ASOS Stays Ahead With New Digital Offerings

Fashion online retailer ASOS has just launched its new digital features, including its Pay Later service and a gifting assistant.

On 8th November the company unveiled its new chatbot Gifting Assistant on its Facebook Page that will make suggestions for customers shopping for gifts, creating an engaging new channel for them. ASOS shoppers based in the UK and France can now ask it a series of questions via Messenger, and the chatbot will suggest potential gift options available on Asos.com. Based on machine learning technology, the digital assistant sifts through options by asking the user carefully considered questions, leaving them with narrowed down choices.

The questions will be based on 20-something customers and include quirks like ‘What item would most likely fall out of their bag?’ in order to give clever gift ideas. The service also allows shoppers to see more products should they wish to expand their purchase further.

It will continue the retailer’s partnership with charity organisation Choose Love. If a customer is left unsure on what to purchase, they have the option to ‘Choose Love’ and purchase an item from a charitable range to help refugees, where 100% of the proceeds are donated to the charity.

While the ASOS Gifting Assistant will run over this year’s Christmas period, with the company’s ongoing experiments with artificial intelligence, it could transform into something more substantial on its social network.

In addition to this, earlier this year the company began testing a virtual assistant, to help online customers search for products using their personal data and profile information, including their size and preferences.

ASOS has also jumped on the try-before-you-buy retail trend. Similar to what Amazon is offering via Prime Wardrobe, ASOS shoppers who buy via its app can opt to only pay for products they keep by selecting the “Pay Later” option. This allows them 30 days to pay for the items they want.

How it Works

  1. Choose what you’d like to try and have it delivered with any of ASOS’s delivery options
  2. Try everything on at home and decide what you would like to keep
  3. Send back the items you don’t like
  4. Only pay for what you keep, within 30 days of your order being dispatched – with no interest or fees

But, unlike Prime Wardrobe which aims to discourage shoppers from returning unwanted items by offering them a discount incentive if they keep all the items, ASOS says it’s more focused on those shoppers who don’t actually make the purchase on items they are unsure of.

Not being able to try on clothes has long presented a challenge for ASOS, so it made sense for the retailer to launch the new service in the UK, according to the company’s global trading director, Nicola Thompson.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the ASOS experience for our 15.4 million customers around the world,” says Thompson. “We know people love the option of paying later only for the things they keep, and are excited to introduce this to customers shopping on our app in the UK.”

ASOS doesn’t possess the internal resources to create its own deferred payment platform, or the advanced logistics setup of Amazon, so it partnered up with payments provider Klarna to offer its new Pay Later feature to customers, following a successful run of the service in Germany.

ASOS says it remains focused on giving its customers ultimate choice and the best online shopping experience possible. The company has taken an innovative approach to everything from technology, to fashion, to delivery and payment options.

In the past two months alone, ASOS has announced Style Match, a visual search functionality; ASOS Instant, same day delivery for London customers; and ASOS make up, part of its newly relaunched Face + Body category.

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