Ride on the E-Commerce Big Data Wave - Learn from the Fashion Giant

 

As someone who would wear anything placed at the top of the pile (you know, the pile of clothes worn during the week but not dirty enough to be put into wash...), I am in no position to give you fashion advice; but speaking from a data analyst's perspective, I would say "Big Data" is hot right now.

Image source: http://www.hl.co.uk/shares/share-research/201707/asos-marching-on

Image source: http://www.hl.co.uk/shares/share-research/201707/asos-marching-on

As the strongest game player in the online shopping platforms global market, ASOS sells over 850 brands and its own range, meaning that there are more than 85,000 products sold every day and 5,000 new ones added every week. It is revealed that the use of data analytics has boosted ASOS' sales by 142% in 2011. In the following, Radica would examine how ASOS gets the best out of data analytics and technology in 3 dimensions:

 

 

 

1. Personalised Shopping Experience: ASOS -> Customers

Image Source: http://mashable.com/2014/10/02/online-shopping-improvements/#_FrntMl41Eqb

Image Source: http://mashable.com/2014/10/02/online-shopping-improvements/#_FrntMl41Eqb

Shopping on this British fashion and beauty online platform is much more innovative than wandering and searching for goods in physical apparel shops. ASOS utilises data analytics to determine which and in what sequence products are displayed on a customer's search. That means, by analysing customers' profile and browsing history, ASOS provides you and me with different product suggestions despite inputting the same keyword in its search bar. Such personalised engagement impresses customers as they get what they want at a first instance; it also benefits business decision-making and increases customer engagement and earnings in the long run.

2. Competitive insights

In 2013, ASOS stepped up to the "data technology game" to further increasing its revenue by 37% (which has now reached ₤1,119.9 million). ASOS fully utilize their market analytics to monitor all kinds of data, from business performance, i.e. new stock and discount activities, entry and exit prices and number of options in stock - all in real time! And use their own data to compare with their competitors! 

Instead of manually browsing each competitor's website to record every single price changes and promotional activities, employees can access clear visual reports with distinct data, without any human error all in real time thanks to data intelligence! Such Technology enable ASOS to derive and implement better pricing strategies catering to customers' tastes and market trends in the market.
 

ASOS also crawls data from the entire fashion industry and compares with historical data to give trends and comments on the performance of a certain product. For instance, "top 5 brands selling patterned trousers", their mean stock sell points and their price statistics. From so, ASOS can determine which on-trend product stays on the platform, and which off-trend products go back to storage, optimising its operating efficiency.

Image source: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/10/20/asos-eyes-deeper-relationship-consumers-through-socially-powered-loyalty-scheme

Image source: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/10/20/asos-eyes-deeper-relationship-consumers-through-socially-powered-loyalty-scheme

3. Trends and Searches: Customers -> ASOS

According to statistics given by ASOS, nearly 70% of its UK orders are made on its phone application; with each person spending on average 80 minutes on the app per month. Seeing such mobile-active customers and large usage of the app, this year ASOS has launched a new "visual search" function, enabling customers to take instant pictures from mobile cameras and find similar items on the ASOS platform. While customers discover their target products (or similars!), they are contributing data, in return to ASOS, for it to understand customer preferences and derive market trends. Of course, this is all supported by artificial intelligence (which matches and discovers similar items in colour, shape, size etc.), machine learning and Big Data (which improves accuracy and precision of AI discovery as the database grows). This function creates a win-win situation: customers no longer need to give awkward conversions to strangers asking where their fashion pieces are from; ASOS has created a new channel exclusively for itself, to gain information and data directly from its customers.

"ASOS' success is born from our ability to continually engage our customers through product, service and technology." It is evident that ASOS has been striving for the better on its technological abilities along the years, now exploring the data world and discovering the unlimited possibilities these data can bring; not only to its business, but also to its customers. It is better late than never, when are you stepping up to the "Big Data" trend? 

 

Published Date: 23 Oct 2017     Written & Posted by Radica System Ltd.