Launched in 2000, the UK-based company ASOS has grown to be a veritable juggernaut of the online fashion retail world. Their website attracts over 13.6 million unique visitors a month, is the second most linked-to ecommerce site by blogs in the UK (behind Amazon), and is loved by the Obamas, Cara Delevingne, and Rihanna alike.
The company recorded £753.8 million ($1.2 billion) in sales this fiscal year, which is up 40% year-over-year.
ASOS is clearly doing something right, so the Highly Relevant team took a look at their website to see how other online retailers can learn from their example.
At first glance, we like the clean look of the site. The stark white background makes the photo, the purple CTA buttons, and the dark grey navigation bar across the top of the page stand out most obviously, and scrolling down immediately draws attention to a banner advertising free shipping to over 190 countries, which is a huge selling point. They do a good job of highlighting their strengths (850+ brands, free shipping), but the links that take you to actual product pages (WOMEN and MEN at the top left) blend in a little too much for our liking. Once you hover over those, though, a thoroughly descriptive category listing does appear.
We also love the sheer amount of information that they provide about their products. Fabric contents and product measurements are clearly listed, and they even go the extra mile to provide the model’s height and garment size.
Perhaps the site’s smartest feature is the inclusion of product videos that allow the customer to see how the fabric drapes and moves. Since online shopping eliminates the ability to try on a product before buying, a high-definition video (plus free shipping and returns) is the next best thing.
For SEO purposes, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little more keyword-rich on-page copy. They could also stand to make their links a little more obvious—for example, the “About ASOS” text near the bottom of the homepage links to eight different product category pages (which is a good internal linking strategy), but you wouldn’t know that unless you happened to hover over the right words. Along the same lines, a slightly more dynamic design or a few strategically incorporated colors would go a long way toward better segmenting the sections of the homepage and streamlining the shopping process. We also thought that the two purple buttons on the homepage would be more efficient if they landed you on a page more similar in layout to this one that features all men’s clothing, rather than what appears to be a second homepage targeted specifically at men.
On another note, their blog doesn’t seem to have been updated since April, which seems odd since it’s so prominently linked to from the homepage (Perhaps it’s been abandoned in favor of more active social media?), but the archived content shows a good mix between product promotion, interesting information, and relevant photos.
One of the first things we noticed is that the links to all of their social profiles are way below the fold. But aside from that, ASOS does a great job maintaining a fun, engaging presence on all of the major networks. They have multiple active Twitter profiles for different purposes (@ASOS, @ASOS_US, @ASOS_HereToHelp, for example), which allows you to connect more directly with whatever facet of the massive brand you want to reach out to, and they prominently promote their designated hashtags in the background. Their Facebook page is full of entertaining, pop culture-centered content. They’re even active on Google+, posting eye-catching .gifs on a regular basis.
Overall, ASOS’ social media presence is pretty exemplary.