The first quarter was an especially promotion-abundant period for pureplay UK-based online retailer Asos.
Blanket discounts of 20 per cent for Halloween and Asos’ five-day Black Friday period as well as 30 per cent off selected categories in the run up to Christmas drove sales growth of 52 per cent.
Asos’ promotions clearly resonated well with UK shoppers, as first quarter UK retail sales grew to an impressive £244 million. Asos should use the wealth of data it has on customers to offer customers tailored discounts on products they are likely to buy rather than blanket discounting.
Part of the reason behind the consistent Asos success is the way it successfully targets customers with creative email and social media marketing on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. The retailer also offers attractive delivery options such as Asos Premier, costing £9.95 for 12 months of unlimited next-day delivery; this encourages consumers to choose Asos over other online retailers over this period. Asos.com is regularly updated with new fashion ranges and featured brands such as 3INA and Young Bohemians, all of which encourage repeat spend and maintain customer loyalty which is vital over the peak trading period.
Asos is continually future-proofing the business, ensuring it can cope with increased demand as it expands globally. The strong growth in international sales, particularly in the US as a result of the weak pound, means Asos will have to keep up with order fulfilment as the retailer expands. This will be imperative as rival retailer boohoo.com seizes market share away from Asos (which stands at 6.6 per cent for the UK online clothing & footwear market in 2016) through its own global expansion.
The decision from CEO Nick Beighton in January 2017 not to raise prices should help Asos stay competitive in a busier-than-ever online fashion pureplay market.
- Sarah Johns is an analyst with Verdict Retail.