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It’s all about being Nasty: An Ecommerce, Fashion Case Study

Croud’s Digital Marketing Exec Arianne Turchi, expresses her love of fashion by talking us through a business success story in the fashion industry. Nastygal.com reached success through excellent branding & smart Social Marketing…

The landscape:

E-commerce has definitely become a force of its own in fashion, one that shows no signs of slowing down. In the last 5 years it became designer-friendly as well: from eBay to EtsyGilt Groupe to Net-a-Porter; websites are gathering stylists, collectors, artisans and other influencers on their platforms. Fashion retailers that only exist online have never been so big.

These fashion sites and many others including one of Croud’s clients – Etsy, (first plug of the blog) , have proven and mastered the power of connecting directly with sellers and buyers, and more importantly, have understood the opportunities PPC gives for high-fashion &  seasonal focused sales online.

Many start-ups are following these “e-tailers” path, and the e-commerce scenery is simultaneously evolving.

My “Nasty love” started approximately two years ago, when the website wasn’t as digitally focused as it is now, and when the performance of the website was based exclusively on social platforms.

A brief story of Nastygal.com:

“Nasty Gal is a global online destination for fashion-forward, free-thinking girls. In 2006, founder Sophia Amoruso started an eBay store selling a highly curated selection of vintage pieces. In just five short years, the shop has grown to become an international style source offering both new and vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories.”

Now let’s have a deeper look into their peculiar marketing approach:

 “We have done very little deliberate marketing,” explains David Thomas, CTO of Nasty Gal. “Our business is built on the web interaction of shoppers and customers.” – To keep the sales flowing, Nasty Gal relies on the WebLinc eCommerce platform – “We set out to create an eCommerce site that has the confident, comfortable Nasty Gal sensibility with the considerable processing power and scalability needed by a site that is growing by leaps and bounds,” explained WebLinc’s Director of User Experience, James Van Arsdale III (http://www.weblinc.com/case_study/nasty-gal/).

By now you should have a clear picture of where the company comes from. Sophie Amoruso managed to build her Nasty Girl brand on the backs of Instagram, ­Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook – making “likes” convert into sales and running digital campaigns that maintain a strong presence within the online marketplace, although always preferring organic to paid search.

As always, success is shown in the figures:

  • It sells 93% of its inventory at full price.
  • A quarter of its 250,000 customers visit the site once a day for at least seven minutes.
  • The top 10% of the above visit the site more than 100 times a month.

Last year the company quadrupled sales, racking up gross margins of more than 60% and netted close to $100 million, according to the Forbes August 2012 issue. With success also comes rumours, one on the digital grapevine is that Urban Outfitters may be interested in buying them!?

I decided to write about this company because I wanted to highlight the innovative features in which it approached and developed its business.

In that way it reminds me of Croud, (here comes the second plug) as we’re a digital marketing agency, but not like any other. We’re constantly looking for new approaches to getting results and improving the experience for our clients, that’s why we’re always thinking about the next feature we could add to our Croud Control platform or a new element to help our Croudie network.

Nasty Gal obviously isn’t the only ecommerce company, there’s lots of competition out there. But where Nasty Gal really stands out is in its embrace of modern ecommerce techniques that demonstrates its uniqueness in the fashion industry. It’s this uniqueness and personality that make it such a strong brand and is what is going to make it lasting.

In conclusion, if it will ever be my time for building an online fashion empire I would take example from NastyGal.com, following these examples:

  • Be & think like your own brand!
  • Blend content, be authentic and give a personal voice to your brand.
  • Have a constant social media presence.
  • Stay close to your clients. Think about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you!