The Asos app has become a frequent download for people in UK. The app was built in-house and has garnered over 10 million downloads already. It focuses on retailer’s latest technology investments. The team of 900 people is all set to add 200 more by the end of 2018, and there is no doubt of constant progress. The app homes features like AI-driven product search, digital payments, and fits analytic functions. All of these are to make cellular shopping experience easy.
Recently, the brand rolled out a visual search tool to UK’s iPhone app users. Shoppers can take a photo of their product they like in the app, and then pool out similar items from over 85,000 product choices. This feature is soon to come in Android and will spread to the international markets in 2018. People in USA will soon have all these facilities, as Asos has invested $40 million for building a distribution center in the country.
The head of product and UX of Asos, Rich Jones, had said that their first priority is to give experiences that capitalize on mobiles. Their designs and experiences should be accurately for customer’s devices, as our lives now revolve around our cell phones! Making the experience match is going to be quite a deal, as everyone has different preferences and requirements.
The majority of people on Asos are adapting their usability. Around 70% of traffic and 58% of purchases happen through our mobiles. However, Asos has gone up to 80% and 70% in terms of traffic and conversions!
Jones accepts that while improving an app, the technology department has to keep the customer’s grievances in mind. If they can solve the problems customer’s face, it makes mechanism and helps reach out to more people.
Asos has a huge inventory of over 85,000 products and from 200 brands, and that resonate the customers. According to their latest earning report for their 3rd quarter of 2017, the retail sales were up by 32% and the amount was $859 million. This has led to having a profit of around $103 million for this year. As per the recent results, Asos has overtaken competitors like Zara and H&M. Zara had gone up by 17% and H&M by 9% on sales.
One problem that Jones has admitted to is searching through endless product options. They are designing a new way to assort products and make the process easier. Jones said that if you only type ‘dresses’, they would have 10,000 options to show. However, they are trying to get to a point where people can get 5 to 10 product options and be accurate enough as per the consumer’s need. He feels the visual search would help solve a problem of narrowing down assortment and getting customers straight to products that they are looking for. For instance, if people search for pink shoes, they would get to see 500 options and that would include peach loafers and pink glitter shoes, and more. However, with a visual search, an image of hot pink booties would give the people 100 results that match the shade and style.
Jones also said that there is a learning curve that goes around customer’s behavior. As retailers have tested ‘Shazam for retail’, it is not likely that people search images. He feels that visual search satisfies people who know what they really want. However, when you look for a dress, the machine learning will give you too many options to choose from, not knowing what type of dress you might be requiring.
Personalization with data usage is seeing new highs every day – it is now data science and artificial intelligence as per Asos CEO Nick Beighton and his conversation with the investors. Since, we will have years to live on apps, so they think that AI would use data to power customer’s choices. With better features, the customer’s are likely to have ease of use.
Asos is working to improve their app according to the personalized behavior of customers and their preferences. Right now, they use a third-party partner to track data, but that too plans to come in-house soon. They are going to launch their mobile AVA, and there will a virtual assistant that would help users look for products and keep a profile on the demographics like their preferences, size, age, and more.
According to Eric Brassard, the founder of AI recommendation company Propulse Analytics said that, feedback is something that AI can grasp well. The customer’s behavior is the driving force of AI and machine learning techniques. This is also why AI has a huge impact in fashion industry, and it takes endless data to deliver all the answer and it simplifies on the human-like level.