ASOS Looks to Start-Ups for Retail Tech

ASOS’ partnership with RE:Tech will be kicking off with a two-day event in Tel Aviv on June 19 and 20, where the online fashion giant will be accepting pitches from tech-based start-ups looking to get their tech adopted on a global scale.

“Israel is renowned for its cutting-edge tech start-ups, many of which are developing solutions across retail, fashion and e-commerce. With Re:Tech’s help, we’ll be able to plug into this thinking to solve challenges and potentially foster long-term partnerships, expanding on the work we’re already doing in the country,” Cliff Cohen, ASOS’ chief information officer said.

ASOS’ executives will reportedly be looking for start-ups that deal specifically with payments, pricing, customer experience, and search and navigation, as well as feedback, sizing, and delivery and returns.

The event in Tel Aviv is expected to be the first of many, as RE:Tech will reportedly be hosting a number of structured development labs and programmed occassions over the next 12-months, where representatives from ASOS will be in attendance. The first event will be held later in the year and will look at guiding new retail-oriented businesses through the tech development process by hosting demo days and providing mentorship opportunities.

As part of the ongoing start-up program and partnership, ASOS and RE:Tech are reportedly looking for companies that “are focused on solving key challenges for online retailers, such as enhancing user experience, optimising conversions and saving costs; have a strong team specialised in deep technologies, and have a disruptive product that has already been proven to work in the online retail space,” a spokesperson for RE:Tech said.

This isn’t the first time ASOS has looked to Israeli businesses for its online tech, announcing the upcoming release of its ‘Virtual Fit’ technology in collaboration with Israeli start-up, Zeekit, earlier in the year. The e-tailer hopes the augmented reality tech will make shopping for clothes online easier for consumers, while also reducing the number of returns the company processes due to items not fitting correctly.

“We’re experimenting with AR to show products on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape,” ASOS explained in a statement announcing its Zeekit partnership.

The British fashion retailer will be rolling out these updates across its shopping app over the coming months, with some users already noticing changes in how clothes are displayed to shoppers. By using Zeekit’s solution as well, it’s believed ASOS will be able to improve its user experience, reduce the number of preventable returns it’s processing, and reduce the amount of money it spends photographing clothing on multiple models.

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