[9th April] Online fashion retailer, Asos, was always going to benefit from a period in time where physical retailers were closed and shoppers had to turn to online sources. The brand benefits from a huge inventory of products and a robust distribution network, as well as a strong brand portfolio which now also includes Topshop. In the first half of its financial year, Asos saw sales grow by an impressive 24%.
While the change in shopper habits was beneficial for Asos, the company also recognised the importance in changing its marketing strategy to reflect the behavioural changes. The company invested heavily in marketing, spending £119.4 million during its 2020 financial year to August, after dropping spend in Q3 to avoid stimulating demand it couldn’t cope with.
Increased marketing delivered increased sales
By increasing the marketing spend, the business aimed to raise awareness of the brand, drive customer acquisition and engagement and drive traffic to the platform. A focus was placed on social and digital channels. The increased investment, and a change in strategy led to Asos sales growing by 24%, with an exceptional performance in the UK, where sales were up 39%.
Throughout 2020, we reported on the importance of brands continuing to invest in marketing and advertising, even during challenging periods. Asos could have pulled budget and hoped that with the closure of physical competitor stores they would naturally perform well, however the increased focus on marketing delivered strong results. Marketing budgets are often one of the first to be cut in cost saving measures, however it’s as relevant as ever to continue maintaining share of voice and prominence in uncertain times. With speculative dates for the full reopening of physical retailers, now is the time to re-evaluate media plans again, ensuring audiences encounter strong messaging at multiple touch points with relevant content.