, NET-A-PORTER.com and yoox.com:
Find the strongest links, in terms of Power*Trust and Social Signals like Buzz and Impact of your competitors with help of the Missing Links Tool
It has been shown before, that for example mytheresa.com is very well connected with blogs. In addition to the quality metrics, the results of the Missing Link Tool provide information about the topic of the links. STYLEBOP.com could particularly look out for the Categories "Entertainment", "Blogs / Personal Pages" or "Art / Culture". Within these categories, it could search for bloggers to cooperate with. The quality of these sites is evaluated simultaneously, so it can be ensured that STYLEBOP.com only gets links from quality blogs. Their results can be sorted by Power*Trust or the Impact and BUZZ metrics.
By looking at the list we find blogs, which are missing in the backlink list of STYLEBOP.com and are worth to get on there, because of their high Social Media interactions and a comparable high Power*Trust metric (note that especially trust still gets passed even though it is marked with a No Follow tag):
More influential link resources can be found by examining the browsing behavior of customers.
Similarweb.com allows an overview of all pages that were viewed during a session, albeit STYLEBOP.com was visited. From that it can be revealed that customers who for example visited STYLEBOP.com, visit the website of Vogue, Instyle or Harper's Bazaar, too. These are facts that are already used by NET-A-PORTER.com.
Consumer browsing behavior
To only choose the best links of the competitors or build up own high-quality links without any risk of Google penalties, an analysis based on the Link Opportunities Review Tool is recommended. This tool combines the previously created Link Detox (DTOX) report and links, determined for example by the Missing Links Tool. The handling is as simple as fast: Just copy the desired link opportunities in the text box, select the existing DTOX report and let the tool do the work.
Start LORT easily
Here we can see an excerpt from the results of LORT reports: Links with a low link audit priority can be identified at a first glance by its green marking. Together with a very low DTOXRISK, we have got very good links that can be used for safe link building.
To escape punishment you should have a closer look not only at the red but also the yellow highlighted links in the table which have a high or above average DTOXRISK. If you look at the first link http://www.thefashionspot.com/ and the 12th http://www.canalblog.com/ you can see that their Link Audit Priority is “medium”, but the DTOXRISK is above average or rather high. You should check all metrics of links and not feel save only if the Power*Trust and even the Trust metric is high, but also make sure if the DTOXRISK is not too high before you begin with link building.
Thefashionspot.com has been discussed among the most popular blogs. The LORT report shows, however, that despite a high Power * Trust value the links have got an average link audit priority. An elaborate analysis is necessary before the link building enters the crucial final phase!
Safe Link building with LORT
Based on the pie chart, one can understand the different levels of the DTOXRISK at one glaze.
How many links are at risk and how many are save?
There can be dead pages or pages with a 404-HTTP Code on your domain, which still have powerful backlinks. The Link Juice Recovery Tool (LJR) identifies these pages. Afterward, redirect these URLs to the start page.
LJR results for STYLEBOP.com
What “Best Practices” should STYLEBOP.com use?
- Be individual and stay individual! Stand out from the crowd and challenge your unique selling proposition on a regular basis! “From Catwalk to Sidewalk”- Make trends of established designers and imaginative newcomers quickly available for everyone, that is the philosophy of the online retailer.
- Use the best competitor’s backlinks for your own link building.
- Do not build links at random, look out for thematically relevant websites and blogs only! Examine them before you build a link.
- Quality, not quantity! It is better to build fewer links with very good quality metrics than building many bad links. That’s the only way to achieve an effective protection against penalties.
- Inferior links do not belong in the backlink profile of a luxury online retailer, so get rid of second-rate and ugly websites like http://ww1.datingidle.com/ or http://liris-beautywelt.gametrust.org/2010_09_01_archive.html.
Fashion Photographer is a very popular profession and often the star photographer is as famous as the designer himself. Photos are essential for fashion online stores, as through the use of images customers get a first impression of the product: they can assess the color, fit and cut and they can decide whether the product corresponds to their ideas. Especially in an industry where customers are mainly guided by photos throughout their purchase decision, the traffic that can be generated by the search engine's image search should not be neglected. Besides there is a huge amount of photos and trends, change rapidly.
So it is a Sisyphean task to get each photo to the very top. Given these difficulties, it is advisable for an online fashion retailer to focus on specific categories. This could certain cuts, patterns, epochs or so-called "classics". How about a detailed guide, which takes up the most important design classics? Among them, one could present for example Diane von Fürstenberg’s Wrapdress, a Burberry trench or a Chanel suit. The online store Zalando has dedicated subcategories to different style epochs that include detailed descriptions and the matching garments.
Category page for different epochs at Zalando.de
A comparison of the campaigns shows that STYLEBOP.com still has got opportunities to improve its perceived image. Here we see the advertising campaigns of NET-A-PORTER.com and STYLEBOP.com. A customer could reach these ads through clicking on a search engine ad.
STYLEBOP.com’s presentation shows fashion in a very simple manner. At first glance, one can hardly see that those clothes are high-quality designer pieces. In contrast, NET-A-PORTER.com builds a story around every photo and provides the customer with an image and a feeling at the same time.
Other ways to increase the relevancy of the website for the customers, would be a more detailed data-analysis. Fashion consists of hedonistic products and provides the opportunity to address the customer’s emotions, so it is worthwhile knowing the customer’s individual needs and to satisfy them. A rational assessment à la "Do I need these shoes?" is of secondary importance, if the purchase will trigger joy.
An online store collects vast amounts of data every day, which maintains a lot of useful information about the customers. The implementation of an appropriate analytical tool or the appointment of an external agency is not quite inexpensive but creates a competitive advantage. The Adobe Touchpoint Marketing Guide recommends an analysis of the data. That allows companies to personalize and contextually tailor the offer to the customer. “We’ve got the longest showcase in the world. People are very interested in the sample looks, that we put together”, says CEO Eimuth in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Certainly, STYLEBOP.com already analyzes its data to some degree. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to keep an eye on new developments and technologies. Finally, it is only natural that even the best stylist reaches its limits with more than 11,000 items in the online shop. So why don’t give the customers say, based on data? STYLEBOP.com could for example:
- collect the most popular outfits and recommend them to fashion blogs
- or repeat them on their social media channels
- or present the most popular outfit of the month or the week, similar to the post that can be seen here
Facebook Post STYLEBOP.com
The competitor NET-A-PORTER.com already knows about the importance of using its data. With the integration of the latest technology from Riverbed Technology GmbH, the online luxury retailer can control its processes even better. It enables a comprehensive insight into the network traffic of the website:
If a problem occurs, it can be analyzed and adjusted immediately.
The page can be made even more user-friendly, and the risk that a user will leave it frustrated will be minimized.
Also, the logistics of the company could be improved significantly: Staff at different locations have access to the product and order management. If an article is no longer available in one logistics center, it can be ordered through another center. For the customer, the likelihood increases that the favorite part is available in the correct size.
Nevertheless, Big Data does not replace the human flair for fashion. The chairman of mytheresa.com Michael Kliger is convinced that the customer prefers a selected, manual compilation of the products to a combination of an algorithm.
He also emphasizes the importance of personal interaction with the customer on the German Modehandels-Kongress in Düsseldorf. The company collects customer opinions by using remarkably simple feedback forms instead of using expensive technology. These notes are then analyzed, and improvements are implemented.
The recipe for success seems to be a mix of sophisticated analysis tools and the personal interaction with the customer.
The unique selling proposition: Your competitors never sleep, and there already is a store with a similar-sounding name: SHOPBOP.com.
The Norwegian blog http://www.klikk.no/mote/detnye/shopping/article627496.ece already names SHOPBOP.com as an alternative for mytheresa.com and NET-A-PORTER.com.
It should continue to be in the above-named fashion magazines, so brand awareness is maintained and increased. So SHOPBOP.com will not outperform STYLEBOP.com.
Blog from Denmark
The fashion industry is constantly changing and so attracting many complemantors. One of them is Spottster.com. With over 40,000 users and 3.000 Online-Shops (Numbers from 2015/08), the website is becoming more and more popular. The principle is as simple as it is ingenious.
The customer can select his favorite products and will be informed if the price falls below its specified limit.
- On the one handcomis provided with additionalattention andadditional traffic,
- on the other hand, it couldfind buyersfor products thatwere regarded asdead stock.
- At the same time, you can learn a lot about your customer’s price sensitivity.
STYLEBOP.com on Spottster.com
Knomi, the shopping app goals to optimally align online and offline channels.
What does that mean? On the one hand, the user obtains app push-messages containing clothes or accessories that he or she might like while being in the city. These messages directly guide the customer to the next shop. At the same time, it is possible to order one’s favorite pieces online. This multi-channel shopping could be a new trend, which should not be missed. Mytheresa.com is already on board, so collaboration is worth considering.
Multichannel-Shopping with the app Knomi
STYLEBOP.com ranks first for the branded keys: Marc Jacobs Jeans, Beckham Jeans, Chantal Thomass Unterwäsche, Denim Victoria Beckham und Helmut Lang Leder. NET-A-PORTER.com’s top keywords are Bess Boots, C’est moi Louboutin, Christopher Kane Gorilla, Giuseppe Zanotti Cindy Ankle Boots and Pauric Sweeney Overnight Bag. Mytheresa.com ranks for Miu Miu Shuhe, Diane von Fürstenberg Kleider, Victoria Beckham Jeans, Acne Boots, Chloe Bags, Givenchy Bag and more.
With generic keywords, STYLEBOP.com focuses on the combination with „Designer“, „Luxus“ or „Marken“.The competitor NET-A-PORTER.com especially uses keywords with the own company name in it, but no generic search terms. Mytheresa.com runs a mixed strategy.
It is striking that NET-A-PORTER.com and mytheresa.com have managed to rank for much more branded keywords. NET-A-PORTER.com has accomplished that some brands in combination with the company name rank first. Here STYLEBOP.com has a lot of catching up to do.
Keyword Classification of STYLEBOP.com
Keyword Classification of NET-A-PORTER.com
Keyword Classification of mytheresa.com
Source: Top 20 Keywords at Sistrix
Let’s have a look on the previous analysis: With the support of suitable LinkResearchTools STYLEBOP.com and its competitors have been put to the acid test.
- com gathers its followers mainly through varied content and great pictures within the social media channels.
- NET-A-PORTER.com established a network with bloggers worldwide and
- com is represented in the major Italian fashion magazines.
One can assume that the online store is already supported by a first-class marketing team, nevertheless it can be stated that Europe’s second biggest luxury online retailer can be provided with new starting points that go beyond its present online marketing strategy.
The social media presence should be designed more diversified and relevant. Also, it is worthwhile to network more with the blogosphere and the so-called lead users: This is where trends are born and spread.
It is recommended to specifically evaluate the daily accumulating amounts of data to gain a better understanding of the individual customer. From the competitors’ backlink link profiles, valuable best practices can be drawn that help to improve the own marketing success.
A word from Christoph C. Cemper
Our LRT Certified Professional, Sigrid Holzner was one of the first LRT Certified Professionals and I am happy proud to see her keep the certification active with this case-study. We require all our LRT Certified Professionals to re-recertify at least once a year to make sure they stay up to date with our product and SEO in general.
I am more than happy to publish Sigrid’s findings and experiences on our site and re-certify her as LRT Certified Professional.
Our goal is to provide our clients with quality service and knowledge. Our LRT Certified Professionals and Xperts are key to achieving this goal.
I look forward to her future work, and recommend Sigrid Holzner to work with you, whenever you get the opportunity!