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ASOS – How much longer will they be seen on screen?

Richard HammondCo-Founder & CEO7 Mar 2023

Uncrowd quants swarmed the ASOS website and app as part of our most recent CX data cycle on the UK mainstream apparel sector. Our data tells us some critical things about their CX performance, and how ASOS could improve customer experience strategy.

  • ASOS have gaps to close in curation, discovery and inspiration
  • In-site orientation and emotional orientation are areas to focus on

ASOS in challenging times

ASOS profits are down 105%, with “supply chain disruption and macro-economic circumstances” blamed for the slump, and UK profits fell 8% in the four months to December. As a result of these nail-biting figures, new chief executive José Antonio Ramos Calamonte unveiled a 12-month plan with the focus on implementing a new commercial model, optimising marketing spend and reallocating investment to improve ROI.

Data collected by Uncrowd comparing the ASOS customer experience to nine other mainstream apparel retailers found plenty of opportunity for ASOS to achieve those last two goals. We modelled the change available from improvements indicated by our data, and the result from our methodology is year-one ‘winnings’ of £9.8M.

What ASOS does well

It’s not all doom and gloom for ASOS. In terms of purchase friction, ASOS compares well across the customer journey against other mainstream apparel retailers. It returns healthy scores on:

  • Brand halo
  • Returns
  • Price

Improvement opportunities

But across the ASOS customer journey there are red flags when it comes to CX reward – the positive things customers get out of shopping.

ASOS compares poorly to competitors at several points across the customer journey:

  • In-site orientation
  • Communication
  • Selection
  • Discovery
  • Post-purchase

ASOS also scores low on friction/ reward variables including:

  • Offer Clarity
  • Search
  • Guided Experience
  • Curation

What this means for customers in practical shopping experience terms is that it’s hard to find, well, anything, and it’s really tough to put together a full outfit on the ASOS site. Customers experience friction when they must dig deep to find exactly what they are looking for. These variables are crucial factors influencing consumer behavior, and with other stores being easier to shop, customers naturally choose to go elsewhere.

ASOS offers search and filtering functions, but they don’t stand out from the crowd– they use the same tools, and critically the same behind-the-scenes optimisation tools as their competitors. In fact, we found that all the UK mainstream apparel websites are missing the same opportunities and offer the same limited range of optimisations. Which brand will be first to snap out of this and refresh this function to stand out from the crowd?

ASOS package on a step

What should ASOS do next?

ASOS know they need to “optimise marketing spend and reallocate investment to improve ROI” to improve customer experience strategy, but their 12-month plan must focus on the areas that will attract more customers, encourage spending and minimise returns.

To uncover these investment hotspots in the shopping experience, it’s not going to be enough to rely on customer feedback metrics. Customers may be vocal about frustrations with ASOS – anecdotally there are complaints about overloaded inventories, untargeted search results and over-reliance on price promotion. But the problem with relying on feedback is that customers will also say they want wide choice and low prices, because customers always say that, when in fact those two approaches may be at the heart of ASOS’s CX frustration.

ASOS want to make the right investments to ensure longer term sustainable growth. That means addressing the gaps between ASOS customer experience and their closest rivals, and pulling ahead of the pack in CX areas where they can win.

To do that ASOS need reliable customer analytics data that pinpoints exactly what those investments should be. Right now with traditional analytics they are following their plan blind.

How much longer will they be seen on screen?

Uncrowd is on a mission to improve every customer experience on the planet through a unique combination of CX observation, quantitative measurement and comparative results. Our data is objective, empirical, and always shows your next best action.