Why Nick Robertson is the boss at ASOS….
When Asos was launched in 2000 by Nick Robertson, the original intention of the ‘etailer was to sell clothes inspired by celebrity style from films and television. When women across the globe were dying to replicate Carrie Bradshaw’s extensive wardrobe or men eager to buy Brad Pitt’s leather jacket from Fight Club, Robertson saw a gap in the ‘etail market and with a £2.3million loan created ‘As Seen On Screen.’
Much has changed since the early days of Asos. The ‘etailer has now carved out a niche for itself and competes with major high street fashion stores for consumer interest, aiming its 19, 500 products specifically at a young market of 16-35 year olds. Sales at the end of March 2009 reached £165 million.
The key to Asos’ sucess lies within the directorial approach of Robertson, who previously had no background in the fashion retail industry when he started the company. He had however, worked in advertising with Young and Rubicam and Carat and it is thought that his advertising expertise has given him an insight into consumer behaviour which he utilises at Asos. Asos takes an orginal approach to fashion ‘etail, with the website presenting the products in a desirable, magazine style as opposed a dull list of clothing. Robertson recognises that presentation is the key to sales within the fashion industry.
Asos have also developed an excellent relationship with their customers, services such as the ‘Asos Marketplace’ where customers can use the Asos site to sell their own clothes. Customers are also offered excellent delivery and return deals. Asos have also recently tapped into Social Networking and are using new technology to collect all comments about the company from sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, aggregating all these comments and displying them online, to get an idea of how many people are being positive and negative about the company. The idea of this brave move is for the company to demonstrate to its customers it’s authenticity and transparency, developing a sense of community. The company are constantly changing and innovating, retaining customer interest and staying one step ahead if the competitors.
To top it all off Asos have also entered the international market and overseas sales have rocketed 112% in the first half of the year. Robertson said “Fundamentally, the internet is the retail channel with the greatest potential and Asos is ideally situated to exploit it.”