ASOS have announced a new app enabling customers to search for clothing using photos from magazines or social media. The app is designed to show similar clothing styles to the ones depicted in the images, with 10% of its customers currently having access to the service. Other retailers offer similar services, including John Lewis and the shopping centre operator Hammerson which both use FindSimilar, an app developed by the tech company Cortexica that was spun out of Imperial College London in 2009.
Looking forward to see how well it takes off
Online fashion retailer ASOS has been crowned most reputable fashion retailer according to a list provided by UK Rep Trak.
The top three on the list also included Laura Ashley and Debenhams, with M&S in fourth place and Next in fifth place.
The Rep Trak works on a company’s ability to deliver on stakeholder expectations in seven key areas, which are products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.
Then the companies are scored from 0-100 based on overall reputation and divided as Excellent (80 and over), Strong (70-79), Average (60-69), Weak (40-59) or Poor (below 40).
Executive partner Kasper UIf Nielsen, at Reputation Institute, said: “It is intriguing that an online-only retailer has achieved a stronger reputation than the old high-street favourites. This not only reflects the shift in shopping habits of the UK general public, but it also underlines the point that you can build a high degree of trust, respect, and admiration without the face to face experience. With only one retailer breaking through the ‘excellent’ barrier, many within the sector need to do more to cement and build upon their reputations.”
The report comes less than 24 hours since Labour candidate Owen Smith called for a parliamentary inquiry into ASOS regarding their working conditions at the Barnsley warehouse.
During uni we had guest lecturer, John Hoerner, give a talk about his book and the retail industry, which I found really insightful and inspiring. He gave all listeners a copy of his book ‘How to Sell: Recipes for Retail which now uni is over, I would like to read.
Hoerner has been a main boss at many fashion retail brands including Harvey Nichols, Burtons, Tesco, Topshop to name a few. His talk was really intriguing as he discussed customers, employers, employees and head office staff, he even made comparisons between them to his dogs, horses and flying!
Interesting points Hoerner made included the fact that customer loyalty doesn’t exist, he believes it’s a myth. What exists is customer familiarity and satisfaction, the only thing customers would be loyal to would be family and friends products. I also like how Hoerner said that store visits should be unbusiness-like, you should forget everything you know on a store visit – be in a rush, act like youve never been there before, then you are a customer!
At the end there were questions and answers, I asked his opinion on why he believes Zara do so well as a business. Hoerner answered saying it was partly down to their analysis, as well as owning their factories and retail stores, causing lead times and critical path to run smoothly and in line with business needs.
Horner spent five years writing the book, which he said for every four pages it took one year to learn.
As one of ASOS’s goals is to offer the best digital experience to its customers, I found an article which spoke about ASOS’s collaboration with Wayra UK. The plan is for asos to look for innovative start-ups with technology to improve the asos experience.
From the article:
The main aim for the programme is to find smart technologies to accelerate the pace of innovation within the fashion technology space, making the customer experience easier, more enjoyable, and more personalised.
Asos is seeking to work with mature start-ups with a proven track record of developing technologies, products and services that complement the ASOS experience. As Asos has 80,000 products, 3,500 new items added every week and an average of 3.2 million visits daily, it wants to find meaningful solutions that allow customers to find the perfect item among its offer.
A select number of start-ups will receive direct investment, with access to dedicated acceleration services and office space within Wayra UK’s academy in Central London for a period of 8 months.
“Asos has always been known as a digital leader and this partnership will help us continue to serve the needs of our customers as they evolve. There are specific areas where we would like to accelerate innovation, but we are also excited to hear what ideas come back from the start-ups themselves. The potential here, for Asos, our customers and the companies we end up working with, is huge and Wayra UK is the perfect partner to work with on this search,” said Cliff Cohen, Asos CIO.
“Innovative start-ups like RotaGeek, which enabled O2 to reinvest £2.5M in customer experience with its smart scheduling system and Qudini, which is now the preferred queue management system for Telefónica across 21 countries, are great proof-points as to how we can help Asos disrupt the fashion retail space and internationalise the propositions our start-ups are developing,” said Bridget Lea, Retail Director, Telefónica UK.
Teaming up with tech start-ups is becoming increasingly ubiquitous among UK fashion brands – Topshop just announced the five finalists for its collaboration with Decoded Fashion, which also looks for start-ups that can enhance the shopping experience for its customers.
I’ve found myself more recently looking at Boohoo’s website more often and ordered my first purchase the other day – a khaki bomber. I then received my daily drapers email saying that the etailer’s revenue has increased by 40% to £195.3m. I thought about what they were doing so right and found the article an interesting read. They now have more than 4 million active customers and launched apps for the UK, US and Australia.
Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint CEOs, commented: “We are pleased to report a year of strong revenue growth across all geographic regions. Active customer numbers, order frequency and conversion have all increased on last year as we continue to invest in building customer lifetime value. By refining the mix of promotional and marketing expenditure in each of our key markets, we have achieved growth ahead of our plans.”
Boohoo have expanded their product range, which has been well received by customers and have added a petite range and plus-size range. These both continue to grow. Their mobile experience has also been enhanced, introducing more flexible delivery and return options and later next day delivery cut off times.
I look forward to seeing how Boohoo continue to strive in the e-tail world and compete against their ever increasing competitors.
I read an article from Drapers about how Inditex produce over 1 billion garments a year! The article speaks about Radio Frequency Identification to find out every garments whereabouts. Read the article here: http://uk.fashionmag.com/news/Inditex-controls-the-whereabouts-of-more-than-1-billion-garments,669269.html#utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email
I am always fascinated to hear about Zara’s actions and plans, being such as innovative brand, they never cease to amaze me with their innovations.
Whilst undertaking market research as part of my uni course, I looked at this collection by Osklen Praia and fell in love. The use of the colour in the bottom two designs I thought was amazing. There is an iridescent feel to it and use of harmonious and complementary tones which makes it perfect for high summer. Having looked into WGSN’s Encounter Culture trend, this collection ties in well and has given me an instrumental influence for my design work.
see the collection: http://nowfashion.com/osklen-praia-ready-to-wear-spring-summer-2015-rio-de-janeiro-8099?photo=408847