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Panache December 2012 Issue 106

“In just nine years ASOS.com has gone from niche get the look website to massive internet phenomenon” Grazia.

What you really think of their products!

BATTLE Of The ONLINE RETAILERS “retail sales up 58% to £324.1m and profit before tax and exceptional items up 41% to £28.6m.” Chief Executive, ASOS

ASOS IS the THIRD most visited fashion website on the planet. 1 * Comscore Data: April 2011. Based on Average Daily Visitors (000).


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Hello! Welcome to December’s edition of Panache. In this issue we look at three of the UK’s top online retailers and what makes their websites so successful. Is it their aesthetics which entices the audience in? Or maybe their accessibility and navigation? We will look at each brand individually and then compare and contrast them, in order to gain insight on how they appeal to their target audience and the methods used to retain customers. Along the way we will be gaining the skills required for analysing web pages, www.asos.com

www.missguided.co.uk www.boohoo.co.uk

Enjoy! Love Chelsea, Jess and Jess x

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CONTENTS Introduction 5 Website Introduction

Primary Research 13 Questionnaire 15 Focus Group

Market Analysis 7 ASOS 10 Missguided 12 Boohoo

In-depth Analysis 20 Accessibility 21 Navigation and Structure 27 Integrated Marketing Communications 33 Online Value Proposition 38 Customer Orientation 43 Personalisation 47 Aesthetics 51 Conclusion

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‚ASOS is a online fashion and beauty retailer, with over 50,000 branded and own label product lines‛ Website was launched in 2000 and then in 2006 it was the first UK website to launch catwalk.

‚Boohoo was launched in 2006 and has become one of the most successful online fashion retailers‛ They have strong professional links within the fashion industry in order to inspire their collections.

‚Missguided is a fresh and vibrant online store with a catwalk look and celebrity inspired fashion‛ Aim to provide celebrity inspired fashion but at affordable prices. 5


ASOS In The Market


Asos.com is the UK’s market leader in online fashion retailing. Attracting over 18 million unique visitors monthly, and delivering over 70,000 packages to customers a week shows ASOS is the leader in its industry.

Basing themselves in the online fashion retail market, ASOS has an overall goal of being the worlds number one online store within its market.

ASOS provides high quality fashion clothing and accessories as well as, footwear, beauty products, gifts and jewellery. ASOS aims its products to fashion forward 16 – 24 year olds. However ASOS also appeal to the older market with over 20% of its customer base being over 35. On average ASOS has 625 visitors on their site each day compared to HM who only have 465.

In September 2012, ASOS unveiled a sales growth of almost 40% so far in its financial year. With international sales now accounting for 65% of its total revenue. In August 2012, comScore rankings for 15-34 year olds showed that ASOS was the most visited fashion website on the planet. ASOS have its own-label well established as a global fashion brand. Targeting their site to over 160 countries, with active users in all. With constant expansion into different countries ASOS are slowly achieving their goal of becoming the number 1 online global fashion and beauty retailer.

ASOS have embraced the digital technology market in order to keep up with their target market by introducing an iphone/ipad app available for people to purchase products from. The target market of ASOS are digital natives and constantly embrace the changes within technology due to social trends. Developing an app ensures ASOS are making sure their consumers are able to purchase from them the easy way possible.

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ASOS Financials 2012 • Global expansion continues with the launch of our new country specific websites in Australia, Spain and Italy, and the opening of our first overseas marketing office in Australia.

ASOS have an increase in their net assets meaning that they own more of their own things that other shareholders or stakeholders own in their business. Having a constant increase in their net assets since 2010 shows that ASOS are successfully maintaining their website and controlling financially their assets.

From the year ending 31 March 2012, ASOS had increased their revenue by 46%. Indicating their online business is continuing to grow due to the constant increase in sales. Their global expansion across countries will be a big contributor to this increase in revenue as they are expanding their company out to other audiences.

• Warehouse transition completed on time with no disruption to customer service, enabling us to support our target of £1billion sales.

Expanding their brand to a global online website has lead to an increase in sales from overseas. Therefore indicating the success rate of their decision to become an online global business. ASOS are able to adapt their business to different countries and still be as effective a they are in the UK.

With an increase year on year ASOS are continuing to increase the amount of profit they are making through their online business. Indicating the success of the business is ongoing and the growth of the business is still happening.

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Missguided in the Market

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Missguided is a private limited company and finance accounts are limited to what by law public by the Government. Missguided sales continue to grow in the first quarter.

With an increase of 40% over the month and an impressive increase of 365% from last year. With record recordings of over 2 million visitors in March and orders standing at approximately £61,000 that month. In 2011 Missguided Online Sales hit $22,960,379 which equals a 380% growth that year. Facebook is also one of Missguided’s best sources for traffic building to the website. Around 15-20% of Missguided’s traffic in 2011 came from Facebook alone.

As you can see from the table, there has been a dramatic increase in current assets within the business. This means that they have more than enough to pay back any outstanding debts or bills on a short term notice. Therefore Missguided are in a good financial position.

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Boohoo in the Market


Boohoo Timeline Boohoo is an online fashion retailer, which offers fashion led clothing at affordable prices.

2006 Boohoo is launched

“Aimed at fashion forward females, Boohoo offers the very latest styles in clothing and accessories for women that love keeping their look on-trend and affordable‛ Boohoo has become one of the most successful online fashion retailers for women’s clothing.

2007 Top 10 Online fashion website award

2008 Top 10 Heat Magazine top online retailer awards

2007 BT Online Retail Excellence Awards

2009 Cosmopolitan Online Fashion Awards Best Newcomer

As the company has grown, so has the customer base and Boohoo now ship worldwide to countries such as USA and Australia. Boohoo have received several awards and maintain strong professional links within the fashion industry. The company offer daily fashion updates with our social media outlets, from our blog to Facebook and Twitter. They also have their own TV channel – Boohoo TV. 2012 Lorraine Awards Best Online Retailer 2011 360° Product View launched for shoes and accessories

2010 Boohoo website relaunched

2010 Cosmopolitan Fashion Awards Best for Bargains

2010 Reveal Click to Buy Awards Brilliant for Bargains

2009 Catwalk videos launched

2010 Experian Hitwise Top 10 website in the Apparel and Accessories category (Jan- Dec)

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Primary Research

Questionnaire Gender

Age 18 - 24 years 25 - 30 years 31+

0% 53%

Male

47%

Female

The sex of people asked is biased. However, Missguided is online a women’s online fashion retailer therefore more females were asked.

100%

The age of people asked is also biased but the majority of the target audience of the websites is for a younger fashionable audience.

Have you used any of these website recently? 17% Asos

17% 55% 11%

Missguided Boohoo

No

As you can see from the graph above the most popular website visited is Asos. This means that the brand and marketing channels of the website are most effective in terms of connecting with their target audience. Missguided is the least popular with only 11% and Boohoo comes in second with 17%. It also states that 17% of people asked haven’t visited any of the websites recently which means that the audience isn’t committed to the website to check for updates regularly.

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Were they accessible and easy to

When asked about whether navigate? the websites the Strongly Agree candidates viewed were 0% 0% accessible most strongly Agree agreed or agreed. With 28% 36% the target audience of Neither Agree nor the websites being Disagree 36% Disagree majority of people asked in the questionnaire Strongly Agree it’s clear that the websites are all easy to The results of use for the variety of candidates registered is audience asked and clear slightly biased as more to navigate. Are you registered to any of people have visited Asos

these sites?

21%

Asos Missguided Boohoo No

47%

16% 16%

Asos again is the most popular in terms of being the most appealing website. This tells us that Asos is more effective in understanding it’s target audience. Missguided was the weakest in appealing to it’s audience with 8% and Boohoo were adequate with 23%. One candidate said when asked why Asos was the most appealing replied 8% ‚It looks professional‛ and they like the content of products.

Have you purchased any items from these wesbites? 29%

Yes

71%

No

Which website did you find most appealing?

than the other websites. It shows that even though more people have viewed the site Asos is the most popular among the candidates with 47% being registered. Boohoo and Missguided are both equal among the amount of candidates. However, 21% said they weren’t registered to any site, therefore the websites aren’t persuading and emphasising enough that to register, customers will gain more benefits. In terms of the number of people registered compared to the number of people who have purchased items from the websites shows a good response.

23% Asos 69%

Missguided Boohoo

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Focus Group

The general feedback from our focus group was that all the websites had good site qualities. Participants all thought that each website had clear navigation and they were able to easily find what they were looking for when visiting the sites.

The website aesthetics differ however they are all graphicintensive sites as they focus on using images rather than lots of text. Focus group participants thought that ASOS had the most appealing layout due to its simplistic approach. However both Boohoo and Missguided also offer a pleasing visual layout.

Overall we can conclude from our focus group that ASOS was the participants favourite website. This was due to its approach to its website design and its simple and clear navigation and structure, overall giving the audience a pleasurable experience.

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Focus Group Results 1.

Have you heard of ASOS?

2.

Have you heard of Boohoo?

Yes No 4.

3.Have

you heard of Missguided?

Yes No

Yes Which site had the most appealing layout?

ASOS

Boohoo

Missguided

5.

No

Which site had the best navigation?

ASOS

Boohoo

Missguided

Which of these sites would you re-visit?

ASOS Boohoo Missguided

The focus group results indicated to us that overall ASOS is the preferred website among the participants we asked. ASOS was chosen to have the most appeal aesthetics and furthermore, the best navigation and structure.

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Google AdWords – shows how often specific words are searched on Google monthly. The amount of ‘Monthly searches’ Missguided received was 368,000 across both the UK and the Globe.

Asos is the most popular searched online fashion magazine with 6,120,000 searches globally and 2,740,000 within the UK.

Compared to Asos, Boohoo isn’t as popular. As it only generated 1,000,000 searched this month. However, it is more popular than Missguided by 63,2000.

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Alexa

‘Alexa is the leading provider of free, global web metrics’(Alexa.com). It shows the most successful sites in terms of the most searched category, key word or country.

ASOS is ranked at 832 as the most popular website globally.

Missguided is ranked much lower at 37,812 which shows that ASOS has a competitive advantage because audiences search for the site more. Boohoo was not ranked, which reinforces the fact they need to increase brand awareness and their reputation.

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Accessibility


Accessibility is defined as ‘The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified content of use’ (UsabilityNet).

Web accessibility is about letting all internet users of a website interact with the site despite any disabilities they may have. In countries there are now specific accessibility legislation that they must follow. In the UK websites must follow the Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995.

The main audience for designing an accessible website is visual impaired or blind individuals. As well as helping visually impaired web users, having an accessible website then makes it easier for sighted users due to clearer navigation.

Navigation Bars ASOS have their own accessibility statement on their website that explains they try to style their website accessible to all web users so that a wide audience can visit the site.

They address in their statement that they continually look for ways to improve their website and make it more accessible for their visitors.

Having the statement on their website shows that they follow the regulations that come with website accessibility and ASOS clearly address they want to follow these regulations and appeal to a mass audience.

On their website ASOS have clear navigation bars so that users are able to find their way around the site easily and without any complication. ASOS stick to using white and black colours so that the titles of their navigation buttons stand out to visitors. It makes the text easier to read and understand.

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Navigation

Separation of genders as a navigation tool helps visitors to refine a search and makes the overall visit efficient and less time consuming.

The ASOS homepage has two clear navigation boxes that instantly stand out on their homepage. The purpose of these is to help visitors navigate around the site and help them to find what they are looking for quicker, this is due to the navigation bar which narrows the search down to sections within the website.

Structure The overall structure of the ASOS website is simplistic and easy for consumers to navigate around the site. When visitors enter the homepage the structure is minimalistic and the content is set out in a straight forward style.

To make it even more stress-free for customers to navigate the ASOS website, the homepage shows a clear search box for customers to refine their search specifically to find exactly what they require.

A simple and clear structure ensures that visitors are not confused when they visit the site as they can see where the structure is leading them to go. A variety of different pages are displayed on the homepage and they have a clear presentation, they are not jumbled around. ASOS keep their structure simple and easy to follow throughout their website to help their visitors the best they can.

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‚Navigation describes how users move from one page to the next using tools such as menus and hyperlinks‛(Chaffey 2002).

The site has a simple page layout with a main menu navigation bar. This has main menu headers which correspond to each category of clothing.

Clear and simple options displayed for sizes in stock and what colour needed. Quantity box if the customer requires more than one item. The add to basket button stands out in bright pink, so the customer can clearly see the option to continue to their basket.

From the drop down menu, particular styles of that category can be chosen, for example – Womens –Dresses. This ensures customers can navigate around the site quickly and efficiently, in addition creating an ease of use with the website, which will provide future repeat customers. There is also a refine by option on the left hand side. Where the audience can choose a particular style or size, making the search for a product even easier. Furthermore an option which allows a search for recently seen items on TV.

Boohoo use cookies in order to remember customers preferences when using their site. This can include saving the customers shopping bag if the shopping experience is interrupted.

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Accessibility is "an approach to site design intended to accommodate site usage using different browsers and settings particularly required by visually impaired and visitors with other disabilities‛(Chaffey, D. 2008). Missguided do not have an easy guided for people with disabilities as the site does not offer any special changes in the font, colour or visual aids for people to view the site as ease. When first coming onto the site there is not obvious way to view the site to help the impaired. On the other hand, the use of white space and contrast of black text makes the text easy to read and increases usability. Missguided follow the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995 by Law.

‚Usability is a concept to the design of a range of products which describes how easy they are to use‛ (Chaffey, D,. 2008), Missguided have a website which makes customers find their way around the site easily therefore have a high usability site. Customers can easily find what they are looking for from the menu or the search bar. The website site is designed effectively so to find what the customer is looking for is easy for them. It is also efficient in how long it takes for the user to find what they are looking for in terms of clicks. Chaffey (2012) said ‚if a customer can’t find what they are looking for in three clicks then the website isn’t efficient‛.

Missguided also use the technique ‘AIDA’ this model helps achieve persuasion through entering the site and the buying process (Chaffey, D,. 2008). It begins with ‘Attention’ this is where the site must grab the attention of the visitor through graphics, animation, and interaction (Chaffey, D,. 2008). Missguided use flash animations, pictures and large font o grab the attention of the visitor when they first enter the homepage. In order to keep the ‘Interest’ of the visitor Missguided keep the theme throughout the site of graphics, pictures and easy to read straightforward text. ‘Desire’ is ‚emphasising the brand values through the site design‛(Chaffey, D,. 2008) such as Missguided having content added weekly to keep the customer enticed. Also Missguided have flash sales, and sales promotions sent out through emails every so often to keep the customer coming back. Finally, ‘Action’ is getting new visitors to sign up, existing customers to sign in and for all visitors to sign up for the newsletter. Missguided has a clear and easy to use sign up process

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Navigation through the Missguided site is structured strongly, the layout is simple and flows from one page to another. This makes it easier for the target audience to find exactly what they are looking for and may stay on the site longer due to such an easy interaction process. The website also offers a chance for customers to send messages to Missguided staff about the products or services they received on the website, this creates an automated interaction which also helps boost the Missguided brand.

The Missguided website keeps customers interacting with the website with the choice of clicking, viewing images and learning about the products. The use of interaction moves customers through the buying process. It clearly shows what stage of an operation within the buying process is at so the customer can keep track of where they’ve been.

The interaction of having a ability to zoom into a product keeps the target audience interested in the product as it gives a deeper detail of the product.

‘E-mail a friend’ concept lets visitors share what they’ve bought with friends and colleagues, this connection raises awareness of brand. It can also help a visitor quicken their buying process by sharing the product a decision can be made to purchase the product.

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The structure of a website is how ‚the big picture of content is grouped and how different pages relate to others.‛ (Chaffey, D. 2008). Clear signposting and labelling can give the audience a map of the website so they can easily navigate the site. Missguided have followed basic guidelines of an easy flow site, for example Missguided’s logo on the page always leads back to the homepage. Missguided have the ‘site map’ clearly

showing the links between the pages and the structure of the websites groupings rather than assisting navigation. A shallow site structure is better for a website such as Missguided as it keeps the format simply and is an easy way for visitors to do there shopping, a deep structure may leave visitors disoriented and frustrated if they can’t get to a page they need. Missguided has all of it’s pages connected between 2/3 layers.

Having ‘flow’ within a website gives Missguided’s target audience a feel of control when searching for information on a website as they can find information and go through the buying process easily.

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Summary Accessibility All of the websites had clear and well structured navigation bars, however none of the sites provide visitors with the ability to edit fonts or text sizes so that they could accommodate their sight.

However ASOS was the only website to provide an accessibility statement on their website that explains to visitors that they follow a strict accessibility code. This enables ASOS to be accessible to all users and offer a competitive edge over rival online fashion retailers

Structure

Navigation The navigation on all three sites was clear and straightforward for audiences to travel around. The websites all engage successfully at interacting with visitors and keeping them interested. When hovering over products on all of the sites there is the option to enlarge photos and to see all the small details on each item. Customers cannot try the item on, so visual aides are important to motivate a purchase.

The sites had very similar structures in which they all took a simplistic approach. None of the sites were over cluttered, or unclear they all provided visitors with a clear and easy to follow structure. Too much clutter can lead to confusion which would negatively impact traffic to the sites. Each of the sites adapted their structure throughout their sites so that it was the same on every page. This works well because it stops the audience becoming confused or loosing track of where they are.

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Integrated Marketing Communications ASOS target audience are digital natives and they tend to prefer non face-face contact. Therefore ASOS use inbound communication tools (magazine, email and social networking) to have a better chance of receiving a response from their customers.

Different customers prefer different communication tools therefore ASOS try to use both digital and non-digital techniques to attract their audiences to their site. One successful way ASOS inform customers of new offers or important announcements is through email, getting their key messages across to their target audience who have registered with their site.

Another way ASOS reach their audience is through their own branded fashion magazine. Throughout these communication tools ASOS reinforce their brand image making it consistent, and provide consumers with new and exciting products.

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ASOS are fully aware that their target market are digital natives and their understandment of this is shown through their use of marketing over social networking sites. The consumers who use ASOS are at the ages where socialising and using the internet are continuous daily patterns and which many feel they could not live without. Therefore using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter enables ASOS to maintain the knowledge of their brand and site amongst their target market, and is a continuous reminder to consumers that the site exists. Keeping up-to-date with the social media trends that already exist among ASOS’s target audience makes it easier for customers to find the company, its products and services. It also gives customers a way to look at things away from the main website and see things differently.

With over 2 million active Facebook users ASOS continue to attract their target market through social networking sites. Providing customers with continuous updates such as; latest fashion trends, company news, competitions, marketing offers, sales/deals, photos, and many more. Mobile traffic (Asos.com) now accounts for over 10% of global traffic, with 16% of visits globally done from mobile phones.

ASOS also have their own twitter page which has over 400,000 followers. On their page ASOS tweet about their current and upcoming deals and events so that their followers are kept constantly up-to-date with what is going on with their business. As well as this ASOS have their own customer care twitter page called ‘ASOS Here To Help’. This is an excellent example to show why ASOS use integrated marketing communication techniques successfully to reach their audience as they use techniques that will appeal to their target market.

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Missguided is one of ASOS’s and Boohoo's top competitors as they both aim towards the same target audience of female digital natives aged between 16 and 35. Missguided use direct emails and mail to target their audience; this keeps it personal between the customer and the business. With over 200 new lines being added each week it entices the target audience to stay connected with the website and the latest trends. The use of offline communication is with personal mail sent home to the individual customers. Missguided also have an online blog called ‘The Insider’; this keeps users up-to-date with the fashion Missguided is inspired by, information about the models used and some future

insight into the latest trends from the catwalks. The use of the online blog keeps parallel to the nature of the target audience. The use of social media and blogs have increased over the years and many of the target audience have their own personal blog. Through ‘The Insider’ blog Missguided also have a live link to their Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest feed. On the main webpage there is also access to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

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‚ Websites must integrate with all other communications tools, both online and offline‛(Chaffey 2002). Boohoo offer a consistent brand message of designer inspired products throughout all their channels of communication which extend through to their advertisements and promotions. Channels include: Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, YouTube and even their own blog. Each of these are advertised on the site with icons, which link directly to Boohoo’s pages. All these social sites are aimed specifically at

Boohoo’s target audience and can effectively engage with them. The audience can sign up via these links to further their shopping experience and to share with friends the latest trends. All this results in mass awareness and increases the audience viewing and usage of Boohoo’s site. Boohoo’s website caters for inbound communications, such as email, which shows they have the resources to answer emails promptly.

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Online catalogue

Boohoo have recently produced a Christmas catalogue available solely online. Users can access it through the main site navigation bar under the sub heading ‘Christmas Catalogue’. The audience then interactively turn the pages, in order to view the catalogue collection, with the products available to buy beneath. By having the catalogue online, gives users an exclusive feel, providing limited edition clothing, something which not all online retailers offer.

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ASOS, Boohoo and Missguided all have similarities in integrated marketing communications as they all use social networking sites to maximise awareness of their sites. All of the companies have their own Facebook, Twitter pages to interact with their target audience. Using social networking is an effective way for these companies to reach their target audience as their market are digital natives who constant indulge in social networking.

ASOS

As well as the similarities the websites have they also have differences. Firstly ASOS have their own monthly magazine which is sent to all its registered users. The magazine contains fashion updates and company news. This gives then a different approach to marketing communications as it directly gives their visitors something back from visiting their site.

Boohoo

Boohoo differ from ASOS as they have an online catalogue that visitors can view online. They provide visitors with outfit inspirations and also their limited addition pieces.

Boohoo and Missgudied both have their own tumblr accounts in which they upload fashion / product photos for their target audience to see.

Summary

Missguided Missguided emphasis all their marketing communications on the use of digital techniques. As well as having their own social networking sites like ASOS and Boohoo, they have their own online blog and instagram. This makes the company stand out from other sites as they use more ways to try and reach their target audience.

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Online Value Proposition sos constantly update their website, ensuring that they have a good content which is regularly updated and easy to use.

Online Value Proposition aims to give a website a clear, strong and unique proposition to its visitors. It is about making your visitors want to visit and revisit a site, Asos do this very well. Having an Online Value Proposition allows Asos to be different from their competitors and allows them to stand out to their visitors. A good ‘OVP distinguishes a site and helps to focus the marketing effort and the customers mind’(Chaffey, 2008). Making customers want to shop on your site and purchase your products is the main aim of having an Online Value Proposition. ASOS do this successfully through their highlight of offers, They effectively show customers what they can offer them and why they should do business with them online.

Asos offer over 50,000 products lines, with approximately 1,500 new products added every week. This then creates a reason for visitors to shop and revisit their site due to their constant up-to-date changes. With new lines to look at it each time an individual visits it encourages them to stay on the site and potentially revisit it again as they will have different products to look at.

ASOS guarantee to give their visitors a new experience every time they visit due to their constant changes and product updates. This will persuade visitors to spend more time on their site, leading to a possibility of further sale as spending time on the site will lead visitors to see the other products Asos offer.

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Highlighting more offers to the visitors showing why they should chose to do business online with ASOS. Having an offer such as free delivery gives visitors an incentive to look around the site and to make purchasing decisions without having to worry about extra costs.

On their homepage ASOS straight away emphasise their key offer by centring their offer clearly in a red text box so that it stand out to visitors.

More of ASOS offers are promoted straight away when visitors enter the website. With all the offers in line it gives ASOS an Online Value Proposition as they are giving their visitors especially first time visitors to do business with them.

ASOS have carefully created their online value proposition by placing it on their homepage so that it has a greater chance of getting into the consumers minds and to enforce why visitors should shop at ASOS.com. They have placed their offer in text boxes underneath the navigation box so that visitors eyes are drawn to these when they first enter the site. Having the sale offer in red immediately attracts the eye and will potentially draw visitors to continue looking through the site and at the other offers listed at each side

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An online value proposition is the unique way in which a website stands out (Chaffey, D., 2008). Missguided update their website everyday introducing new lines and adding items to the sale. They also have on the homepage offers available to their audience. With a large percentage of their target audience being students, a ‘10%’ student discount displayed entices them to buy from Missguided rather than it’s competitors.

Missguided specify their delivery options to suit the needs of their customer. By having a different price for the delivery options it gives consumers a choice based on their allowance, or day to day schedule; if

they need the item quickly they can pay extra or if they are on a budget they can go with the saver option. It also caters for international delivery's as Missguided is an international business.

The use of the blog also increases Missguided’s OVP as it creates an online interaction between the customer and the business. It enables communication as the target audience can write their views, sign up and re-post the items on the blog.

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Boohoo is an online retailer and does not own any high street stores, all purchases must be done through their website. This means that customers cannot purchase clothing in the real world, which is motivation to revisit the site. It offers limited edition pieces which competitors do not, some displayed in their online catalogue. The online catalogue is a new addition to the site for Christmas to show off the new collection. Boohoo highlights all relevant sales and savings for the consumer, making it even easier to get a bargain on the website. They also offer student discount to keep with their younger audience. Furthermore free delivery offers are also added, with some being 24 hours only. This time constraint builds excitement and encourages the visitor to buy then and there. As Boohoo is a global website the option to change the currency is available to suit whichever country the customer inhabits. This gives the visitor a sense of intimacy with the site and an incentive to return, through ease of use.

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Summary All of the websites create their online value proposition by highlighting their sales and offers to their visitors as soon as they enter the sites. All of the sites do this well as they make them stand out so that it is clear for visitors to se. Each of the sites provides their information about sales / offers they have on their homepage. The websites all display big sales by using graphics so that it is the first thing that visitors see when they visit the site. However the tend to display smaller sales (ones that last all year round) by using text highlighted in red so that visitors are aware there are sale items. Although the websites are similar, the sales/offers they provide their visitors with differ.

Missguided To help maintain their online value proposition Missguided also have their online blog that is another way to help their customers interact with their website. The blog gives visitors a chance to write their opinions/thoughts on the company and enables Missguided to then use this to shape their websites OVP.

To continue helping their online value proposition all three websites constantly update their sites with new product lines, so that visitors are shown new things each time they visit. Each week ASOS adds over 1500 new products lines and therefore is in the lead in regards to adding products, suggesting the large size of its business.

Similarity between the three website is that they all offer student discount. This is a positive way to help create their OVPs as their primarily targeting at students. Offering student

ASOS is a much larger online business than both Boohoo and Missguided therefore it is ensuring it stays ahead which the online fashion market buy providing current trends weekly.

discount makes their site more appealing and encourages visitors. However all of the sites now offer student discount therefore it does not make them stand out unless they were to increase the amount so it was different.

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ASOS use marketing strategies to also show they are a customer orientated website. They provide deals / sales of a variety of their products so that all customers have a chance of gaining from ASOS offers.

Customer orientation is trying to appeal to a wide range. Trying to appeal to different types of consumers, and providing easy access to services and content adapted for a variety of audiences. Customer orientation on websites is about considering customers needs and satisfaction in product development and marketing strategies. To ensure they look after their visitors ASOS provide a link on their homepage to direct them to any specific questions they may have regarding help, deliveries, tracking orders and contacting them. Having this on their homepage states that they are a customer orientated website as their aim is to help and guide their customers when required.

ASOS also successfully help their customers through their break up of categories such as men or women clothing. This provides easy access for customers to find what they as an individual is looking for. This is then further broken up into sub categories to ensure that customers are able to find what they want in the simplest and hassle free way.

ASOS show they are a customer orientated website throughout their site. They ensure they provide their visitors with an enjoyable and stressfree visit as everything is simple for them to find.

With a clear and well structured layout identifying each of the pages they hold on their site ASOS guarantee customers an easy access to content.

Listing their products types on each of their product pages on their website ASOS show visitors that they want to provide them with a variety of products that they could be looking for. This highlights their customer orientation website design.

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Customer orientation is highlighted through the wide selection of products visitors are able to chose from. Having a wide variety of product types ensure that ASOS have something for everyone and they are able to appeal to a wide market. Having the drop-down box makes it easier for visitors to navigate their ways around the site and makes their overall visit straight forward. Having the wide variety of selections for their visitors shows that ASOS are trying the meet the needs of all their unique visitors that visit their site. A wide variety of products indicates the visitors that ASOS do not just sell one type of product but many different products and they appeal to different audiences across their target market and the different ages / cultures within that.

Drop down boxes reveal the sites content easily to its visitors, however having this many options can lead visitors to skip over certain pages as they have so many to chose from and such a wide variety of options. ASOS provide their visitors with so many options in their drop down box that it may lead their visitors to miss out certain pages they could potentially buy things from if they are distracted by other pages.

ASOS continue to emphasise customer orientation through their site by remaining to provide easy access for customers to find exactly what they are looking for on the site. ASOS separate their products into sub categories so visitors are given an even easier route to finding what they want. The short descriptions help to guide visitors to the exact pages they would like to visit.

The options in the drop down box are given a short descriptions so that visitors know exactly what each page shows.

ASOS also provide services such as register, track your order, delivery options. All of these services make the site more appeal to visitors because it indicated that the website is trying to provide their customers with the best service they can offer.

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‚Providing content, services and offers on a website consistent with the different characteristics of the audience of the site‛(Chaffey, D., 2008). Missguided help customers by having a way to register or login as an existing customer. This lets their customers keep up-to-date with the latest news and sales promotions Missguided are offering through their email. It also lets customers ‘track’ their orders with their own personal login. By having a login, it gives customers a personal website experience. Personalization also helps Missguided ‚Sell, Serve, Save, Speak and Sizzle‛

(Chaffey, D,. 2008), it does this by picking out previous bought items on the website and giving new recommendations, letting members create a wish-list on their login and giving students discount automatically at Checkout. By having a customer oriented site Missguided make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for; for example having the headings clearly labelled, readable text and pictures. The site appeals to a large audience by having an easy accessible, and simply layout

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‚Customer orientation is about trying to achieve the impossible – trying to provide content to appeal to a wide range of audiences‛(Chaffey 2002). Customers can register with Boohoo to receive the latest updates and track their orders. Once they have made an account they can simply log in each time to make transactions more efficient. The website also provides multiple delivery options to suit every country and delivery time required. The information is very detailed and helpful, so customers feel at ease when ordering, in addition using the track my order process, so they know exactly where their items are. Most important information has a larger font and is coloured pink to stand out from the white backgrounds. Overall Boohoo really helps the customer to navigate around the website quickly and efficiently.

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Summary

All of the sites do customer orientation well as they all appeal to a wide range of audience, providing them with a website that can be made to suite their individual needs.

ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo all have a large product range that varies in styles so that they can appeal to more that one type of audience. Having a wide variety of products enables visitors to have the chance to look at different things and products they may not normally look at or purchase. All of the sites also offer services like register, delivery options and track your order. These services provide customers with the chance to accommodate to their individual needs and makes their order fit around them. As all of the websites provided the same services, therefore none of them stood out. ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo all have customer orientated websites and therefore are in competition with each other to continue to provide a customer orientated website successfully.

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Personalisation ‘Cookies are key to web personalisation, a cookie or a small text file is placed on their computer which contains an identifier unique to them’ Chaffey, 2008. ASOS use cookies on their website to track information on users such as what they view, or what they add to their shopping bags. They also use cookies to track international users and the language the select to view the website in so that when this visitors goes back to the website this is remembered and the site automatically translates to that language.

ASOS address four types of cookies on their site that they use to track their visitors. They have an explanations for each type of cookie they use and why they use it on their site. ASOS let their visitors know that the information they obtain is strictly confidential and is only used to benefit their

experience in their future visits to the site.

ASOS explain that they use their cookies to not only trace individuals but visitors as a whole to see what improvements they can make to their site to make overall customers experiences better on their site.

ASOS successfully use the cookies on their website to track what their visitors do as individuals, to ensure they have the best experience the next time they visit the site. ASOS track customers movements so that their next visit they are able to provide them with ideas of things to look at, what's in the shopping bag, what they have previously purchased, etc. Remembering what customers have lasted views of like to view when they visit a site is an important role of a cookie.

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An example of how ASOS use there cookies is the indication of the shopping bag above. On the ASOS website you can add things to ‘your shopping bag’ go away from the site and then go back and it is still there. Examples of how ASOS use their cookies, they track what their visitors look at and from this make recommendations of what they think the visitors would also like to look at.

Recommending things to visitors means that ASOS are giving them a reason to stay on their site and continue to look at different products they offer.

Having cookies that track visitors moves means that they ASOS are showing that their website is customer orientated as they want to make a user have the best experience when they visit the site.

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Cookies are used for making a website more personal for individual customers, tracking orders within a site, online ordering systems and tracking across sites. From users accepting cookies Missguided can identify the user personally. Missguided however, do not have the option to ‘remember me’ this gives visitors a less personalized website experience, although the cookies do still remember and identifies the unique user.

Session cookies are used ‚to remember your log in details and what you’ve added to your basket‛ (Missguided, 2012). Missguided also uses performance tracking by Google Analytics, this means that when visitors reach Missguided via Google, a direct link or an ad, Google Analytics stores the information in a cookie. The data lasts on the cookie for 6 months, but gets updated ever time the page is viewed. Lyris is company which provide email services. Missguided uses a cookie to trigger a marketing email when a customer purchases an item on the confirmation page. Affiliate cookies on the website help Missguided track which site the visitor came from and how they found the site. This helps Missguided know which method of their online marketing channels is most effective.

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Summary

ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo all use cookies to gather relevant data on their visitors. They use the cookies to track their recently viewed items, what is in their shopping bags and most importantly remembers their log in details when they register with the sites. All of the sites use cookies for the same purpose, so that they can help their visitors out as much as they are able to. Providing them with details of what they have viewed, or saved in their shopping bags enables them have an easier visit each time the enter the site. Each site goes in depth explaining what cookies are, why they have them and how it benefits the customer.

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Aesthetics

ASOS homepage is graphic-intensive as there is little text. ‘With graphic-

intensive sites there is relatively little text; graphics and animations are used to create an impression’ (Chaffey, 2008). ASOS keep their homepage alive by providing little text and colourful graphics. Using the contrasting colours of black and white ASOS keep the site simple and clear for visitors to read. Seen as the site aims are both males and females using these colours ensures the site isn't bias towards gender. The use of black text against a white background makes the text stand out and it easy for visitors to read. Throughout the website the text is kept very minimalistic like the homepage. The typography on the site is kept simple throughout and it clear and easy to interpret. ASOS rarely change their font size, it is only used for titles or page links. The font is kept the same throughout the entire site.

For their page design ASOS have taken a minimalistic approach and have stuck to the same approach throughout. On each page the ASOS name and logo appears to build maximum awareness of their company and brand. This appears in the top left hand corner of every page of the site.

ASOS have a visually pleasing layout due to its clear and simplistic approach to its site design. On their site they provide a clear emphasis on the different content types their website holds, in regards to their product types.

On each of their pages ASOS provide a page title for the content on that page. This then makes it clear to visitors what page they are currently visiting.

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‚Aesthetics = Graphics + Colour + Style + Layout + Typography‛ (Chaffey, D,. 2008). With Missguided being largely graphic on their site it decreases the levels of usability, accessibility and search engine optimization. However, with flash elements as the main content and promotional discounts within the centre draws the eye of the audience as this is where visitors naturally look (Chaffey, D,. 2008). Missguided is known as a ‘graphic-intensive site’ meaning there is little text and the use of graphics and animations are used

to create an impression on the target audience.

The colour scheme used by Missguided fits the personality of the site and the brand; It’s simple and fits with the target audience of females aged 1635 years. The main colours of the website are a light pink, black and white space to make the black writing stand out as much as possible for easy navigation. The pink links back to the stereotypical colour of pink being fiercely related to girls.

typography is clear, readable and used appropriately. The navigation of the site is easier through the use of font and the size of the font used. It is clear and accessible.

Missguided follows the basic guidelines when it come to the type of typography they use on the site; for example Missguided have a continuous font throughout the whole website. The

The visual design of Missguided’s site is important to the consumer as it sets the tone for their experience and possible future using the site. Missguided have divided their home page into sections; the first being the headings and where the customer can sign in and search the page for specific keywords.

The page design is effective as it keeps in tone with the homepage and scheme of the whole website. There is clear emphasis on the different content types linking back to an easy navigation and access. The site itself centre in the middle of the webpage leaving white space on either side of the content. The consistent layout is effective as the target audience can connect the layout to the brand.

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‚Comprises graphics, colour, style and personality. A site with a powerful aesthetic appeal can help communicate a brands essential values‛ (Chaffey 2002).

Pink is a very feminine colour to reinforce the main target audience of females, and it is easy to read against the bold black backgrounds. The website follows a graphic intensive layout with the use of text blocks, graphics and animations, this is to provide enough information and value to the audience in order to leave a lasting impression. The typography is clear and bold especially for titles and categories, this is followed on through the copywriting on the site. All elements of the site further ease of use and navigation for the visitor, with the page design clearly showing their logo, the company name, relevant offers and promotions and a clear navigation tool bar for different categories of fashion.

CRABS Chunky, Relevant, Accurate, Brief, Scannable

Design constraints: o Modems and download time o Screen resolution o Number of colours o Browsers o Plug-ins and download time o Font sizes

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Summary

The similarity between all the websites is they keep their aesthetics simple and clear. All three of the websites use the colours black and white so that the text on the sites stands out and is clearly readable for visitors.

Boohoo differs from both ASOS and Missguided as it chooses to use a hot pink colour to contrast against the white and black. This works well at it address the audience of females that it is targeting.

Throughout their website ASOS only use white and black colours that contrast against each other. The site is aimed at both genders and therefore these colours work well to establish a different-sex website personality. Using black and white colours works well on the website as it ensures the text stands out and is clearly visible and also readable for visitors.

Missguided also use a pink colour however they use a lighter pink colour, which is only used on their homepage too again address their female audience.

All three websites are graphic-intense sites as the focus more of the use of graphics on their site rather than text. The homepages of all three sites has large graphics indicating information such as new products, sales, offers and styles. This gives visitors things to look at rather then having to read upon entering the site. Having graphics makes all the sites more appealing and fits with the personalities of the sites. Having graphics appeals more to the target audiences of the sites as student audiences are attracted more to graphics and colours rather than lots of text. Having the graphics on the sites also makes the sites appear more fun and interesting.

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Conclusion

After in-depth primary and secondary research, we conclude that ASOS has the biggest competitive edge over Boohoo and Missguided. Due to the fact the site successfully uses all the elements of web design to have a clear and engaging website with their target audiences. ASOS already have a positive reputation for being a large quality online retailer. This gives audiences confidence when purchasing items off the site, due to a trustworthy brand.

According to our research our main recommendations for the sites are ASOS; needs to have more incentives to get customers to register to the site. Boohoo: needs to gain a larger and more positive reputation for being a trustworthy brand amongst their target audience. Furthermore, to motivate individuals to register with the site. Missguided; the overall appeal of the website needs to become more appealing to the target audience to build a competitive edge.

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Jessica Greenwood Chelsea Farnes Jessica Browne

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