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Data Snack

How Shein Broke Away from the Competition

July 5, 2022
January 18, 2022
Mae Rice

Fast fashion retailer Shein outpaces top competitors like Zara, H&M and ASOS — in terms of search traffic, at least. Here are three ways Shein wins at search.

Table of Contents

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There are a lot of fast-fashion retailers — but in 2020, Shein broke away from the pack. 

The only fashion site that gets more traffic than Shein is Nike, according to SimilarWeb — and Nike’s not really fast fashion. (Though it’s for fast people!)

Starting in 2020, Shein also saw waaaay more search than its competition.

Source: Google Trends

Why? 

Shein built a strong SEO foundation.

Shein founder Chris Xu started his career in SEO, Vox reports — and it shows.

In August of 2021, 40% of Shein’s website’s visitors arrived via search, Rest of World reports. Meanwhile, search only drives 4% of Zara’s traffic. 

It saturated social.

Shein’s bargain basement prices (like… $4 for a shirt) lend themselves to unpaid haul videos, and Shein runs plenty of paid social and influencer campaigns, too.

They even streamed a branded reality show, the #SheinX100KChallenge —   judged by Khloé Kardashian — on social. 

Its shopping app is wildly popular. 

Some people searching “Shein” are probably looking for its app, which was downloaded 500K+ times per day early last year. 

Gamified touches make it so “addictive” that in May 2021, it actually overtook Amazon as the most popular free shopping app

Our takeaway?

The top of Shein’s funnel overfloweth, thanks to a mix of SEO, social, and its mobile app — and other fast-fashion retailers (and their apps!) are struggling to compete.

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is editor in chief at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she loves learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture.

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