• Retail Dive

Asos is showing how clothes look on different body types


Dive Brief:
  • Asos has begun showing its apparel on various body types, picturing select women's items on different women, Refinery29 reports. The feature will soon roll out to its mobile app.

  • "We’re always testing new technology that can make our customers’ experience even better. In this case, we’re experimenting how to show product on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape," an Asos spokesperson told Refinery29.

  • The British fast-fashion retailer already has a good track record when it comes to body positivity and an expansive plus-size assortment, according to Refinery29. The new practice is also garnering praise on social media.

Dive Insight:

By not just offering inclusive sizes but also displaying inclusive imagery, Asos is taking body positivity up a notch.

The new approach demonstrates quite clearly that the retailer wants to show women and girls (the retailer isn't doing the same for men, at least not yet) of all sizes that they needn't be relegated to a special section of the store.

It's a winning move, and customers have taken to social media to let Asos know they appreciate the ability to see what a dress might look like in real life.

It's a lovely message to telegraph to shoppers in stores or online, but the tactic could also help boost online-only Asos by helping shoppers see what clothes might look like on them. Many apparel shoppers in particular stick to shopping brick and mortar because of the ability to assess fit and walk out the door with their purchase. Asos has met the latter challenge with initiatives like its Try Before You Buy program and Asos Instant same-day delivery, which launched in October. Now it's addressing fit by getting real about how actual people will find their clothes.

As a result of its attention to such customer needs, the U.K.-based fast-fashion retailer is besting many rivals, in January reporting that its number of active customers rose 19%, average basket value rose 3%, average order frequency rose 8% and conversions rose by 20 basis points. Total orders placed in the period rose 30% to 20.2 million from the same period last year, spurred in part by the retailer's new omnichannel fulfillment offers.

The number of consumers claiming to have made a purchase rose significantly from the middle of December – almost trebling over six weeks — and the number of Asos' out-of-stocks increased, indicating a higher year-on-year demand, according to a report from brand intelligence firm WGSN. That’s leading WGSN analysts to believe that the retailer has a remarkable edge against its competition.

"E-commerce is retail’s new battleground and Asos its current leader – a position that we predict is unlikely to change anytime soon, despite younger upstarts such as boohoo.com and Missguided coming to the forefront," WGSN said in January. Asos is also beating rivals on average amount spent — 27% higher than its three biggest competitors: Boohoo, Missguided and PrettyLittle Thing, and WGSN analysts expect that to increase.


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