Asos loyalty scheme to put focus on engagement as well as purchases

Asos is rolling out its loyalty scheme to UK shoppers over the next six months as part of plans to put mobile and content at the heart of the retailer’s marketing strategy and create a deeper emotional connection with shoppers.

Asos is dialling up personalisation to boost sales growth.

The ‘Rewards’ scheme, which was trialled last year, will allow customers to build up points on purchases that are converted into vouchers for use on the site. The scheme will also reward customer engagement, according to CEO Nick Beighton. If a customer, for example, posts a photograph of themselves on Instagram in an Asos outfit with the #asseenonme hashtag they will earn points.

Speaking on a conference call this morning following the retailer’s full-year results, Beighton said the move is part of plans to “be awesome on mobile” and “create content so useful it feels like a recommendation from a friend” as Asos looks to boost engagement and therefore sales.

“Engaging content and experiences generates sustainable organic growth,” he explained.

The move is part of a strategy at Asos that has seen it “re-evaluate everything it does on mobile” in a bid to improve customer service, traffic and sales.

That has helped boost traffic and sales on mobile. Asos says mobile orders went above 50% (to 54%) in the UK for the first time ever in August. Globally 60% of its traffic and 44% of orders are now on mobile devices, with tablet conversion ahead of desktop and iOS “not far behind”.

To build momentum Asos is planning a number of updates to its apps as it looks to make the experience “more personal”.

It is introducing a new mobile personalisation feature based on proprietary technology that creates product recommendations based on a shoppers’ saved history, purchase history, price and favourite brands. ‘Asos Likes’ is a news feed feature that Beighton described as “Grazia meets BuzzFeed”.

It has also launched “As Seen On Me” – which lets users share selfies of themselves wearing products. All of this is aimed at driving interest and engagement with the brand and helping customers make smarter purchases.

“We have to be awesome on mobile,” said Beighton. “We have to make the experience more personal to compete with all the other apps and content so useful that it feels like a best friend recommending you try something new.”

One area that will not be getting renewed investment is advertising. It was down as a percentage of total sales to 5% for the full year ending August and Beighton said it will remain at this level as the brand focuses investment on being price competitive and engaging current customers, rather than acquiring new ones.

Overall, Asos’s sales were up 18% to £975.5m for the year, while pre-tax profits increased by 1% to £47.5m. That is an improvement on last year when Asos was forced to issue a number of profit warnings, causing founder Nick Robertson to step down from his role as CEO with Beighton replacing him.

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