How tweaking ASOS’ CX could redefine retail
RMIT Master of Marketing students redesigned ASOS’ customer experience journey to show how it could redefine and transform online retail into a never-before-seen shopping journey. By Dee McNamara, Natalia Perera, Shin Hye Lee and Kai Wang.
Since its humble beginnings in 2000 as a website dedicated to emulating celebrity style, ASOS has grown to become the leading online fashion brand for the 20-something Australian fashion-conscious consumer. This success has been in part been due to ASOS having the ability to sell on-trend fashion and lifestyle products at affordable prices, as well as greater internet usage rates and increased acceptance of online shopping.
The ASOS customer is the Millennial. A tech savvy individual living in a world where the line between their online and offline world is often blurred. Millennials use technology not only as a means of communication and for work, but as a way to socialise with their peers, showcase their individuality and keep up with the latest trends through celebrity influencers that they dedicatedly follow.
It is in this environment that ASOS has been able to grow and prosper, feeding this generation’s need to stay on trend, all the time, no matter what they do.
While ASOS has been going from strength to strength, bricks and mortar stores with their ability to enable the customer to touch, feel, see and completely immerse themselves, remain a challenge from a customer experience design perspective.
Given its market leader status, ASOS has the ability to redefine and transform online retail into something that has not been seen before. As RMIT Master of Marketing students studying customer experience design, it was our challenge to re-design ASOS’s current customer experience so that it could do just that.
The first step of our redesign was to understand the pain points, moments of truth and strengths of the current customer experience. To do this, we undertook two studies, a customer experience survey of existing ASOS customers and a Twitter monitoring study where we studied mentions of ASOS around the country over a three-month period. The findings of these studies overall were positive, demonstrating the positive relationship the brand had with its customers.
However, what also emerged was a passivity that customers had towards the brand. That deep and meaningful connection that brands such as Apple, Google and Dove, seemed to be missing. Much of the issues that ASOS had stemmed from the brand being solely online based, resulting in issues with sizing, fit, personalisation, quality and timing within the purchase sequence.
As part of our re-design we knew that we had to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds so ASOS could seamlessly integrate itself between the two.
Our redesign focused on three elements – personalised service, technologically-driven innovation, and bringing multi-dimensional experiences into the online store. From this we created a new vision for the brand:
‘To fulfil customer’s desire to be on trend all the time, we propose to create an experience that puts them at the centre of what we do. We propose to seek to engage them and make every interaction with them both memorable and a delight.
We will achieve this vision through a personalised offering that is complemented through innovative technology and the ability to interact with us directly across their customer journey.’
The new CX vision sought to keep the customer’s emotions positive throughout their shopping journey with ASOS, driving loyalty, brand advocacy and ultimately long term sales.
We redesigned the customer journey to transform ASOS into a hybrid between the online store and the bricks and mortar store, while still operating from an online base. Firstly, we considered how ASOS could make immediate improvements and suggested monitoring and tracking related to the delivery of items, embedded into its website and app. Body scanning technology and augmented reality were recommended as ways that the customer could trial clothing prior to making a purchase, so they could share findings with their peers.
To grow active participation with the brand we also recommended ASOS leverage the data it is already collecting about its customers to offer personalised recommendations and create a style-based community. Keeping with the need to emulate celebrities, we suggested that drones could eventually become a novel way of delivery for the dedicated and influential customer. Surveys and reviews were also recommended as ways to build up engagement and as a way the customer could keep an ongoing conversation with the brand.
Transforming the ASOS customer experience to one that is built on engagement is the way we believe ASOS can redefine online retail. Ultimately, engagement will enable ASOS to become a part of the millennial generation’s world, bridging and transforming the gap between online and offline retail.
ASOS 2015, Annual Report, ASOS PLC, viewed 11 October 2016
IBISWorld 2016, Online Shopping in Australia, IBISWorld Pty Ltd, viewed 11 September 2016, www.ibisworld.com.au
MarketLine 2016, ASOS Plc, MarketLine, viewed 6 September 2016
Stylesight 2016, Attitudes: Consumer Millennials, Stylesight Trendboard, viewed 11 September 2016
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