SEO & Fashion: 3 major differences between the UK and French markets

When it comes to Google searches for fashion in the UK and France, the weather doesn’t hold all the answers! Which items of clothing hit the top search spot in each country? Which sites rank best for these searches? Are there any French companies snapping up market share in the UK and vice versa?

Comparing fashion-related keywords for France and the UK tells us a lot about the kind of products in high demand in both countries. This provides valuable insights for e-shops hoping to set up on the other side of the Channel, so they can target the most popular products and adapt their offer.

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Overall volume of fashion searches

In terms of search volume, the Brits use Google to top up their wardrobes more often than the French with almost double the number of searches for each item of clothing (for the same size population).

Is this the result of the distance of shops or a strong mail ordering tradition? We know the level of internet use is 6.2% higher in the UK than France, but the difference for clothes searches is striking.

If we take a closer look, a lot of difference can be explained by the keyword “robe” (dresses). The gap is much smaller for keywords like “manteau” (coat). However, one thing is clear. If you’re thinking of launching in the UK, make sure you set up e-shop first, before thinking about bricks and mortar.

British women head out all dressed up; French women are all wrapped up

Image seo fashion volumes global

The keywords for dresses represent more than double their French counter parts. The French prefer a more generic alternative (vêtement/clothing) and clothes that keep you warm (manteau/coats), which seems to go against the countries respective climates.

Jumper dress or party dresses, that is the question!

image article seo fashion dressFrench women seem to have a far more sensible approach to getting dressed up: “robe de soirée longue” (long evening dress), “habillée” (dressy) (12k), “chic” (9k) and “robe pull” (jumper dress) (49k); while the Brits are in the mood to party – “party dresses” (110k) and “going out dresses” (40k). In France, “robe de fête” (party dress) only gets 3,600 searches per month.

4 things to bear in mind:

  • The Brits are bigger on black dresses than their French counterparts
  • Bodycon dresses and sequins are a big hit in the UK
  • “Red dresses” and “sexy dresses” are equally popular on both sides of the Channel
  • There are far more searches for “maxi dress” in the UK (165k) than France (74k)

Buying coats online: “doudounes” (down jackets) are big in France

article seo fashion image volumes excluding dress

If we exclude dresses, the top searches in France are for “vêtements femme” (women’s clothes), “manteau femme” (women’s coats) and, in 3rd place, “doudoune femme” (women’s down jacket).

The keyword “suit” hits the top spot in the UK, but the popularity of the series of the same name and one of its leading actresses, will undoubtedly have skewed the results.

British women tap “women coats” 20k less times than the French, even though the weather would suggest quite the opposite. The difference is even bigger for the “doudoune” with 90K monthly searches in France and only 15K for “down jacket” in the UK.

To sum up, the 3 main differences are:

  • A higher volume of fashion-related searches in the UK market
  • More searches for dresses, especially for going out, in the UK
  • Lots of searches for coats, particularly down jackets in France

Website rankings

Let’s now look at which sites rank highly for these keywords in the UK and France.

Women’s clothes & T-shirts

ranking clothes tshirts

For women’s clothes, the only French brand to make it to the top 3 is Jennifer. ASOS takes 2nd place in France behind Zalando. While, Boohoo, New Look and Matalan rank well in the UK.

ASOS is strong on T-shirts in the UK, whereas specialists like Tunetoo and Monsieur Tshirt fare better in France and overtake generalist Kiabi.

Dresses

ranking dresses

Zalando, Boohoo and ASOS rank well in France, as do French brands Kiabi and Bonprix. Missguided takes 2nd place for “robe longue” (long dress).

British brands Debenhams et Pretty Little Thing aren’t very visible in France for the keyword “dress”.

A number of British and German brands have successfully found their place in the French market. But, the same can’t be said for French brands.

Coats

ranking coats

As for coats, La Redoute, Camaïeu and Galeries Lafayette all make the top 3 in France. While Mark & Spencer is No.5 for “women’s coat”.

Fashion top 3 ranking are dominated by the British and German brands in France; while French brands don’t quite reach the top in the UK. The wrong strategy? Ill-adapted offers? Whatever the reason, French brands are struggling to take market share from the Brits.

However, not all British brands are maximizing their potential in the French market e.g. Matalan, Debenhams and New Look. And, other British brands already present in the French market have plenty of room for improvement for specific keywords e.g. boohoo.com and misguided.

Do you agree, disagree or have another point of view to share? We’d love to hear from you!

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