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Zara launch sent competitors’ ad spend through the roof

Zara’s e-commerce launch in Australia in March dramatically drove up local online fashion players’ digital ad spend, according to data from SEMrush.

Analysing web traffic for the fast fashion player’s top competitors, including The Iconic, David Jones, Asos, Cotton On, Surfstitch, Pretty Little Thing, Showpo and Missguided, SEMrush found that paid search traffic to the sites increased by double digits if not more ahead of Zara’s e-commerce launch in March.

Zara itself deployed an aggressive marketing strategy, as seen by the fact that organic search traffic to its website from Australia increased by 50 percent from January to March, while paid search traffic increased by 18,900 per cent.

“With Zara being present and having an aggressive marketing strategy, we see the change in the whole market,” said Olga Andrienko, head of global marketing at SEMrush.

“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.”

Showpo’s chief marketing officer, Mark Baartse, told Internet Retailing that the pureplay fashion retailer’s ad spend has not increased outside of normal budgeted variations and the usual seasonality.

“Showpo looks to lead, not follow, and we welcome the many new entrants into the market,” Baartse said, adding that SEMrush may need to look at its data quality.

The online marketing data provider also identified that David Lawrence lost about 10 percent of its usual traffic within the same period from January to March.

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