ASOS stands for “As Seen On Screen” and is a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer. It was found in the year 2000 in London, primarily aimed at the young millennials. The site sells over 850 brands as well as its own private labels of clothing and accessories.
The website has amassed over 80000 branded and private labels. It is headquartered at Camden Town and at the Greater London House. The retailer ships to over 2000 countries with distribution centers located in the US, UK, and Europe. They have 168 suppliers who use 713 factories around the world. They employ more than 3000 people and they have a world-leading ethical trade strategy which includes health and safety of the employees, improving wages, transparency, addressing and reducing modern slavery.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of ASOS
1) Brand image
The brand has also partnered with GLAAD, which is one of the biggest voice of the LGBT community. The brand promotes a healthy body image and doesn’t conform to any stereotypes. The brand also assures its customers that it does not digitally manipulate the image and the clothing worn by the models. ASOS has created a good brand image by emphasizing on the corporate responsibility and also letting the customers know who they are helping. ASOS loves good advocacy of the brand.
2) ASOS Designs
The brand ensures that it does everything to help the customers find their fit. The brand has more than 30 sizes and is committed to providing all the sizes at the same prize. The designs are made such that it can accommodate all the sizes. ASOS offers a selection of products that anyone can choose from. The brand takes fashionable products from different brands and then groups them with their own brand. This strategy has helped ASOS become the best online fashion destination
3) Supply Chain
ASOS has a unique approach to understanding and strategically implementing the supply chain operations. The company plans to continue its local expansion and invest more in its supply chain operation. The company sources from 500 factories in 28 countries and the brand have invested both in technology and distribution.
The transportation management operations are closely monitored by ASOS. The major suppliers of ASOS are spread across 14 countries. The customers receive a text or an email during the day of the delivery with an initial one-hour delivery time slot. Customers can also track their purchase using online mapping by web or mobile app. Integrating technology with operations has helped ASOS increase revenue.
4) Brilliant Influencer Marketing Initiative
The brand has a group called ASOS Insiders that is a group of 20-year-old millennials who post their fashionable outfits on the Social Media and other channels. The trending term among the millennials is OOTD( Outfit Of The Day) and these influencers curate irresistible versions of their OOTD.
On Instagram, users can see product codes in the image captions. With the help of a tracked link, the customers can reach ASOS website from the influencer’s curated links. Even in Pinterest, the photos are directly linked to the webpage of ASOS. Customers can obtain the featured products straight from their social media accounts.
Weaknesses SWOT analysis of ASOS
The investment of ASOS on Research and Development is below the industry average. It has not been able to compete with the leading industry players in terms of innovation. The brand has come across as a mature firm who brings out products on its website when it is already testing and working in the market. However, the brand has now taken initiatives towards R& D by supporting the University of Arts, London along with brands Clarks, for sustainable growth in fashion through innovation and adaptation.
2) Free shipping
The brand has a superb global shipping strategy to accommodate the international buyers and has become a truly global business but it comes with a cost. The share value of ASOS dropped when free shipping started hitting its gross margins. It had for a period of time halted this offer and has resumed it back again.
The company needs to invest in technology more to improve its customer experience. The company needs to increase the use of data analytics to improve its slow-down in sales growth. The company is expanding at a rapid scale in different geographies. The company needs to invest in more technology to integrate all the process across the boundaries and take strategic decisions that are backed by data.
Opportunities SWOT analysis of ASOS
1) Changing Trends
The newer trends in the fashion industry and changes in the consumer buying behavior can open up new markets for ASOS. The celebrity culture has existed since the inception of the brand. The 41% of their current offerings are never older than 3 months. The changing trends and increasing demand allow them to obtain around 2500-7000 new products each week. The brand can leverage this to diversify into newer product categories and offerings.
By increasing marketing efforts to leverage traffic from the sites that their competitors utilize, ASOS could convert undecided shoppers before the competition does, therefore expanding their consumer base and increasing traffic.
ASOS is also planning to launch a TV advert campaign in France highlighting the success of the UK Billboard advertising efforts. Use of real-time data from social media, blogs, and websites and then using the insights to drive the marketing and pricing decisions will help the brand improve its customer base.
ASOS can build its inventory, add more ranges of products, increase brands and also expand into new categories because customers like variety.
ASOS remains to focus on fashion even though it has expanded on beauty.
ASOS is making a good push in US markets with the new application that allows consumers to shop and access additional brand content. The app should help ASOS dig deeper in the US market. The brand has also opened a warehouse in the US to improve shipping. Various other product options like “try before you buy” and same day delivery in new markets should help in the expansion of the brand.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of ASOS
ASOS should work on the marketing of the products in terms of positioning and unique selling propositions. Since these are not well defined, it had led to attacks in the segment by the competitors.
We have brand Bohol which has 100 new styles added each day giving better options to customers. It also has 28-day returns offer for their customers. Another competitor is Nbrown which has a digital strategy that includes the partnership with Amazon, this brand has a significant share in the ladieswear segment. Amazon’s launch of Prime Wardrobe offers progressively higher discounts that ASOS. The competition is getting tougher and ASOS needs to make strategic decisions to stay ahead
2) Economic factors
The world trade organizations govern the trade rule and any decision was taken is help the producers of goods and services conduct their businesses. ASOS must ensure that they follow to the agreements. The trade war that might get the prices of the products to hike and also and Brexit which has caused the movement of skilled labor to slow down in the UK. ASOS will always have to plan for all the scenarios the political and economic conditions might throw on it.