Shein Case Study

Shein is a fast-fashion brand worth paying attention to if you are interested in cross-border e-commerce. Started with women’s clothing, Shein expands its product lines to men, kid, plus size, home & living, beauty. Learn more about Shein’s business model and marketing strategy from the post.

Is Shein a legit company?

shein page

From Google search, we can know customers are interested in know what Shein does? But the company does not offer much information on the About Shein page at shein.com.

In fact, Shein is a Chinese company and the official website is https://www.sheincorp.cn/. You can check its LinkedIn information.

The company name changes from “南京领添信息技术有限公司” to “南京希音电子商务有限公司”. The website also changes from sheinside.com to shein.com.

Shein is a successful case when talking about the Chinese company going to the west and ranks 14th on the BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2019  published by Kantar and WPP in partnership with Google.

Shein works with supplies on women/men fashion, beauty, home, and accessory and now targets Europe, America, Australia, and the Middle East and on-trend styles catering to both young women and teens. Its advantages include supply chain management, branding, and customer service. That is why SheIn cracked the Gen Z online fashion market.

shein company

What do customers care about Shein?

According to Google trends related queries, we can conclude that

  • People search for shin coupon often such as Shein coupon, Shein coupon code, Shein promo code
  • Shein competitor include Romwe, forever21, Zaful
  • People want to know about Shein company, shipping information
  • Reviews search can not only reflect the product preference but also influencer marketing tactics
  • Shein bikini, dress, plus size/curve are popular categories

(Note: Shein bought Romwe in 2014 and bought MAKEMECHIC in 2015. Zaful is also a Chinese brand belonging to Globalegrow E-commerce.)

shein google trends

Shein Website Traffic

Shein has a large amount of traffic, making it outstanding among Chinese online stores.

shein traffic 2

The monthly visits reach 62.1 M and the data over the last several months is stable. In terms of traffic sources, display ads are relatively larger for branding.

shein traffic

It seems that Shein buys a lot of traffic from ad networks even including PopAds, which causes adult content in Audience Interests.

shein display networks

That may explain why Shein does well in traffic growth but the quality and branding safety are at risk at the same time.

shein adult traffic

Based on SEMrush data, the paid search traffic outnumbers organic traffic and reaches to 3M. Compared with Shein, H&M’s organic search traffic is 9.3M, and paid search traffic is only 114.2K. Generally, we should doubt the quality of Shein website traffic.

shein traffic paid

Shein Affiliate Marketing

Shein has dozens of affiliate programs on several affiliate networks including Awin, ShareASale, Pepperjam, Admitad, and more. Its own in-house affiliate program is more about fashion influencers and has a fashion blogger program as well. CJ, ShareASale, and Pepperjam programs are managed by OPM Snow Consulting.

Affiliate Network Commission ID
ShareASale 10% 39236
Admitad 10% 15855
CJ 10% 3773223
Pepperjam 10% 7233
Awin 10% 15920
Involve Asia/Indoleads/…

If we compare several fashion brands’ last 30-day performance on ShareASale, it is not hard to find that Shein works well within 100 Power Rank and high EPC although the 10% commission is not that attractive for affiliates.

For clothing/apparel online shopping stores blow, the average conversion rate is about 1.7 and the average sales amount is $68.

shein sharesale affiliate program

Besides the website, Shein also has its app. On Google Play store, it gets 1M+ downloads and 1.19M votes.

If you want to join the Shein affiliate program no matter in third party affiliate networks or inhouse, and influencer programs, read its term and agreement first and then apply and wait for the approval.

Shein Social Marketing

Social marketing and influencer marketing become a hit when social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Tiktok attract users and occupy their time. Social media is often used to increase brand awareness and drive engagement and lift sales eventually.

Shein’s success comes partly from effectively leveraging influencers in social media marketing campaigns. The company runs different accounts for different countries and product categories on Instagram. Shein Offical, Shein_ar, Shein_in, Shein_russia, and Shein_mex get 1M+followers, which is really amazing. Shein usually works with local influencers and promote its products.

shein social media marketing

Shein also gets a lot of followers on its Facebook page and twitter. Performance varies from different social networks. But how to keep brand consistent is a question. For Shein, selling is its goal basically.

Followers Twitter Facebook
SHEIN_official 116.4K 15,302,054
SHEIN_AR 142.7K 646,738
SheinIndia 447 3,155,626

Shein also participates in activities during the COVID-19 period and Black Lives Matters. In May, Shein held a four-hour online event for Covid-19 relief called “Shein Together” that featured artists Katy Perry and Rita Ora.

Shein also faces the PR crisis. The company has apologized for selling a “metal swastika pendant necklace” after online shoppers and social media users called for a boycott of the fast-fashion brand for promoting anti-Semitic Nazi paraphernalia.

Before this, Shein also comes under fire for selling rugs resembling Muslim prayer mats with descriptions like “fringe trim carpet.”

Learn more about the brand issue:

  • https://nypost.com/2020/07/09/retailer-shein-slammed-for-selling-swastika-necklace
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-53308549

Shein Business in India

Shein is one of 59 Chinese apps banned by the Indian government on national security grounds. Shein decided to pause orders from India from 7.11. The Indian website www.shein.in is not accessible except for the notice.

Conclusion

Shein can be treated as a good example of Chinese brands. We talk about its website traffic, affiliate marketing, social marketing. I hope it can be helpful for small business owners who run Shopify stores or affiliate marketers who choose clothing and accessories as a niche.

With many online fashion stores occurring saying that they are at a factory price with high quality, it is a serious question for merchants where is the real USP (unique selling proposition) is?

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