Insights reveal why Topshop may no longer be top of the shops

British High Street favourite, Topshop has announced that it will close all 11 of its US stores and 23 stores in the UK and Ireland. The fast fashion favourite has struggled in recent times, despite its global expansion, to maintain pace and position with shoppers.

Citing a challenging retail environment, and the emergence of online players, the brand is now closing its US business entirely and downsizing in Europe.

Maybe* listened to and compared the online conversation created by Topshop against boohoo, and Missguided (both emerging online players), to see what is driving customer behaviour and choice.

The problem

There are three key areas where Topshop has been beaten out by boohoo and Missguided:

  1. The quantity and engagements of posts
  2. The content of posts
  3. And the negative sentiment from followers

In this first of three blogs, we explore quantity and what Topshop can learn from their online rivals.

Looking at the detail

When quality and quantity go hand in hand on social

Through May 2019, Topshop created 377 pieces of content on both Facebook and Twitter. Boohoo created 1,010 and Missguided created 437 during the same time period.

When looking at quantity, it’s important to also explore quality: How many people engage with each post?

If your average engagement per post is low, your posts aren’t hitting the right notes with your demographic. Which means, no matter how many posts you create, unless you address your content, you won’t see the results you want.

Conversely, so long as a high ratio of engagement to volume is maintained, the sky’s the limit with how much you can post.

"When consistently high engagement is paired with high posting volume it shows a desire from the audience for more; this is the perfect balance of social media quantity and quality sitting together."

Polly Barnfield, CEO and Founder of Maybe*

This is apparent when looking at Topshop who posted 377 in May vs boohoo who posted 1,010 times - that’s 168% more. However, the critical measure is the average engagement per post. Topshop saw an average of 4.24 engagements per post, whilst boohoo easily bested them with an average of 949 engagements per post - that’s approximately 32,000 engagements per day given their posting frequency.

Despite posting more than 150% more content than Topshop, boohoo is seeing engagement levels Topshop can only wish for.

The See What Works report from Maybe* highlights Topshop’s low engagement with social media content. 

For comparison, if we look at boohoo’s engagement with social media content, engagement is off the charts with 30 posts gaining over 40,000 engagements.  

And it's the same results for Missguided, here we can see less content is being posted, yet engagement is high.

The key takeaway

If your audience is consistently engaging with your content, post as much as you can.  But remember, if your engagement is low, just posting more won’t fix your problem. You need to understand what’s wrong with what you’re posting before you see improvement.

Due to restrictions with Instagram’s API we have not yet included Instagram data, but given the importance of Instagram to fashionistas, we can’t wait to review this in the very near future so watch this space, this is the first of a number of blog posts from the Maybe* team comparing Topshop's social media performance to other retailers serving a similar target market .

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