Asos eyes deeper relationship with consumers through socially-powered loyalty scheme

Asos wants to encourage repeat purchases among its growing customer base with the roll out of a loyalty programme which has focused on rewarding social engagements alongside purchases.

The online fashion giant has gained favour among 20-somethings with regular promotions, such as 20 per cent off discounts and special offers for ‘premier’ customers. However, former chief executive Nick Robertson described the company's heavy and frequent discounting and promotions as a “blunt tool” it was looking to move away from.

Now, with a target of £2.5bn in annual sales by 2020, the retailer needs its 9.7 million active users to buy more stuff, more often. The scheme will offer points for purchases and social enagement which shoppers can cash after accumulating a certain amount.

On a call with investors today, chief executive Nick Beighton - who replaced Robertson earlier this year - said of the new scheme: "It rewards total loyalty. We're saying, 'see this beautiful proposition we have, come and get involved and we will reward you accordingly'."

It comes after what Asos described as a "successful trial" last year with a small group of UK shoppers.

In the trial, shoppers earned five points for every pound they spent. Each point was worth 5p and shoppers with 500 points could cash them in for a £5 voucher.

Other rewards include birthday discounts, free next day deliveries and exclusive content.

The social element of Asos Rewards will do the bulk of the lifting to foster regular dealings with the brand. Points will be offered for enagegment through the likes of its recently launched #asseenonme platform.

Currently, when users post an image of themselves on social channels using the hashtag the content is pulled into a feed on the Asos website.Moving forward, those signed up to the loyalty scheme will be awarded points for posting on social channels and interacting with content.

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

Last year, former Asos director James Hart – its first ever employee – invested in LoyaltyLion, a start-up that helps retailers reward consumers for social engagement. It was his first venture since leaving the e-commerce giant last January after 15 years. It is not known if LoyaltyLion is connected to Asos Rewards, but at the time of its launch Hart said it would potentially be of interest to the retailer.

“The best loyalty programmes rely on people buying things, but in the digital environment there are so many other touch points for customers to engage with brands and right now they’re not rewarded for them,” he told The Drum at the time.

LoyaltyLion had not returned The Drum’s request for comment and Asos declined to share more details on the scheme, confirming only that Asos Rewards will launch during the next six months, initially for UK customers.

Jennifer Faull

The Drum senior reporter Jen Faull provides news and insight on the latest developments in retail and FMCG.

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