Asos vows to ramp up marketing spend to drive growth

Asos is stepping up investment in marketing further to maintain rapid growth after revealing that marketing spend almost doubled last year.

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In a statement announcing its full-year results, Asos said spend would rise to £55m in its current fiscal year on marketing, people, technology and logistics. It also revealing marketing expenses almost doubled, rising by 93 per cent to £40.93m.

Asos made a pre-tax profit of £54.7m in its full year ended August, up 23 per cent year on year, while retail sales, as revealed last month, rose 40 per cent to £753.8m.

Asos has upped its marketing activities over the past year, with the firm saying it is particularly focused on digital, including pay per click and affiliate marketing, as well as country-specific campaigns.

Marketing expenditure has been focused on “strategically important” countries including the UK, as well as the US, Australia, France and Germany. Campaigns include “Best Night Ever”, which signed up singers including Ellie Goulding and Azealia Banks and featured a shoppable video that allowed users to pin their favourite looks to Pinterest.

CEO Nick Robertson says: “During the year we continued to make progress towards our goal of being the world’s number one fashion destination for 20-somethings. We reached the milestone of 7 million active customers worldwide, following significant investment in our product offer, delivery options, customer experience and marketing.”

Asos has tapped into demand for online shopping, targeting young women hoping to emulate the styles of celebrities such as Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss. It combines e-commerce with social media and content marketing, with its Asos magazine now one of the most widely read fashion publications in the UK.

The site now has 7.1 million active customers, up from 5 million a year ago. It is on track to hit £1bn in annual sales in the 2013-14 financial year, a year ahead of schedule.

Asos has managed to keep and acquire new users through an innovative approach to e-commerce. It offers features such as “Follow My Parcel”, which lets customers track their purchases in real time, and a “Scan & Shop” tool that enables consumers to scan an item in a magazine article using their smartphone to get redirected to an online sales page.

It has also revamped its iOS app and mobile website and released a new Android app, as well as updating its website with new features such as “recently viewed” and “buy the look” and offering users a new homepage with a continuous feed of fashion news.

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