When ASOS revealed their Year On Year sales for August 2017 the results exceeded expectations, especially in today’s market amid fears of a consumer slump. So how did ASOS beat the odds and produce a 27% revenue increase in just one year?
Journey to success
The brand has come a long way since it was registered in 1999, going live for the first time in 2000. Conceived on the genius idea of finding clothes seen on celebrities ‘AsSeenOnsSreen’ was created, since then it has coined the acronym ASOS and developed into an innovative global brand.
ASOS runs on the format of mixing their own brand clothes along with highstreet and designer brands, providing customers with more than enough options – 5,000 new options each week to be precise. Currently, two-fifths of their sales are own-brand showing that ASOS has succeeded its initial concept to provide a platform to find other brands. In fact, ASOS has achieved more than most businesses could even dream, and their Year On Year sales are proof of that. The fashion retailer’s “group revenue rose by 27% to £1.9 billion in the year to August 31, while UK sales in the period rose by 16% to £698.2 million”, incredible figures that have left everyone wondering what the secret to their success is. (Source 1)
ASOS’s winning formula
ASOS’s success is not down to luck, and is something they have forged through time and technique. The company themselves credit their approach to engaging with customers as one of the driving forces behind this sales growth, by deciding to invest in “customer experience” and “customer proposition” ASOS have made a commitment to perfecting the shopping experience for their customers. (Source 2)
Despite being simplistic in comparison to other marketing campaigns this approach goes a long way, by putting the customer first you are validating their trust in you and in turn benefitting the brand reputation. ASOS aren’t the only company using this stripped back approach, but they are undoubtedly one of the most successful at it.
That’s not to say this is the only strategy they have – because it certainly isn’t. In the modern world no company can succeed without a digital marketing strategy and ASOS is no regular company. CEO Nick Beighton recently spoke about the company’s plan to refocus their marketing efforts from email to social, both free and paid. With currently over 20 million social media followers over a range of platforms, this approach couldn’t be more appropriate with an abundance of people waiting to engage and interact with ASOS. Whilst email is still proficient in its effectiveness, ASOS is renowned for being youthful and creative, idealistic for social media channels such as Instagram.
The retailer has already had immense success with digital marketing strategies, such as the #AsSeenOnMe campaign which launched in 2015. The campaign has now become a core component of the company, encouraging customers to share their brand experience with others by posting a picture wearing their ASOS product with the hashtag, the post then visible on the website page. This has been fundamental in building a community amongst ASOS customers, by allowing audiences to interact with each other it has “created a peer-to-peer stylists”. This feature helps to position ASOS as not just a retailer but a trusted source customers use for recommendations and inspiration. (Source 3)
What’s next for ASOS
In the midst of ASOS’s success it seems precedent to be thinking about improvement, but the brand is already preparing for further development. By 2018 sales are expected to grow another 25-30%, and with the companies track record I don’t doubt they’ll meet that.
One of their latest innovations was to introduce visual searching, allowing customers to find items using photos they take with their smartphone. Not stopping there, ASOS are investing in AI technology, in the form of a virtual assistant in production. The assistant Ava, still in testing, will be used to give “customers greater confidence in the sizes of its products” and improve the buying experience. (Source 4)
It’s innovations like these, when paired with ASOS’s focus on customer experience that result in mass brand growth; with no sign of slowing down ASOS are fast on their way to reaching global domination of the digital realm.