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EDITORIAL ASOS, Zara and LoveHoney all tap into mobile to make headway

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ASOS goes from strength to strength, logging a cool 1 billion hits in the first half year, £4billion in net sales and 27% growth. The company is certainly doing something right – but what?

Part of its success lies in not only offering the things that its core customer base wants, but also how they want to buy them: and that means mobile.

It is in no small part down to the retailers excellent apps, image recognition and AR that it is doing so well. Forget the naysayers who fear it is overreaching itself, it is as bang on the money as a modern retailer can be.

Rather than shoe-horn an old business model into a new suit of clothes, ASOS – like Amazon – just does what it knows its users want it to do. Not high level personalisation per se, but more tapping into each shoppers desire to have easy access to the fashion they want.

And like Amazon, ASOS is becoming one of a very select few retail brands that are go-to sites for certain purchases. Amazon is the de facto shopping search engine for most things utilitarian; ASOS is the next port of call when looking for clothes with a twist of fashion. 1 billion hits that lead to £4billion of sales more or less points to it doing it right.

What is also interesting is that both Amazon and ASOS, which dominate online retail in two different ways, are both marketplaces.

Again, the ASOS figures are also telling us that not only do shoppers want a mobile-based experience, but that they like the choice of goods and range of prices offered by a marketplace. These numbers just go to show that the marketplace model may well be the dominant force in online and mobile retailing, whether brands and other retailers like it or not.

This is just one of the big shifts in retail that customers are forcing on the industry. This week we also see many of the others coming into play for the first time. Zara, for instance, has become the first mainline retailer to actively deploy ARin anger in its app, bringing its new season outfits to life in store and off-screen at home.

Meanwhile, adult entertainment company LoveHoney is delivering an unparalleled level of personalisationto make even the most shy and retiring of sexy people welcome to trying new things. Good vibes from personalisation, if you will.

And German bus company FlixBus has teamed up with Google Assistant to allow travellers to book bus tickets– and check the weather and timetables – all through Google home.

Singularly, all these things are remarkable only in that it shows that some retailers are trying new things. Taken together, however, and it shows that in just one week, things have shifted. Retailers of all shapes and sizes are starting to, some might say desperately, to try new things.

And they have to. In-store shopping may have had a little boost at Easter, but the overall trajectory is downwards. This sort of technology tie up is going to be ever more vital to injecting life into the old dog.

Calling all strikers

Forget the World Cup in Russia – this summer’s big soccer event is the sixth annual Ecommerce Cup. The new-look expanded event – now able to cater for up to 50 teams – is to be held on June 21 and this year Tamebay is joined by sister publications InternetRetailing and eDelivery to host the event.

The expansion comes after the cup was last year oversubscribed, with so many players the pre-match briefing had to be held on the pitch.

This year’s 2018 Ecommerce Cup will again be held in Shepherd’s Bush, and is now open for bookings, with places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to find out more and sign up.

IMAGE Yuri_B at Pixabay

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