Kill Zara – The Advantage that Apple Search Ads Brings to SheIn

AppBi 2019-01-04 洞察 1660

SheIn is one of the most successful cross-border ecommerce companies. Though it is a Chinese spanand and most clothing are made in China, the target audiences are Millennials in Europe, America, and other markets. Many customers prefer to compare SheIn and Zara, which is a famous cross-border ecommerce company in Spain.  


As an independent fast fashion retailer, Zara has established the reputation around the world since the first store opened in 1975. On the other hand, SheIn was founded in 2008. Now, they both launched mobile apps in App Store. But their development strategies are very different.  

Ecommerce is absolutely one of the most important innovations in digital era. It not only provides a platform for customers to purchase anything they need, but also helps lots of spanands and retailers to reach oceans of potential audiences. As ecommerce progresses, now we can see many variants, such as mobile commerce, social commerce, and more. In fact, some retailers have realized that it is the time to move beyond the marketplace.

It cannot be denied that marketplace platforms, such as Amazon and Wish, are a good way for cross-border ecommerce spanands to increase sales with lower cost. But it also means you have to follow the rules of third-party platforms. That is why some cross-border retailers, such as SheIn and Zara, launch their own website and mobile app.

In order to help cross-border retailers to survive and progress, AppBi analyzes the development strategies of SheIn and Zara.

SheIn and Zara are both fast fashion spanand, but they are very different

Zara was founded in 1975 and started international expansion in 1988. The website was established in 2010. And now customers are able to purchase apparels in Zara’s mobile app. As a fast fashion spanand, Zara only needs one week to develop a new product and release it to stores. Reportedly, Zara launches nearly 12000 new products each year. However, it has a policy of zero advertising.

Compared Zara, SheIn is apparently pretty young. It was founded in China 2008. As one of the largest cross-border retailer, SheIn sales clothing to over 200 countries, including USA, United Kingdom, France, and more. 2018 is a milestone for SheIn since its sales is predicted to reach $10 billion. 


According to AppBi’s data, SheIn has entered the top then list of App Store in over 40 countries and regions. That generates hundreds of millions of downloads. AppBi’s latest data indicates that the download of SheIn app in USA-based App Store increased rapidly since April 2018. Now, there are more than 10k downloads every day. In contrast, Zara’s iOS App only obtains less than 2k downloads daily.


We also take a close look at the status in Great Britain. Though SheIn’s iOS app just obtains 2k to 3k downloads per day, it is more than three times of downloads of Zara’s app.

Why SheIn can catch up Zara in short time?

When analyzing the development strategies, we notice three reasons that SheIn grew rapidly in 2018. First of all, it targets the fast fashion market and attracts female Millennials around the world.


Secondly, SheIn focuses on word of mouth marketing. Unlike Zara, which keeps away modern marketing technologies, SheIn co-works with influencers and bloggers on social media. 


Thirdly, SheIn utilizes the latest marketing tools, such as Apple Search Ads. As mentioned previously, the amount of SheIn customers and sales doubled respectively in 2018. That enabled SheIn to achieve the goal of catching up with Zara. Mobile channel is biggest contributor and Apple Search Ads is an important driver. 

Advantages that Apple Search Ads spanings to SheIn

A few facts that highlight the importance of Apple Search Ads:

70% of iDevice users rely on the search feature in App Store to discover new apps;

65% of downloads are contributed directly by App Store search feature;

The average conversion rate of Apple Search Ads is 50%, which is much higher than other search engines.

When a customer opens the App Store and enters a word, a result screen will show up. A single ad will appear on the result screen, which is based on relevance than on bid amounts.

For instance, a potential customer searched “women’s dress” and a retailer bid on an ad for the result, the app will appear on the top. 


In order to display the performance of Apple Search Ads, we also collect the average search volume. In USA-based App Store, the search volumes of SheIn and Zara are very close. The former is a bit higher than the later. The trend in Great Britain-based App Store is similar. 


It means that SheIn’s iOS app generates much more downloads based on the similar search volume. That is partly because SheIn has invested Apple Search Ads, while Zara insists on zero advertising.

However, placing as the top result in App Store search depends on relevance, followed by the bid amount. In another word, if you cannot find the right keywords, your budget will be waste. From this point, we recommend emerging spanands to find a professional partner, such as AppBi.

About AppBi

AppBi is a professional data analysis agency specializing in Apple Search Ads and industry insights. We utilize AI technology and BI platforms to help developers and spanands to use marketing budget efficiently.


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