The Coronavirus pandemic had a negative impacts on many markets including clothing retail market, but for some online fashion retail companies like ASOS, the closure of physical stores was a very good opportunity to grow and increase their sales. In today’s article of Niorise, we take a look at how other online fashion retailers can learn some good lessons from Asos’ success. Stay tuned.

Navigating the Covid-19 Pandemic

After the pandemic started, ASOS has proven itself to be versatile enough to easily change from one category to the other, introducing more leisure wear products at the expense of casual wear in reaction to a significant change in customer lifestyles. ASOS stands out from its competitor Pureplays as the most trustworthy online-only clothes store, as Mintel’s forthcoming clothing report shows.

The concentration of ASOS on customer service, along with its investment in the new online technologies and its continuing attempts to become even more sustainable, allowed ASOS to stand out from the other clothing retail companies. As a result, in the study of 15 fashion brands, ASOS is the one most highly regarded by buyers as an outstanding experience and most recommended.

ASOS responded to the pandemic by strengthening its emphasis on new technologies, increasing the use of augmented reality (AR) for the fitting process, and assisting consumers locate apparel that fits by enabling them to view products on various scale models. It also appeared to be ahead of the game when it came to sustainability, despite acknowledging that the problem is not yet influencing any of the buying patterns of its consumers.

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Although ASOS is in a strong position to take many advantages of changing buyer behavior, the brand is also aware that its young client base is in an increasingly difficult financial situation and that their lives are impacted and that this will have an effect on potential demand. In answer, a discount clothes brand named ‘As You’ was launched at the end of October 2020, with prices between £8 and £28, to cater to these cash-strapped buyers.

Fashion Retailers

The primary takeaway for retail companies

The popularity of ASOS underlines the value for retail companies to be flexible in periods of disruption in order to respond to changing customer buying behaviour. When innovation becomes less relevant, retail companies need to concentrate on investing in the best products that their clients want. This would continue to preserve their margins, and also to reduce the need for frequent and intense price reductions to get rid of unsold products.

Purity has also highlighted how important it is for all fashion stores to reinvest in their online operations and creative technologies, like digital fitting tools, in order to enhance customer experience and turn visitors into regular shoppers.

What would that mean for store-based clothing retailers?

Although most people are actually in favor of purchasing clothes online, a substantial proportion of them have also purchased clothing in-store. Young people, Millennials and Gen Z, who are the largest online retail shoppers, are now the most probable to have visited fashion retailers after they opened again since the lockdown. This demonstrates that, amid an online transition which has been amplified as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic, stores still have an important part to play. The future of fashion shopping would need retailers and brands to concentrate on linking offline and online in order to build a cohesive consumer experience.

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