Two's a Queue

Retail, eCommerce, usability, customer experience, service, technology...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

ASOS f-commerce review

Ah f-commerce. Never has there been a more mentioned phrase at eCommerce networking events (other than 'eurgh what is this I'm drinking it looks like red wine but the taste resembles paint stripper' - but that's by the by). Anyone who wants to appear 'on trend' with their finger on the pulse of social commerce is talking about it. In my experienced they are pretty much the only people that are talking about it..the rest of us are too busy using facebook for it's primary purpose - stalking our secondary school boyfriends /best friends/enemies and observing how fat/ugly/the same they look. Anyway what was I saying? Oh yes bores me.

All that said when a major player like ASOS tears themselves away from updating their friends on the number of olives they've eaten in the last ten minutes and start putting the 'book to a use that should resonate with all retailers - selling stuff, then we should be taking notice. ASOS has 445,401 followers on their facebook page, which up until recently was mainly used for promotional activity and engaging customers in discussion as well as competition campaigns etc. (They also have a customer service page but that's a whole other post). No one can blame them for seeing the £££'s that an audience of that size can represent. And the online retail community is waiting with bated breath to see if they do indeed convert into real money (and I'm sure the ASOS bigwigs have their pinkies crossed under the table as we speak).

Two paragraph's in I'll get to the point. A few things I personally don't like:

  • It's slow to load - the content is clearly going via a third party and it shows. I'm so bored of the waiting wheel I almost went back to studying my high school boyfriend's wife/kids/whatever. 
  • It refreshes every time you choose a colour/size/image. See above
  • The text is pretty small- it looks like it's been scaled down to fit in the minimal space fb allow. I'm old, it makes me squint.
  • Weird image refreshing/no zoom. Can't work it out. One of ASOS's plus point is their catwalk vids. Not here.
  • Error messaging. Eeek!
  • The delivery type selection journey is a bit odd. You choose it in checkout instead of on your 'Shopping Bag' page, and it's hidden in a tiny dropdown. Not sure this is quite as good as it could be.
Things I do like:
  • As expected for social commerce the emphasis is on 'Share'. Big buttons. Nice
  • The user journey in general is pretty consistent with the normal site and it's not overly lengthy. I'd imagine you could see an item that your mate has liked, navigate to it, view it and buy it within two shakes of a lamb's tail.
  • Despite the obvious space issues they have managed to maintain the brand - it's very ASOS and it reflects the site content well.
Now I feel bad that there's more things I don't like compared to what I do like. Partly this is due to me being not really their target market - I admit I do like facebook and I probably do check it everyday but it's on my iPhone on the train rather than spending hours browsing and chatting. Also I work at a desk with a PC on it. If I want to buy ASOS I'll erm....go to ASOS. Whether other people do the same will no doubt be publicly announced at some point in the future. Either way my pennies are going into ASOS's piggybank so ultimately who cares?

I guess that's the key, as long as customers are shopping on ASOS be it on their site or their f-commerce site then all is well in the world. Horses for courses. f-shoppers can shop, and f-stalkers..well they can just keep on stalking.

H x

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