Ted Baker is one of the UK’s most popular lifestyle brands with a 2015/16 revenue of £456 million. As well as quirky stores and a no advertising policy Ted Baker boasts a robust online presence accompanied by separate periodic digital media strategies executed by Poke. At a basic level Ted Baker has social media profiles across all major social media services. Across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter the company has a combined following of just under a million people (527k Facebook, 85k Twitter, 330k Instagram).
There are several articles across the internet that praise Ted Baker for its online engagement and this is not a new practice for the company. In 2013 many companies were still getting to grips with social media yet Ted Baker was already receiving praise for its own use of the technology. Since then, the companies skill with the internet has only improved.
Online sales meanwhile have reflected Ted Bakers adeptness having increased by almost 50% since the beginning of 2015.
However, is this the result of Ted Bakers savvy use of social media strategy or a simple byproduct of the companies oldest and most faithful friend. Word of mouth? The value of internet shopping in the UK increased by 15% last year and clearly Ted Baker customers are part of that trend. Yet not all statistics support that this is related to any dedicated strategy. Statistics derived from similarweb.com tell a different story.
Whilst it is not surprising that the majority of referrals are direct or via search engines, it is telling that such a tiny amount come through from social media or email links. Just 2.37% from the former and 0.76% from the latter. This makes it especially difficult to see whether or not such effort on social media actually makes the transition to sales. Another factor worth considering is a social media campaign run by Ted Baker for Valentines day.
This involved a slot machine style game and was promoted across social media where users had to share for more chances at winning that day. On the surface this game was successful totting up 10,000 engagements in the first 24 hours. Yet in the three month period upon which the above graph is focused, traffic from social media has remained proportionately low at about 37,000 a month (2.37%). This all points towards certainly a lack of quantifiable results but more importantly any sign that these social media campaigns make any difference whatsoever.
It is at this point worth noting, that I am an employee of Ted Baker. Working within one of their stores and so, whilst I am unable to back up certain observations. I feel they are still worth pointing out. The majority of customers within Menswear at Ted Baker, are men above the age of thirty. A younger demographic does shop with the brand but not in such numbers, despite a generous student discount.
To conclude, whilst Ted Baker offer one of the most robust digital engagement strategies of any retail brand in the UK, it remains impossible to tell whether these efforts are leading to the increase in online sales or whether that is simply down to current consumer trends.