The rapid growth of PrettyLittleThing in search

Since its launch in 2012, PrettyLittleThing has seen immense brand growth, becoming one of the most searched fast fashion brands online in 2019 – and that’s just in the UK.

With the advantage of being an online only e-tailer, in these seven years PrettyLittleThing have fully utilised all digital platforms to boost their brand name globally. This includes some high profile celebrity endorsements. 

It has also benefited from (and helped drive) the obsession with fast fashion – cheap, often single-use, clothing, targeting the 14 – 24 y/o market. 

Using Pi’s Market Intelligence, we took a look at PrettyLittleThing’s brand growth in search and how it achieved such rapid success.

PrettyLittleThing has grown 238% between 2015-2019

Date range: May 2015 – April 2019

Pretty Little Thing growth

This chart shows 4 years of brand searches for PrettyLittleThing between 2015 to 2019. 

It’s clear that PrettyLittleThing’s brand has strengthened in public consciousness online, and offline its revenue confirms this; between 2018 and 2019 the brand grew by 107% to £374.4 million. Apparently, during this time the number of shoppers rocketed to 5 million – that’s a 70% increase.

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The power of celebrity endorsements and social media

Each peak on this chart reveals a clever marketing campaign that ultimately shot them into the stratosphere of fashion retailers. Let’s break these peaks down.

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement

 

PrettyLittleThing growth: celebrity endorsement examples

Nov 2015: first collection with Lucy Mecklenburgh  

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement example

Partnering with a reality celebrity, from well known show The Only Way Is Essex, whose target audience is 14-24 year olds, PrettyLittleThing launched 2 collaborative collections with Lucy Mecklenburgh in late 2015. This partnership saw them reach 823k in search volume.

Celebrity endorsement is nothing new in the world of retail, it’s a natural next step to boost your brand. PrettyLittleThing chose wisely for the audience it was trying to reach – young, UK centric consumers – this audience focus shifts to a more international view in 2016…

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Nov 2016: Kylie Jenner posted PrettyLittleThing co-ord on Instagram

Looking to establish themselves in the US market, who other than a Kardashian could launch the brand so successfully?

Kylie Jenner posted a photo of her sporting a PrettyLittleThing co-ord on her instagram account along with a link to the fashion brand’s site.

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement example

After this, PrettyLittleThing hit 1.5 million in search volume.

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Oct 2017: launched a range with Kourtney Kardashian   

In 2017 the brand built relationships with a number of US celebs; launching a collection with Sofia Richie, signing LA influencer Chantel Jeffries as an ambassador, and an exclusive collection with Olivia Culpo. 

The fact that PrettyLittleThing then collaborated with the Kardashian’s again, is evidence for the success of its previous Kylie Jenner endorsement; even with all the other celebrity coverage, it was Kourtney’s that saw the most dramatic peak – and it launched this range at a shrewd time of year, just as Christmas shopping begins – saving the best till last.

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement example

With its most dramatic peak in search volume yet, PrettyLittleThing brand searches rose to a whopping 2.24 million.

May 2018: Announced collab with streetwear label Karl Kani

After the collaboration with Kourtney Kardashian, PrettyLittleThing’s search volume stays within 1.83m and 2.24m, never dropping below or reaching above this bracket. 

The fashion brands work with the Amercian hip hop fashion designer Karl Kani helps to maintain impressive brand search volumes. It released another collection with the streetwear designer in January 2019.

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement example

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Nov 2018: Christmas campaign launched with Hailey Baldwin

Recently married to Justin Beiber, model Hailey Baldwin became the face of PrettyLittleThing for Christmas 2018. Adding such a high profile celebrity to its brand again meant the fashion brand maintained its presence in consumers searches.

Pretty Little Thing growth: celebrity endorsement example

Using instagram 

With currently 11 million followers on instagram, PrettyLittleThing has used this social channel to make the most of its collaborations, with almost every post featuring an influencer, model or celebrity. 

PrettyLittleThing’s most recent partnership with singer Ashanti is referenced and linked in its bio, no doubt driving a mammoth amount of traffic to its site.

Success from multiple factors

Founder, Umar Kamani insists that PrettyLittleThings success is driven by an innate understanding of the customer – “Social media gives me a massive insight…”. Of course social is not its only channel for understanding or reaching its customer, the fashion brands achievements are the culmination of many platforms and strategies – organic search being just one of these.

PrettyLittleThing’s SEO strategy

We’ve seen how PrettyLittleThing’s brand searches have grown, which highlights their brand success, but their site is also optimised and performs well for multiple fashion search terms. They recently featured fourth on our fashion leaderboard, which shows the top performing sites in Google UK returning for fashion terms. 

Having strong SEO and consistently returning for top fashion terms works to cement their brand in the consumer’s mind, again adding to their brand awareness.

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