To them to save items for possible

To conclude, ASOS uses many
different datasets for distinct purposes. Retail analytics are used to predict
trends, which allow ASOS to stay on top of their fast fashion market and remain
ahead of competitors. Customers details are collected by ASOS in order to
assist them in processing orders as well as benefitting customers by allowing
them to save items for possible future purchase, as well as allowing a more
personalised experience for ASOS customers with cookies and ad-tags being used
to market certain products to different target markets, in order to make ASOS
more cost-efficient and efficient with their resources.

Another form of marketing
that ASOS carry out is the use of social media. ASOS Facebook page currently
has over 5 million followers, compared to its fast fashion rival Boohoo with
only 2.5 million. (Facebook, 2017) This page
would be used by ASOS to promote new products and brands being added to the
website, as well as sales beginning on their site. With a “Shop” option on the
page which is hyperlinked to the website itself, this makes it easier for new
potential customers to visit the website. Typically, they post around twice a
day, which is reacted to by around one thousand people and around two hundred
people comment on each post. Some of these posts include celebrity influencers
who may attract more people to the Facebook page and furthermore onto the
website, which may lead to purchases being made by them through the website. (Sundberg, 2017) They are very active on Twitter with
different accounts made for each different purpose, including a primary page
(@ASOS) then several secondary pages like ASOS Careers, ASOS Marketplace and a
customer care page (@ASOS_Heretohelp). Each Twitter account has a large amount
of resources invested in them, ensuring the pages are constantly kept up to
date and customers can easily contact ASOS if a problem occurs with any orders
or delivery issues. (Twitter.com, 2017) Finally,
their Instagram page is also used a lot to promote products that they sell.
Posts include stylists posting their outfit of the day, featuring products from
ASOS, to pictures products on their own. These provide inspiration for
customers to shop on ASOS and see products they are considering purchasing in
real life. Hashtags can also be used by customers to show how they are wearing
the products being sold. This can assist ASOS with the marketing as potential
customers may search the ASOS hashtag if someone they follow uses it, allowing
them to see other users posts and so they may see items which they are
interested in. (Sundberg, 2017)

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ASOS carry out direct
marketing on their customers. By being aware of their target market,
millennials, this can assist ASOS with their marketing as this is their chosen
demographic and they can reach their best potential customers this way. ASOS
use banners and ads on other websites in order to advertise their products to
different markets by using different advertising technologies like ad tags and
cookies, as well as mobile identifiers. (ASOS, 2017b) The
ads that the customer sees will be based on their previous viewings on the ASOS
website, for example their search history within ASOS or content they have
viewed on the website. They carry out direct marketing like this to promote
their products to their best potential customers, which also means they are
less likely to spend as much time and money marketing to large markets who may
not be interested in the product at all.

Customer details are also
a major dataset collected by ASOS. ASOS collect nominal data such as the
customer’s name, email address, home address and gender. They describe this as
“Directly Provided Data”. (ASOS, 2017b) This
data is collected when customers create an account with ASOS online, which is
an essential step needed to purchase clothes from their website. It allows ASOS
to identify the customer to ensure that their orders are fulfilled correctly
and accurately, avoiding mistakes being made within the order processing such
as delivery errors, and allowing ASOS to communicate with the customer about
their order, allowing them to inform the customer of any potential problems
with their order. ASOS only keep the data as long as you are registered with
them in order to adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998, which states that data
must be kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary. (Data Protection Act, 1998) ASOS collect customer’s
payment details, such as credit card details or log-in details for third party
payment systems such as Klarna or PayPal. This is also categorised as Directly
Provided Data, however they must protect these details for the customer, which
is why they use a secure protocol (https) when transactions are taking place on
the website. To provide further security for their customers, access to
customer details is strictly password-protected and sensitive data is protected
by SSL encryption when exchanged between the customer’s web browser and ASOS
services. (ASOS, 2017b) Other customer details
collected include items that the customer saves to their ‘Saved Items’. These
items are displayed on the ‘Saved Items’ for 60 days before they are automatically
removed. Items saved here let customers come back to them if they are
contemplating purchasing them but aren’t completely sure. While this benefits
the customer, it additionally benefits ASOS as they can see which products are
popular with customers, as well as seeing who their target market is with
attributes such as specific sizes and product brands.

As a fashion retailer,
ASOS need to meet the demands of “fast fashion” as well as pricing items
correctly, reducing items at the right time, knowing how much stock to hold and
of which size, colour and style. (Murray, 2016) Fast
fashion is, essentially, accelerating the production process so that catwalk
trends are in stores or online as quickly as possible. ASOS is currently, along
with New Look and Very, one of the most popular fast fashion brands in the UK market,
accounting for 47% of the market. It is important for ASOS to meet the demands
of fast fashion as their target market, millennials, now have an estimated
spending power of $2.45trn. (Gilliland, 2017) In order to meet
the demands of trends, they need to be able to predict them, through the use of
forecasting staff. ASOS have an in-house design team, part of whom focus on
discovering the latest trends in the market. They do this manually using social
media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where they can find out exactly
what their customers are talking about and what they want. Another way that
ASOS find out the latest trends is the use of third party retail analytics such
as ‘Edited’. They combine numerous datasets such as analysing catwalk photographs,
retail sales numbers and any type of ‘buzz’ on social media platforms. (Datoo, 2017) This allows their supply chain lead time
to be decreased, ensuring that new trends are online sooner, attracting more
customers and also allows for more accuracy within forecasting trends which in
turn can lead to fewer wastage and mistakes within business decisions. ASOS can
produce products in around four weeks, which is unheard of compared to other
brands, who struggle to produce the same products in eight months. Goldman
Sachs correlated the data between supply chain lead times and like-for-like
sales growth. With the supply-chain lead time of around four weeks, there is a
like-for-like sales growth of almost 20%. (Bain, 2017)

ASOS is an online fashion
and beauty store with a primary target market of millennials. ASOS stocks over
80,000 products from brands such as Adidas, Converse, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne
Westwood, as well as non-branded garments and accessories. (ASOS, 2017a) These are sold within the UK as well as
internationally to countries such as Australia, China, Mexico and United
States, helping them achieve a steady growth with their most recent financial
summary showing a 33% increase in revenue to £1.92 billion as of 31st
August 2017. (investing.com, 2017)

In this report, I am going to outline some of
the different datasets that ASOS collect and their use for each, such as fast
fashion demands and social media marketing. Each of these contribute toward
sales for the company and can attract customers to the website worldwide,
particularly from the social media side. This can widen ASOS target market and
in turn allow ASOS to grow their brand and expand into different markets,
potentially engaging more brands through their website such as more high-end
brands and contemporary brands.

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