Asos.Com : a Case Study

Founding: ASOS stands for “As Seen on Screen”. ASOS. com was launched in June 2000 by a former advertising executive, Nick Robertson (current CEO). It was started as a niche company selling affordable versions of clothes that TV viewers had seen worn on screen.

The idea was all shoppers would have to do was click on the name of their favorite celebrity, select the copycat outfit and it would arrive through the mail in a few days’ time. It has since changed to selling a huge variety of fashion and beauty products. Brief History of Critical Incidents * 2000 – ASOS launched 2001 – ASOS PLC Holdings was admitted to AIM on the London Stock Exchange * 2004 – Introduced ASOS own label for Women * 2004 – Maiden profit * 2005 – Launched ASOS Beauty * 2005 – Buncefield Fuel Depot explosion closes business for 6 weeks * 2006 – First UK online store to launch catwalk * 2007 – Launched ASOS Magazine *2007 – Introduced ASOS own label for Men * 2008 – Launched ASOS Outlet * 2009 – Launched Little ASOS * 2009 – Launched Designer Store * 2009 – Launched ASOS Life * 2010 – Achieved CarbonNeutral company status * 2010 – Launched ASOS Mobile * 2010 – Launched ASOS US * 2010 – Launched ASOS France 2010 – Launched ASOS Germany Ownership and Management Structure: ASOS. com is a public limited company (plc). This means that the business is owned by shareholders and that its shares can be purchased by the general public.

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ASOS. com shares are traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which is part of the London Stock Exchange.The asos. com board consists of: * Chairman – Waheed Alli * Chief Executive – Nick Robertson * Finance Director and Company Secretary – Nick Beighton * International Director – Jon Kamaluddin * Product and Trading Director – Robert Bready * Non-Executive Director – Karen Jones Non-Executive Director – Mary Turner * Non-Executive Director – Peter Williams Non-executive directors do not have day-to-day operational responsibilities for the business. They are on the board because they bring experience and qualities that can guide the strategic direction of the company.

Growth: ASOS. com is the UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer and offers over 36,000 branded and own label product lines across women’s, men’s and baby clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry and beauty with approximately 1,300 new product lines being introduced each week.Aimed primarily at fashion forward 16–34 year olds, ASOS. com attracts over 8 million unique visitors a month and as at 30 April 2010 had 3. 7 million registered users and 1. 6 million active customers (defined as having shopped in the last six months).

ASOS. com has grown in ten years from 3 employees to currently over 1000 employees with this number soon to rise with the opening of a new warehouse in Barnlsy, UK set to open next year. They have expanded the business internationally to the United States, France and Germany. Strengths of ASOS. com: They have a strong presence in the UK, with the largest market share of any online retailer of fashion and beauty products. *They are strictly and online company which enables them reduces costs and transfers them to the customers.

They have been thus able to provide very affordable prices for their customers * They have seen continued growth since opening ten years ago by providing customers with choice, value, service and fashion credibility. * They have and extremely large, constantly updated inventory of products available on the site. They offer national, international as well as its own brand of clothing for the customer. * They have been first to the market with ideas like the “catwalk” which is the ability of the customer to view their products worn down a runway by a model. * They use the product life cycle to ensure is product portfolio continues to meet the needs on its customers and provide up-to-date fashions in the fast moving online retail industry *They employ great promotional techniques to provide customers with personalized information about new products and discounts.

They employ great marketing techniques to get new customers. i. e. In 2007 aligning themselves with the TV show America’s Top Model and having the clothe worn on the show available right after the shows airing. Which gave them even more fashion credibility * For the last five years they have allowed purchases in some different foreign currencies.

* They provide excellent, prompt delivery and return services. Providing them free for a lot of locations. Weakness of ASOS. com: They do not have any brick and mortar stores which take away from the customer experience of being able to try clothes on and feel the fabrics. * Their first to market entry innovations are and have been easily imitated by competitors.

*They seem very keen on rapid expansion of the company and maybe taking on too many risks. External Environment: ASOS. com has the largest market share of UK online fashion and beauty retailer. In the UK its main competitors in the industry are: * The other online retail outlets NEXT, New Look, JP Boden ;amp; Co and Marks ;amp; Spencer. There are also individual designer labels that are popular and have a presence in the market like Diesel, Guess and Zara.

* They threat of international companies realizing how lucrative the industry is and joining the market. ASOS has expanded into new areas internationally this year by adding German, French and American websites. In these countries they will face opposition from already established online fashion and beauty retailers. Analysis: ASOS. com has grown from a company with 3 employees to a multinational corporation with over 1000 employees and hundreds of millions in yearly revenue.

Their implementation of great marketing and promotional tools, discounted products and large constantly updated inventory and good management has served them well and made them industry leaders. They have shown continued growth, profits and expansion over the last ten years and are primed to be in the industry for a while to come if they stay on this path. Corporate Level Strategy and Implementations: ASOS. com goal is to sell discounted fashion and beauty products online. The target group of customers are fashion forward 16-34 year olds.

The core purpose is to sell the world’s best and current fashions by providing a great, inspiring, engaging online shopping experience. To gain a competitive advantage in the industry by continuous technological improvements and innovations, great management to oversee buying of designer products, production of ASOS brand products, promotion, marketing, delivery of products and growth of the company. Conclusion: The Company’s growth has been great. It started out very small selling knock-off dresses of celebrities on TV to being the largest online fashion and beauty retailer in the UK.The proof is in their market share and profits.

As a result they have expanded into new territories around the world. My only recommendations would: * To not try and expand so rapidly into new markets. Three new countries were added this year alone. * In the US and other new territories advertise more and get the name out there. * At some point in the future maybe have a brick and mortar store.

* Target a larger group of people, everyone. * Continue doing what they have been doing (innovation, great fashion, great marketing and promotion etc) it has been very successful for them.