Author: Catherine Fenning, 16 November 2017

Each week retailers seem to announce yet another gimmick to cut themselves an ever increasing slice of the consumer spending pie; one of the most recent is Asos having announced its ‘try-before-you-buy’ service in an attempt to keep pace with the likes of Amazon and Topshop.

The service, using Swedish payments firm Klarna, will allow customers to only pay for what they keep within a 30-day period, with any returned items left un-charged from their account. Currently this option is only available to mobile app users, however, with an increasing proportion of purchases made this way, the snappy invention seems like a no-brainer – and definitely an attention grabber for their cash strapped target audience (millennials, of course!).

News of this payment option comes alongside reports of Asos’ same-day delivery service, its visual search tool and recently, an extension of the latter: that Asos has signed up to Kim Kardashian's ScreenShop App, whereby the user can use a screenshot of an outfit to search a database of 10 million products from hundreds of brands. 

Clothing

What can we deduce from all of this development? And especially from the speed of it all? Perhaps some e-tailers are feeling a little edgy alongside their physical counterparts; Colliers has released statistics indicating by 2021 the growth rate of online sales is expected to decline from around 11% to circa 7%, suggesting the ever increasing competition online may be starting to impact upon sales. Yesterday, the Telegraph noted an increasing number of online retailers, including Sezane, Missguided and Samsung are turning to physical stores to reach customers. This has proven to be a good strategy for retailers such as Apple, to act as flagships for their brand, often acting as attractions for visitors to not only purchase but ogle their product; a strategy that Microsoft is hoping to copy once their store opens on the corner of Oxford Circus in 2018.

If you are looking to reach new consumers through a store expansion strategy, please contact Andy Stringer to hear about FSP’s expert advice.

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