University of Southampton Winchester School of Art
Digital Fashion Marketing Report Evaluation of Digital Operations & Customer Experience
Written by - Mengxuan Zhang Degree of Study â€“ BA Fashion Marketing
1. Evaluation of Digital Operations & Customer Experience
Evaluation of Digital Operations & Customer Experience
In this part of the report, the shopping experience and shopping quality among brands include Asos, Burberry, Debenhams and Very are researched and evaluated in the following diagrams. A 1-5 score system is used to rate these criteria, 5 being the highest.
1.3 Debenhams 2. ASOS Digital Marketing Review
2.21 Customer acquisition and conversion through offering the best shopping experience
2.22 Global expansion
2.1 Introduction 2.2 The Growth Strategy
2.3 Customer experience strategic initiatives 4. Bibliography
3. The ASOS Dressing Room App
Diagram 1.1- Overall positioning map
2.31 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) --From ‘The Online Fashion Store’ to ‘Discover Fashion Online’ 2.32 Service Marketing 2.33 Viral Marketing and Direct Marketing
5.1 Research of Evaluating shopping experience and shopping quality 5.11 Asos 5.12 Burberry 5.13 Debenhams 5.14 Very 5.2 ASOS SWOT Analysis
Diagram 1.2- Evaluation of shopping Experience
Diagram 1.3- Evaluation of shopping Quality
Asos is considered one of the leading online clothes retailers. The well designed website engages customers, providing great online shopping experience. The wide product range, detailed descriptions and quality photographs allow users to quickly find the items they want. The worldwide free delivery strategy helped Asos stand out in the UK market, setting it as a global fashion retailer. Asos delivery is always speedy within the UK, and the company allows UK customers to buy a 1 year unlimited next day delivery for £9.99. However, some international users may be daunted by the thought of purchasing goods through international shipping. For example, the shipping time to the Russian Federation takes an estimated 20 working days and express delivery is not available. Additionally, international express shipping charges are typically €20, which is high in relation to their product price point, however, international users can get free express shipping if their purchase is over $120. Lastly, almost all general payment types are accepted, which gives convenience to international shoppers. Nevertheless, ASOS adopts simple wrapping paper with plastic bag or paperboard box packaging for cost saving, which can possibly be improved by leapfrogging sales.
Diagram 1.11-Asos evaluation of shopping experience Diagram 1.4 – specific scale illustration
and shopping quality
Diagram 1.12- Asos delivery time and charge
Burberryâ€™s official online store is a successful example for luxury brands. The site design and product photographs are eye-catching. Their impressive live chat and call back services offer users superior convenience that contributes to an excellent online shopping experience. However, the font size of the site is small and the font colour is similar to the background colour, which might cause a difficulty for users when browsing in dim light. Additionally, the sales products are not advertised on the site, even during Christmas. The quality of shopping at Burberry.com is the highest among the four brands considered, since they offer efficient delivery for UK customers as well as affordable shipping prices for global shoppers. The average standard shipping cost for international customers is â‚Ź15.00, which is a competitive price among luxury online stores, and delivery time is estimated at 3 to 6 working days. The lovely packaging and paperwork match their product prices and present the goods with the luxury brand image. The major card types accepted by the online store include American express, Visa and MasterCard.
Diagram 1.21- Burberry delivery time and charge
Diagram 1.22-Burberry evaluation of shopping experience and shopping quality
A clean and concise webpage has plenty of white space and creates a comfortable atmosphere for the Debenhams official website. It is good for browsing since a large variety of choice is provided, though the homepage could be improved by reducing some sales promotions to make the site more elegant. A major complaint, according to customer reviews, is that customer service is not as high quality as its products, with the central issue being late response time. Another frequent complaint is that customers are told an ordered item is out of stock after their purchase is completed, which reflects inaccurate stock information on the site. The policy of ‘Free UK delivery on orders over £50.00’ likely helps to boost sales, and the normal shipping price of £3.99 is reasonable for shipping in 2 to 4 working days. The international shipping charge is similar to that of Burberry, but Debenhams takes much longer to ship overseas. In addition to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Delta/ Connect and Maestro cards, there are also 4 types of Debenhams store/gift cards that can be used for a payment.
Diagram 1.31-Debenhams evaluation of shopping experience and shopping quality
Diagram 1.32- Debenhams delivery time and charge
Diagram 1.41-Very evaluation of shopping experience and shopping quality
Very.co.uk has a look book-style homepage with vibrant colours, fine product campaigns and pictures of celebrity looks. The social component of the site contains exciting sections like ‘As Seen on TV’ and celebrity collections that feature fashion-related videos, celebrity fashion inspiration etc. Their product review function not only allows customers to rate and comment on products, but also list key words of pros and cons. However, there is not enough content on the homepage, and customers are limited in how far they can scroll. The homepage side menu is not appealing, and the drop down menu comes out slowly when the user hovers the mouse over the top navigation bar. The shopping quality at Very is impressive, except the tiresome sign in process at checkout. The company offers next day delivery and collection+ services on most products, and the majority of small items are classified as free delivery, though this does not apply to international shoppers. The packaging is similar to that of Asos. Very supports a variety of payment methods that includes monthly payment with no interest and ‘Buy Now Pay Later’. Payment can also be made by Very Credit, major debit and credit cards, bank transfer, and cheques via post. Customers can set up direct debit to their Very account. Diagram 1.42- Very delivery time and charge
ASOS Digital Marketing Review The company is based in Camden Town in North London, and its name ASOS originally stood for As Seen on Screen. With the Online Selling Proposition (OSP) of â€˜global online fashion destinationâ€™, ASOS globally target individuals aged 16-34 who love fashion and have strong personal styles. It offers 1,000 third party brands and stocks over 50,000 branded and own label product lines, which are all featured on its website within departments of womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and beauty. ASOS currently operates UK, USA, German, French, Australian, Italian and Spanish sites, and mobile and tablet site/ apps of its online store and magazine are available for each.
There are numerous types of growth strategies, such as strategies for external growth and organic growth (Nieman, Pretorius, 2004). The former is a method of external growth via business acquisition or merging. On the other hand, ASOS has grown organically, through increasing its product categories and brands, as well as through market expansion. It has grown rapidly from a small scale British company into a leading global online fashion retailer, in only a few years. The success is largely derived from its innovative spirit, accurate communication strategies, and service oriented sites, such as the Marketplace and Fashion Finder. These factors support customer acquisition, as well as building positive new customer propositions.
2.2 The Growth Strategy
2.21 Customer Acquisition and Conversion
2.22 Global Expansion
Through Offering The Best Shopping Experience
"It is very simple" says Rob Bready, product and trading director at ASOS, when asked what he thinks the key to the company's success is, "the site is beautiful, it's easy to use, and delivery is free" (Bergin, 2011).
The achievements of ASOS closely link to the pleasurable shopping experience it provided. There are 8.0 million users registered on ASOS, 4.4 million of whom are defined as active customers, which shows the high customer conversion rate of ASOS. With approximately 17.5 million users visiting the site every month, ASOS is the second most visited fashion website globally for users aged between 15 and 34 (comScore, 2012).
The customer conversion theory is also adopted in its global expansion. The World Free Shipping strategy help ASOS gained wider customer base which intend to make more profits for ASOS. The company’s sales grew from £32.2m (2008/09) to £287.5m (2011/12) over three years; 69% of its sales came from international customers (ASOS Annual Report). The significant delivery and return convenience, and the free shipping policy are vital factors boosting its international growth. It also accepts many different foreign currencies. The straightforward check-out process and various payment methods also contribute to its excellent shopping quality. However, product packaging could be improved, in terms of distinctiveness and design. Its standard delivery time would have to be shorten, which is considered to be inefficient when compared to other similar online retailers. ‘We now have over 1,000,000 visitors a day and during March 2012, 69% of visits to ASOS were international.’ Jon Kamaluddin, International Director (ASOS Annual report, 2012)
2.3 Customer Experience Strategic Initiatives 2.31 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ---From ‘The Online Fashion Store’ to ‘Discover Fashion Online’ The domain name Asos.com is a positive start for the online store. The website design is urban and fits the taste of its target customers. The mega navigation provides concise directions to customers and the eye-catching banners and campaigns featured on the landing page deliver the newest fashion trends to viewers. One of the competitive advantages of ASOS is their ‘Fashion Edits’ sections, within the product categories. The segments such as ‘daily edit’ or ‘upgrade your look’ offer selective fashion pieces to inspire and excite customers. The Green Room section offers brands and collections dedicated to organic and eco-friendly products. Moreover, there are multi angled, highresolution pictures, live catwalk shows, and detailed descriptions for each item, and users can utilise the ‘Fit Visualiser’ tool to find a suitable size. Their sales promotions could serve as a good example for many e-marketers. They have outlet departments that offer year round discount items and students are offered a 10% discount off all products. Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and customers receive a response within approximately four hours. However, investigation revealed that, at times, the search function cannot identify the newest products. Moreover, ASOS has a message/e-mail only customer service link on its website; its telephone number is not available. At times, customers receive a delayed response via E-mails.
ASOS would not have grown so significantly without the development of digital communication and service marketing, which successfully strengthened its competitive advantages, as well as contributing to its brand equity and maximizing the opportunities of cross selling. ASOS positioned itself as the ‘best friend’ of customers. It enhanced its customer base and built customer relationships through helping, informing, persuading, and reminding them, using a variety of different communication channels and supplementary websites. ASOS changed its slogan from ‘The Online Fashion Store’ to ‘Discover Fashion Online’, and established the Market Place and Fashion Finder, capturing the preferences of its target group, who appreciate technology, utilising it to share and contribute, and are likely to take inspiration online from celebrities or via social media.
Asos Meets Cassie
Within its Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), the ASOS fashion blog is one of the companyâ€™s most important engagements. It supports the companyâ€™s growth, by increasing word of mouth recommendations, as well as by viral influence. Viewers can easily access the blog from the top navigation bar on the main website and then browse or share the latest fashion news and trends, as well as fashion-related celebrity news.
2.32 Service Marketing
In 2010, the company established the Marketplace, where users have an opportunity to recycle and sell their second hand or unused articles to other potential customers. In addition, it offers opportunities for certain small fashion boutiques to reach a wide range of customers from all around the world. In addition, there is a community that broadcasts news about the Marketplace on, for example, the fashion blogs of boutique sellers. Fashion Finder is another supplementary website run by ASOS, which engages customers in creating and sharing their own looks. Fashion enthusiasts post their fashion styles with the retail links to their outfits, while other users can purchase these products or simply showcase the looks on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus.
Moreover, the development of the ASOS magazine is one of its major strategic initiatives, as well as a crucial driving force in upgrading ASOS from a simple online shop to a fashion destination. It features fashion news, practical style advice, and celebrity interviews to appeal to and stimulate young shoppers. Currently, ASOSâ€™s monthly magazine has increased to 116 pages and is issued in a glossy hard copy format. The interactive magazine, based on iPad and Android applications, was developed in 2011. It is reported that the magazine has an average response rate of 9%, which is higher than average for this type of promotion. 60% of magazine viewers would share their hard copy with at least two other people (The Times 100).
2.33 Viral Marketing and Direct Marketing
and a selection of products on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts, stimulating a wide range of audiences to forward the links to their friends. The company has also signed up for a Youtube account, through which customers can watch and share its catwalk shows, video look books, film ads, etc.
ASOS widens its businesses through viral marketing in many different ways. Its service-oriented sites and fashion magazine have resulted in significant recommendations of word-of-mouth and viral influence. Research demonstrates that 15% of its site visitors are sourced from friends or family recommendations. Customers can recommend products or suggest web pages directly to their social network friends, via ASOS.com. Although ASOS closed its Facebook store in 2011, it did not stop using viral marketing to broadcast its article on various social network platforms. ASOS posts fashion news
The Dressing Room app is developed for tablets users on a very interactive basis. In the digital dressing room, customers can easily mix and match products to build outfits by horizontally swipe them. It allows users to purchase a single product or the entire look. Users can also save their styles for later or share it on ASOS Style Library, which is a tablet version of ASOS Fashion Finder. In addition, users are able to either share their own styles or popular looks from style library via any social networks.
3. The ASOS Dressing Room App
The Internet is considered to be the most fertile ground for direct marketing. ASOS has made the most of this type of promotion over the last few years. It has an e-mail system that sends newsletters twice a week to approximately 2 million customers, who have agreed to receive it. Its newsletters differ from typical newsletters, which simply illustrate newly arrived or sale products. Its e-mail alerts are always designed to be exclusive flash games that offer items to interested recipients, either to purchase or to forward to others.
4. Bibliography 1.
Anonymous, 2012. ASOS plc 2012 Annual Report. Asos.com, [Online]. Available at: http://asos. annualreport2012.com/our-business/welcome-to-asos [Accessed 12 March 2013].
Bergin, O, 2011. Why no one can compete with ASOS. Telegraph.co.uk, [Online]. Available at: http:// fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG8269699/Why-no-one-can-compete-with-ASOS.html [Accessed 01 March 2013].
Cor Molenaar, 2011. e-Marketing: Applications of Information Technology and the Internet within Marketing. Edition. Routledge.
Dave Chaffey, 2012. Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation & Practice. 5 Ill Edition. Pearson Education.
Godfrey Parkin, 2009. Digital Marketing: Strategies for Online Success. 1 Edition. New Holland.
Lisa Harris, 2007. Marketing the e-Business (Routledge eBusiness). 2 Edition. Routledge.
Suzanne Fernie, 2003. Principles of Retailing. Edition. Routledge.
Theo J. van Dijk, 2007. The Entrepreneur's Guide to Managing Growth and Handling Crises. Edition. Praeger.
The Times 100. 2010. ASOS.COM Business Case studies. [ONLINE] Available at: http:// businesscasestudies.co.uk/asos-com/#axzz2NXxI0Oov. [Accessed 05 March 13].