‘NEXT plc’ is a UK based retailer which offers, in their own words: ‘exciting, beautifully designed, excellent quality fashion accessories for men, women and children together with a full range of home ware products’. Focusing on the fashion retail market sector in which NEXT plc compete in, they face competition from other large scale retailers in a market which is fairly saturated and quite volatile. As a result, NEXT’s strategy to offer clothing lines which boast a contemporary fashion edge at great value for money, as well as offering efficient and convenient approaches to buying for the customer, set them apart from most of their competitors.
It was in 2012 when NEXT plc overtook Marks and Spencer Group plc as the largest clothing retailer in the UK. Besides Marks and Spencer Group plc, some of their closest competitors include New Look Group plc, Macintosh Retail Group NV and River Island Clothing Co. Limited. However, NEXT plc also face fierce competition from other large e-commerce based fashion retailers. According to digital marketing agency Greenlight's latest Fashion Retail Sector Report, the fashion retailer with the most visible fashion site for menswear, womenswear and accessories is ASOS (realbusiness, 2013). It identified that ASOS, the online fashion store, was visible to over 1.7 million searches and achieved a 61 per cent share of voice. This compared to NEXT’s online site which was found to hold a 29% share of voice.
NEXT’s marketing strategy underlies the objective to be the natural choice retailer in the UK for fashion aware men and women who expect style, distinction and quality from their clothing, at good value for money. It was in 1988 when NEXT plc launched their mail order operation NEXT Directory, which created the blueprint for catalogue retailing. Later, when online shopping was introduced in 1999, the NEXT Directory became available to shop online and this brought about a whole host of digital marketing strategies for NEXT; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Blogs, Pinterest make up their social media blueprint. The main purpose of these digital marketing tools is to conveniently connect directly to their customers and help build awareness of the brand and new product lines. From online look books to email newsletters, Next fashion do everything they can to stay ahead of their competitors, and certainly the most prolific and definitive of all marketing strategies has to be their next day delivery options for online orders before 10pm. This strategic move to provide great customer service and convenience has seen a significant rise in online sales since it was implemented, and continues to grow an ever-adapting online market.
Next uses Google…