Asos announces upgraded beauty category

It has been announced that British online fashion and cosmetic retailer, Asos, is set to upgrade its beauty offerings and experience over the next year. The move, according to an article by Glossy, is in response “to a quarantine-driven boost in beauty sales, as well as to fashion’s uncertain future.”

Back in 2004, Asos launched its beauty and grooming category, but it was rebranded as Face and Body in 2017. At the time, this category sold 100 brands, which made up one per cent of its global net sales. Asos now currently boasts approximately 240 brands, including the likes of Olaplex, The Ordinary and Frank Body. These brands account for five to 10 per cent of global net sales, according to Asos head of buying for Face and Body, Alex Scolding.

And now, the retailer has started adding even more to its growing list of offerings – including cult beauty favourite, Charlotte Tilbury. It was added to the site through a three-month digital pop-up, a strategy which Asos is trialling for the very first time. In addition to sales, Asos will be evaluating new customer increases, social listening, social buzz and shopping engagement. After the pop-up, the retailer aims to sell the full Charlotte Tilbury assortment, as opposed to the reduced 35 product range it is currently selling.

“One of the reasons why we trialled with a pop-up concept is to make sure that the customer, who is quite young and [price conscious] can stretch into those luxury price points,” Scolding said. “But Charlotte Tilbury has already proven that her brand and products are universally loved.”

And while Asos has always experienced incremental growth in the face and body category sales, the site reported that COVID-19 has increased growth exponentially, while also shifting what customers are purchasing.

Furthermore, the beauty industry’s three-year focus on omnichannel, a cross-channel content strategy that organisations use to improve their user experience and drive better relationships with their audience across points of contact, has now shifted to pure-play e-commerce retailers. According to Scolding, this puts Asos in a strong position to nab premium brands while simultaneously delivering a better experience.

As a result, Asos will also be introducing virtual try-on and peer-to-peer product reviews over the next six to 12 months. Scolding is aiming to make the face and body categories one of the retailer’s largest categories, based on the amount of brands and products coming on board over the next year – which have not been confirmed.

“We need to first establish ourselves with all the big brands,” she said. “That’s the most important thing: establishing those relationships with brands, making sure that we are [enhancing] assortments and ensuring that we are meeting all of the customer’s needs. We’re introducing more premium brands and more accessibly priced brands, and we’re broadening all of these categories.”