When It Comes to Conversion Rates, Asos Reigns Supreme


May 24, 2016


Fashion is competitive, it doesn’t take a great deal of insight to understand that. In the always cut throat and competitive industry, content marketing has become the weapon of choice. Industry analysts have found that 43% of major brands are wining on their content ROI, with a whopping 80% of brand marketing agencies vowing to invest even more into content in 2016. While content has always been king in boosting page rank and improving the all important concept of consumer visibility, the greatest challenge for online retailers has always been turning marketing campaigns and page clicks into actual conversions. In the case of UK based fashion brand Asos, conversion rates and ROI aren’t as complicated as many brands have come to believe.

Despite massive set backs due to a fire at their UK distribution center in 2015, Asos exceeded market predictions in 2015. While the fire might have cost the brand 30 million dollars in lost sales, one glance at their overall performance and ROI would never tell a story of retail disaster. Rising from the ashes of their loss, Asos recovered quickly and without faltering. What allowed the online retailer to thrive? One needs only to look at their web platform and marketing strategies for the answer.

Asos Website

The Asos homepage is designed with the simple idea of converting clicks into sales. With a seamless platform geared at inspiring the consumer with products and trends, rather than simple navigation, the brand manages to steer the customer towards investing time and investing their dollars. While it seems a simply strategy, it is one that consistently works. Not only is Asos currently ranked second amongst the top UK clothing websites (a highly saturated market), but it’s ranked ninety-third globally, averaging nine million monthly desktop visits per year.

Traffic sources to the site are distributed evenly, with the strongest showings in ‘direct’ and ‘search.’ A rarity in the e-commerce marketplace. Asos places a strong emphasis on SEO, but also realizes that direct traffic comes from building a positive reputation amongst consumers and improving the strength of the brand. Consumers are always more likely to save a brand to their bookmarks or homepage for an easier shopping experience if they feel the brand has a good reputation. SEO is of obvious importance, but most direct traffic tends to stem from repeat visitors, who also help garner high conversion rates. In terms of both SEO and direct traffic, Asos always performs well.

This can be attributed to Asos strong emphasis on branding and forging customer loyalty. These factors can always lead to direct traffic when done right. However, in terms of retail sites, the most important factor isn’t always the quantity of traffic streaming into the site, it is the actual conversion rate. A conversion occurs anytime a visitor to a site takes a desirable action. In the case of retail, it’s buying an item. Conversion rates are calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total ad clicks that can be tracked to a conversion during the same period of time.

At the close of 2016, Asos had a conversion rate hovering at around 6%. That number is higher than the average online retailer, which hovers at around 3%. Even well established brands such as Net-A-Porter can’t seem to break the 3% threshold. Asos’ conversion rates can translate to 18,208,450 successful visits in a single quarter. These high conversion rates can be credited to the amount of time consumers are spending on the Asos site. Asos boasts low bounce rates and exit rates. A customer rarely leaves the Asos site after looking at a single page; the site itself is designed to inspire, engage, and keep a consumer on the site as long as possible.

Asos also has the upper hand due in large part to their diversity in foreign markets. In the fourth quarter, of 2015, the company reported a 33% increase in UK sales and a 14% increase in constant currency from international business. With a rapidly growing global presence and brand awareness that reaches nearly every corner of the world, the site consistently ranks as a top ten clothing website in several different countries. In markets where it is not ranked first, it is ranked second (Ireland and Hong Kong).

In terms of direct visits, engagement metrics, and average page views, Asos is the fifth biggest retail site in the industry. In large part this is due to strong efforts in SEO and PPC, as well as a well versed marketing team and a seamless web platform. While Asos could find contentment in their current conversion rates and numbers, as well as their high ranking in the industry, the brand is always looking to grow their traffic and is already looking to launch stronger campaigns on social networks such as Pinterest.

Asos HQ

Building a brand presence and meeting the demands of foreign markets, has allowed ASOS to tailor their marketing approach in a way that creates high conversion rates, consistent traffic, and return customers in nearly every sales quarter. The combination has made ASOS to a brand that is thriving instead of simply surviving, even in the face of a tough as nails e-commerce industry. Given their current site statistics, ASOS is on the path to continued expansion and is expected to maintain conversion rates throughout 2016 and beyond.

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