Monthly Archives: March 2013

How Online Brands Rule The Market

Emma Scott is the Women’s Wear Marketing Manager for ASOS in the United Kingdom.  Her job is understanding what customers are doing and thinking.  That is, matching customers desires with ASOS products, as well as providing info and content which engages and inspires.

Emma also has to be on top of the latest innovations in technology, keeping a close eye on what competitors are doing.  Day to day Emma and her team help plan and deliver promos and decide on marketing stories for the next few months.  “We liaise with Buyers and Merchandisers then brainstorm ways to engage the customer with in house Editors and Creatives or maybe contact an external agency”- says Emma.  Then the team has to decide what needs to go on the site and loop in UX (User Experience) brief assets required – for site, email, social and anything off the site, making sure links are tracked and reporting on campaigns when they are complete.

“I got into marketing and then moved sideways into fashion retail from publishing.  I started to get involved in ecommerce when I was at Dorothy Perkins as I worked in Customer Relation Management and wanted to develop a magazine that you could shop… and then moved to Tesco to work on their online business and this is my first pure-play retailer.”

The new channels and technologies have meant a great opportunity for business like ASOS, but life is not all peaches and cream.  Keeping up to speed with the changes, trying to second guess where their customers will be and the sheer volume of places makes it a challenge.  According to Emma social platforms are just the tip of the iceberg: “There used to be stores and mail order catalogues, maybe with a call centre.  Now there are stores, web, m-commerce, tablets, apps etc.  Then there’s interactive video and with apps like Aurasma or QR codes or NFT, every surface can become interactive and shoppable.  It’s about keeping all the plates spinning right now!”
Which is the profile for this job, then?  “Passionate, driven, creative, inquisitive, innovator.  An ideas person and a ‘doer’”

What is the next step for an innovative brand like ASOS?  “We want to make the shopping experience richer, more social and fun.  And we want to be the first place 20-somethings go to for fashion”.  What will we see on mobile in 2013?  “Mobile marketing is something everybody talks about but nobody is actually doing anything about it.  I remember once, we were working on a brief where it specified “mobile”, but nobody realised it till a few days before finishing the project”.

At this point, I want to know what somebody who works for an online store thinks about brands which don’t do social media at all, like COS or Primark.  According to Emma, there’s still room for a physical store.  Topshop is just one brand who are still opening stores – with a huge new space in LA.  However it’s likely the store experience will change and become more ‘experiential’ or service driven.  “Stores like Primark are doing well without an online presence but my feeling is brands like this will sell online eventually, if not with a stand-alone site and then via a third party” she says.

Spain is the European country with more mobile devices, even more than the UK, but the penetration of e-commerce is only 27%, compared with 71% in the UK.  How can you increase online sales in this society?  Is it an organic process or a deliberate action of the big online companies like ASOS?  Emma thinks certain things need to be in place.  Fast Internet connection – whether web or mobile – and good devices at affordable prices.  “Plus, there needs to be a bit of a cultural shift”,  she ads, “Fashion Up is going to be launched in Spanish sometime this month. We are sure it will have a good reception but some countries are more about outdoors and meeting friends than shopping alone at home!”

So what does ASOS think about the actual debate of companies sharing their Big Data?  “It’s going to need a big investment to upgrade process and systems”.

Written By Future Media Student: Julia Ivorra

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