Asos launches ‘try-before-you-buy’ service as it looks to keep pace with Topshop and Amazon

The retailer has teamed up with Swedish payments firm Klarna to power the service

Asos is the latest online fashion retailer to launch a ‘try-before-you-buy’ service in the UK, allowing shoppers to order products and try them on at home before paying for what they want to keep.

The retailer has teamed up with Swedish payments firm Klarna to power the service, which will only be available to consumers using its mobile app. It has already rolled out the same option in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

The announcement brings Asos in line with Amazon Prime Wardrobe, which offers a similar feature, as well as more traditional retailers like Miss Selfridge and Topshop. Customers have to pay for what they keep, or return their unwanted items, within a 30-day timeframe.

While there’s no news on whether the option will make its way to desktop, the move fits in with Asos’ mobile-centric approach to innovation. More than half (58%) the firm’s global orders are now placed on mobile, while 80% of its UK traffic originates from mobile devices.

Nicola Thompson, global trading director at Asos said: “We know people love the option of paying later only for the things they keep, and are excited to introduce this for customers shopping on our app in the UK."

It's been a busy few months for the fast fashion retailer. A few weeks ago it launched a same-day delivery service for shoppers in London, while earlier this year it added a visual search tool to its mobile app to help customers sift through the 85,000 products it offers.

Speaking to The Drum in August, the brand's director of product development, Andy Berks, said despite these strides his team wasn't getting complacent about innovation.

Hinting that chatbots were next on the agenda, he said: “We’re always adding things that we think will help customers do what they want to do. I don’t think we ever believe that we’ve fully nailed giving customers the right experience. There’s always ways we can do things differently.”

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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