Pureplay retailer ASOS is chiefly known for fast fashion in the UK. But ask any 20-something there where they like to shop for beauty products – ASOS is likely the answer.
Despite increasing competition posed by Amazon, and other UK beauty retailers like Boots and Superdrug, ASOS isn’t faltering – it’s thriving. Its range is said to span much further than Amazon, with quicker delivery options.
The company, which once started off as an online store where shoppers could find clothing and accessories seen on celebrities, has over the last few years began dabbling in beauty merchandise. Four years after launching in 2000, ASOS began selling beauty products, however, it hasn’t been until 2017 that it really began to focus on this category.
Thanks to low prices, speedy delivery options and carrying some of the most trendy beauty brands like Nars, Benefit, NYX Cosmetics, GHD and The Ordinary, ASOS has risen to be the UK’s beauty go-to. While prices range from $3 for a charcoal peel off facemask to $335 for a silicon face cleaning brush, most of its beauty products fall under the $50 price point.
ASOS has the luxury of not competing with US beauty retail giants like Ulta and Sephora in the UK. Ulta does not ship there and Sephora, which operated 10 stores between 1995 and 2000 is no longer physically present there. In addition, ASOS offers a one-stop shop model for online shoppers in the UK, without having to pay for international tax and shipping they would pay if they bought from Sephora’s online platform – ASOS offers free delivery and returns as well.
ASOS currently offers around 6,000 beauty products ranging from over 100 brands. In September 2017, the company relaunched its Beauty category, renaming it “Face + Body”. The company says it has several initiatives in the beauty pipeline, including ASOS Makeup, a genderless beauty line and an augmented reality driven beauty app, currently in beta phase, that allows shoppers to try its branded products on.
The online retailer will also be upping the ante on its beauty content, centered around video and driven by influencers chosen especially for its Face + Body line.