The Fashion Enthusiast category saw growth in December across all market share metrics: unique visitors, visits, page views, total time spent, and attention. In addition to impressive monthly growth, yearly change in unique visitors saw a boost of 66.35%. So what is driving this growth in digital fashion? My initial guess was the increased popularity of ugly Christmas sweaters, but after reviewing the Compete PRO data, a few other possibilities stuck out.
One source of growth could be a recent push from fashion periodicals. December fast movers consisted of massive fashion editorials, vanityfair.com (#2 in rank), esquire.com (#4), elle.com (#5), harpersbazaar.com (#8), and allure.com (#10). Considering the boosts to unique visitors M-O-M and Y-O-Y, perhaps consumers are responding to digital media strategies deployed by these print giants.
At the beginning of 2013, neither Vanity Fair, nor Esquire, nor Elle saw above 1 million unique visitors. Our data shows that by December 2014, unique visitors had grown to 4.3, 3.1, and 2.3 million respectively. These numbers show that the digital audience for the category is quickly rising and could further the notion that these magazines are embracing digital initiatives.
Other origins of growth could be social sharing. The greatest source of traffic for the Fashion Enthusiast category, both incoming and outgoing, was Facebook. Posting on the platform serves as an excellent source of exposure for fashion brands. These magazines have millions of Facebook likes, and the platform is generating traffic directly to the site, highlighting the opportunity for social media efforts to continue to drive online growth.
One other origin of growth to the Fashion Enthusiasts category could be the evolution of online shopping. A website like thefind.com (#3) has roughly 3,500,000 visitors, an increase of 21% from the previous month. This site offers consumers the ability to search the web for products in many categories, including fashion. Shopping online offers the consumer at-home convenience and, in many cases, a wider product selections.
The numbers tell us that digital is growing for the Fashion category. It is not so much a change in content that is driving the increase, but rather a variation in the delivery through digital platforms. As the months progress, we will monitor any growth and continue to identify industry trends.