Friday, February 22, 2019

ASOS will turn it around after a tough year


Despite pre-tax profits falling to £46.9m in the year to 31st August, shares of the fashion e-tailer Asos have risen 18% as investors predict that the worst has passed. Now the online fashion giant is working on growing its fan base with a clear marketing strategy.

Asos is set to ramp up the use of personalisation on its site, and is thus on track to becoming one of the first mass market fashion retailers to fully customise the e-commerce experience.

Speaking on the benefits of personalisation, Daniel Hagos, client solutions manager at Emarsys, a digital marketing software firm, said:

“Personalisation is the way forward. Capture everything visitors do on websites. Analyse what they‘re browsing and the algorithms and then act in response with personalised content online and in banner advertisements, not just e-mails.”

Pure play retailer Amazon is a pioneer in using data to create a more streamlined online shopping channel. Its business model is based on additional recommendations which all retailers should consider making use of in order to increase engagement, brand loyalty and revenue.

Chief executive of Asos, Nick Robertson, wholly agrees with this going forward. He has noted a change in online shopping habits over recent years: as customers become choice rich and time poor, they seek “edited” versions of product ranges that reflect their preferences.

Speaking on a conference call to reporters last week, Robertson said:

“The novelty of browsing is starting to wane. Our customer base needs and wants inspiration.”

To satisfy those needs and wants, Asos has launched an “As Seen On Me” feature that allows consumers to share their purchases. Shoppers can also follow stylists who flag new products and front Asos.

The e-tailer has not long finished a six month trial of its loyalty scheme and is looking at ways to push it further. Sometime before the end of the year, Asos will also introduce recommendations and personalised product ideas based on previous browsing and shopping behaviour.

“If customers are converting more, shopping more frequently and buying more, they are more engaged with what we are doing. We are building customer loyalty” explains Robertson.

And so, Asos will soon add new local-language mobile apps for markets including Europe and China, launch a click-and-collect service and introduce zonal pricing. The retailer will also continue to work on its product range, expanding it with new brands like Jack Wills, Abercrombie & Fitch and Maybelline.

Robertson added “Wholesale is the new retail. It is no longer about opening new shops, the high street‘s biggest names want to be on board with us. That they run and operate their own websites is irrelevant. Multi-brand platforms like us are becoming the Westfields of the digital age.”