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Four Main Driving Forces

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  • Pages: 8
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  • Category: Retailing

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Online shopping has become very common, with more than 60% of consumers have ordered items online in the past year (Mintel, 2013a). Furthermore, online sales of clothing will increase by 14.5% to reach £10.7 billion in 2014 and online and mobile sales are expected to grow by 7-12% annually between 2012 and 2017, reaching $361.9 billion in 2017 (Mintel, 2014a). All these robust growth figures show that consumers become more accustomed to shopping online. ASOS, one of the strongest performers among online fashion retailers has an industry high standard with £975.5m sale grows in the year to 31 August 2014, and final quarter total revenues grew 16% (IMRG, 2014). In the following section, four main driving forces for ASOS in 2015 are put forward and evaluations are made about these four main forces. 1. Unique Brand Experience

It is the unique process of experience that your brand offers to your customers with a product prior to purchase (Drapers, 2014a), because one fundamental disadvantage for all online fashion retailing is that lack of physical tactility and interactions with store personnel. -Hedonic Shopping Motivations: contain enjoyment, adventure, social, gratification, idea, role and value shopping (Ashman and Vazquez, 2012). ASOS could use live chats on their websites to answer queries that consumers may have to unified customer service, increase satisfaction and enhance a hedonic shopping experience (Mintel, 2014a). Consumers with high levels of fashion innovativeness are driven by adventure and idea motives and less concerned with value (Kang and Park-Poaps, 2010). Therefore, communication model cycle such as video, sound and nowadays technologies like 3D viewing, virtual fitting room and moving product presentation that ASOS has used like catwalk all could have improved the attractiveness of products (Pentina et al, 2011).

-Personalization: turning mass produced garments into more customized items by allowing customers to choose from a selection of designs, fabrics and colours of the product (IMGR, 2013). Personalization is becoming increasingly popular in the fashion arena. Figure1 has demonstrated the percentage of customers that enjoy personalized clothes in 2013. Like Adidas will launch a unique photo print app in August 2014, which allow consumers to print their own Instagram photos onto their trainers (Mintel, 2014b). Marks & Spencer’s offers a personal tailoring service by appointment (Mintel, 2014b). Traditionally, trust and love for are covariant with increasing amounts of information and alternatives presented to consumers (Cyr and Ivanov, 2009). But information presentation is far from enough now, ASOS should strike back to it competitors and also enhance brand awareness and build brand love by personalization.

Figure 1. Customers who would like to be able to personalize their clothes, by gender and age group (Mintel, 2013b) 2. Technological Capability
The distinction between shopping in-store and online is become more blurred with technological development. Consumers are able to using their mobile devices to get specific information on the product when they are shopping online (Magrath and McCormick, 2013). – Aesthetic Fashion Information: practical information on how to coordinate fashion clothes and multiple products presentation which help to arouse customer’s sensual pleasure (Ashman and Vazquez, 2012). Such as good quality photography, zoom and shots from different angles enable customers have a better view of the fabric, colour and cut of a garment and are therefore less likely to be disappointed when the product is delivered (Mintel, 2014c). ASOS did quite well in this part, it provides a significant amount of trend information in a multitude of visual forms on their site, informing their customer of how to put outfits and looks together (McCormick and Levitt, 2012).

ASOS should continuing to offer innovative ways to solve the issue of sizing online, thereby encouraging the shopper to increase their basket size (Park and Cho, 2012). -Mobile Design: it relates to the visual branding elements utilised within a mobile application, and web site could be entered via the mobile browser, and the mobile web app (Magrath and McCormick, 2013). Tablets and mobile are becoming increasingly popular both for browsing and buying items, and value should be placed on ASOS mobile design such as social media and apps as well as online web design (Ha and Im, 2014). Figure3 shows that around 33% of online shoppers purchased clothing via tablet and smartphone in the 2014 (Mintel, 2014a). Since smartphones and tablets shopping are bolstering the total online market by allowing consumers to shop for clothes anytime and anywhere, It is important for ASOS to respond to customers via social media and apps to ensure that they there is a consistent service whether it is in person, on the phone, online or via a social media site (Drapers, 2014b).

Figure 3. Types of devices used to browse and purchase clothing online in the last 12 months (Mintel, 2014a) 3. Mutually Reinforcing
– Internal Cooperation: ASOS could take better advantage of these “fashions deliver media”, working with like instagram, blogger to enhance the shopping experience, thus increasing consumers’ purchase intentions (Sashi, 2012). Because nowadays, what customers looking for are more than products. It is experience, which can be offered by variety of social media that count (Mintel, 2014c). From 2010, ASOS have participated on a number of social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter and offered a monthly magazine that available online and direct to the door of a consumer (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). Moreover, like Next, focusing on maintaining a younger customer base and initiatives such as a blogger competition #ChangingRoo Selfie appeal to younger shoppers (Mintel, 2014c). – External Competition: specific analysis, evaluation on competitors and learn their strong points to offset our weakness will always improve the performances of ASOS (Mintel, 2014a). Figure4 has illustrated the attitudes towards of customers and brand usage of ASOS and some of it competitors. Research shows that ASOS still need to enhance trust between customers and spare effort in differentiating itself. Like using amazon’s next day delivery and free returns (Magrath and McCormick, 2013).

Figure 4. Attitudes towards and usage of brands in the online fashion sector(Mintel, 2014a) 4. Delivery and Returns
– Flexible Delivery Time: speed and convenience of delivery could be a key factor as well as better product descriptions according to the Mintel’s report (2014d). The figure reflects that shoppers are become more demanding and expect retailers to make shopping online as convenient as possible, which includes delivering their goods to fit in with their busy lifestyles (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). ASOS has continued to stay ahead of the game by
introducing nationwide coverage of its evening-next-day service, which allows customers to place an order up to midnight and have it delivered the following evening (Wong, 2012). Besides this, ASOS could also make the whole delivery experience better by offering more specific delivery slots and delivery time updates by text message on the day of delivery.

Figure 5. Factors encourage customers shopping online (Mintel, 2014a) – Convenient Returns: returns remain one of the main barriers for customers to buying clothes online (Mintel, 2014d). Amazon has tried to overcome this issue and make it easier for customers to return items through click-and-collect hubs and New Look plans to introduce Sunday delivery and the click-and-collect service from railway stations provided by Doddle (Mintel, 2014d). ASOS could also trialling this return service to launch the click-and-collect hubs by the Local Letterbox and Doddle in high footfall areas such as railway stations, gyms and convenience stores has the potential to help ASOS deal with the main barriers when customers are difficulty in finding clothes that fit and the hassle of returns (Sashi, 2012). Model for ASOS

In conclusion, the unique brand experience that ASOS offered to its customers should be the most pivotal driver of growth for ASOS in 2015, and the hedonic shopping motivations constitutes the most part of the unique brand experience (Drapers, 2014a). By offering innovative communication models such as 3D viewing, virtual fitting room, using live chats to answer queries that consumers have could contribute to achieve more fancy sensual pleasure and helps to enhance a hedonic shopping experience (Mintel, 2014a). Moreover, turning mass-produced garments into customized items will also help to create the unforgettable unique online shopping experience and then build brand love (IMGR, 2013).


1. Ashman, R., Vazquez, D., (2012), “Stimulating attachment to pure-player fashion retailers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution
Management, Vol. 40, Iss: 12, pp. 975-996. 2. Cyr, D., Head, M., and Ivanov, A., (2009), “Perceived interactivity leading to e-loyalty: development of a model for cognitive-affective user responses”, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Vol. 67, No. 10, pp. 850-69. 3. Drapers (2014a), “What does the increase in online shopping mean for the British high street?”, available at: <http://www.drapersonline.com/insight/ask -the-expert/what-does-the-increase-in-online-shopping-mean-for-the-british-high-street> (Accessed 12 October 2014). 4. Drapers (2014b), “M-commerce sales to reach 2.5bn by 2016”, available at: <www.drapersonline.com/news/m-commerce-sales-to-reach-25bn-by-2016> (Accessed 12 October 2014). 5. Ha, Y., Im, H., (2012), “Role of web site design quality in satisfaction and word of mouth generation”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 79-96. 6. IMRG (2014), “ASOS, Fashion online in 2014”, available at: <www.imrg.org/ImrgWebsite/User/Pages/News.aspx?> (Accessed 13 October 2014). 7. IMRG (2013), “Profits jump 41 per cent at ASOS”, available at: <www.imrg.org/ImrgWebsite/User/Pages/News.aspx?> (Accessed 15 October 2014). 8. Kang, J., and Park-Poaps, H., (2010), “Hedonic and utilitarian shopping motivations of fashion leadership”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 312-28. 9. Kaplan, A.M., and Haenlein, M., (2010), “Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”, Business Horizons, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 59-68. 10. Mintel (2013a) Womenswear Report, Mintel, London.

11. Mintel (2014a) Fashion Online Report, Mintel, London.
12. Mintel (2014b) A Fashion for Customization, Mintel, London. 13. Magrath, V., and McCormick, H., (2013), “Branding design elements of mobile fashion retail apps”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 17, Iss: 1, pp.155-134. 14. Mintel (2014c) Buying Online Report, Mintel, London.

15. McCormick, H., and Levitt, C., (2012), “Analysing the influence of the presentation of fashion garments on young consumers’ online behaviour” Journal of Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16, Iss: 6, pp400-411. 16. Mintel (2013b) Clothing Retailing Report, Mintel, London.
17. Mintel (2014d) E-Commerce Report, Mintel, London.

18. Park, H., Cho, H., (2012), “Social network online communities: information sources for apparel shopping”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol.29 Iss:6, pp.400-411. 19. Pentina, I., Amialchuk, A., and Taylor, D.G., (2011), “Exploring effects of online shopping experiences on browser satisfaction and e-tail performance”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39, No. 10, pp. 742-58. 20. Sashi, C.M., (2012), “Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships and social media” Management Decision, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 253-272. 21. Wong, S.H.R., (2012), “Which platform do our users prefer: website or mobile app?”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 103-15.

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