Online Fashion Stores Dramatically Increase Paid Search to Combat Zara’s Australian Launch

SEMrush identifies a spike in ad spend by online fashion retailers

According to data from online marketing data provider SEMrush, the March launch of Zara’s new Australian online store has seriously shaken the local retail market. Ad spend went through the roof once the retailers saw the threat from the world's fashion giant.

The digital marketing data provider analysed the web traffic for fashion websites visited frequently by Australians and identified with a list of eight of Zara’s top competitors, including both local and international brands; The Iconic, David Jones, Asos, Cotton On, Surfstitch, Pretty Little Thing, Showpo and Missguided.
Organic search traffic to Zara.com from Australia increased by 50 percent from January to March. However, it was the paid search that was the biggest driver of traffic to Zara’s new Australian online store, which saw an increase from January to March of an incredible 18,900 percent.
“With Zara being present and having an aggressive marketing strategy, we see the change in the whole market. Zara's top competitors have all dramatically increased their advertising budgets. Local retailers are now trying to neutralise the effect of Zara's launch here,” said Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush.

Paid Search Traffic (AU users) from January to March 2018

Online Store % Increase
Zara 18900%
Showpo 2000%
PrettyLittleThing 1000%
Missguided 450%
The Iconic 90%
David Jones 60%
Asos 50%
Cotton on 30%
Surfstitch 20%

Although it was declared that Zara was planning to open an online store in Australia, the timing was not announced until early March for a mid-month launch. In an effort to reduce the impact of the international brand’s entry into the online market, some but not all reacted to the competitive intelligence about Zara by increasing their digital marketing spend on search.


SEMrush also identified that local fashion retailer, David Lawrence lost about ten percent of its usual traffic within the same period from January to March.
About SEMrush
SEMrush is a trusted data provider on search volume, website traffic and digital trends. Comprised of over 30 tools and collecting search data for 140 countries, SEMrush provides SEO, PPC and content marketing solutions for in-house marketing teams and agencies that work with clients in any industry.

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