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Despite having an iPhone app for more than a year ASOS waited until last week to finally unveil the Android smartphone version.

It’s been a long time coming and as a regular ASOS shopper I was keen to try it out.

Read on to find out what I thought about the app, or for more information on this topic checkout our blog posts on ASOS’s recently revamped mobile site and its approach to social marketing...

The homepage

When you initially open the app it immediately asks you to sign in, and as a frequent ASOS shopper I went straight for this option to happily relinquish more of my browsing data in return for a personalised experience.

I used the search function initially get to the full range of Converse products and was pleased to find that the app has an extremely fast predictive search feature.

There is also a huge range of filter options to help you drill down to the product type you want, more even than appear on the desktop site.

                      

Another neat touch is that when you’re signed in the ‘wish list’ feature syncs up with the desktop and mobile sites, so your saved items are accessible across all platforms.

This may seem like a fairly minor point, but it’s a useful feature and shows that ASOS is dedicated to creating an excellent customer experience.

Product pages

Product pages within the app largely follow the same layout as the mobile site, presenting a stripped down version of the desktop version with any superfluous information either removed or hidden.

They retain all the same features though, including photos, video (which isn’t available on the mobile web), product recommendations and the ‘shop the look’ tool.

Product details are kept to a minimum but users can access more information using the rather small ‘More info and care’ button.

This button is quite easy to miss, though that’s probably a good idea as you don’t want to distract from the ‘Buy’ call-to-action, but the information contained within it needs to be reformatted as it’s currently a bit of a jumble.

ASOS has neglected to put any spacing or line breaks in the copy, so product descriptions appear as a mass of jumbled text.

                      

That very minor issue aside, the product pages are well designed and I particularly like the large images and decent sized CTAs.

Shopping basket

The ‘add to bag’ process is slicker on the app then it is on the mobile site, as a large CTA appears rather than the tiny text link that you’re presented with on the mobile web.

One of the largest buttons at the shopping basket screen gives you the chance to ‘Move to saved’, which is presumably trying to hedge against the fact that conversion rates on mobile are low so giving shoppers this option might help to secure a transaction on desktop at a later date.

                                     

The shopping baskets are also synced across different devices, so the horrible orange jumper I added in the app also appeared instantaneously on the desktop site.

Checkout

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that most people using the ASOS app will be repeat shoppers, so they’ll likely already have an account set up.

This makes payment an absolute dream, as all your details and delivery preferences are already teed up ready to go. Therefore customers just need to enter the three-digit security code from the back of their card and hit ‘Place order’.

                                     

It’s incredibly simple and will certainly help encourage impulse purchases from existing ASOS shoppers.

One thing worth noting is that the checkout isn’t quarantined, even though it is on both the mobile and desktop sites.

In conclusion...

ASOS has created an excellent mobile app that will no doubt do wonders for its mobile revenues.

Just as shoppers are used to turning to Amazon and eBay’s mobile apps for fast, impulse purchases I can imagine ASOS’s new Android app will help to increase brand loyalty and incremental sales.

The few problems I found really are very minor and can probably be easily rectified by ASOS’s mobile team.

As one would expect it’s a step up from the mobile site in terms of usability, with navigation being the biggest improvement. It also includes product videos, which are lacking from the mobile web version.

Overall ASOS’s Android app offers an excellent user experience and will no doubt lead to me spend even more money on skinny jeans and Converse trainers...

David Moth

Published 15 October, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1676 more posts from this author

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James Hart

Hi David,

Thanks for the review and for your continued coverage of our products.

Just a quick note to say, as always, we will take your and our customers constructive criticism on board and use it to improve the experience.

We have just shipped the 6th update of our mobile site, which deals with many of your concerns about our first launch a few months ago, especially those around navigation. It is now much closer in fact to the Android app experience; you may want to take another look :)

One other thing I noticed is that you mention a couple of times above that we don't have catwalk videos on the mobile site. This isn't the case; we launched catwalk on the m. site at launch. Sometimes it does take a day for the videos to appear on the m. site though, so if you are in New In you may not see all the videos on the products towards the top of the page.

James

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Hi James

Thanks for your comment. I did actually double check the mobile site to see if videos had been added since I last used it, but it appeared that they still weren't available.

I've just been and checked your sale items on the mobile version. Admittedly a few of them did have videos, but a majority didn't. I took a couple of screenshots - hopefully these links work:

http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/8706/asos_1-blog-half.png

http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/8708/asos-blog-half.png

over 2 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

Hi David,
Do you think that the app does anything that a mobile site couldn't?

Unfortunately our customers visiting our sites as frequently as ASOS's customers undoubtedly do, so apps are less relevant for us. Our strategy is to focus on the usability and persuasiveness of our mobile offering.

I'm always interested to hear what people might miss out on if we don't supply an app?

Stuart

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Hi Stuart,

As far as I can tell (James may be able to correct me) the app offers the same functionality as the mobile website.

However the app feels a bit faster, is easier to navigate (e.g. you can use the back button on your handset) and has that vague quality of "feeling a bit slicker". Also, though it only takes a few moments to search for a mobile site, it feels infinitely quicker to be able to fire up an app by pressing a single icon.

But I definitely agree with your point about putting your efforts into the mobile site instead of an app. Unless you've got a large base of regular customers, then it's worth focusing on creating a brilliant mobile site that will get a lot of traffic rather than wasting effort maintaining an app that nobody uses.

over 2 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

Thanks David.

I had a thought: if you're a big company like ASOS, I guess they had to ask themselves "why not do an app?", especially if you have the dev resources. It's the equivelant of Tesco opening a metro just down the road from an extra, a land grab for market share, but also share of mind. It's what I'd do.

However, at this time I'm focused on our mobile (actually, mobile-first) responsive, as it gives us most bang for our buck.

I've challenged our internal team to get app-like performance from an HTML site.

over 2 years ago

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James Hart

Hi Guys

David - quick one on videos. The bottom line is all products with videos on the desktop site are on the mobile site and apps, and have been since day 1 of the m. relaunch back in April.....where you WONT see them though is on 1) brand new products as they have a day or so delay and 2) products added before we went live (so now very few, and most likely in clearance - i.e. the ones you have found above). I'm sure you'll prove me wrong again though!!

Stuart - you're strategy is probably right if you have to choose. We started with mobile web and it is much more accessible to many more people; but smartphone users do love their apps and they are generally more performant and easier to pick up and open; hence the much higher conversion we see via our apps over mobile web.

James

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Cheers James. Though just to say that I wasn't trying to prove you wrong or catch you out, I was just giving examples in case they proved to be of use to you.

Anyway, thanks for your comments and congrats on coming up with another great app!

David

over 2 years ago

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Julio Laker

I find it a bit odd that there's a new app and it wasn't uploaded over the old one? How are customers supposed to know about it? I have asos Online 2013 and was blissfully unaware until I saw the linked in update.

Few things I've noticed:

1) The branding is a bit confused. I thought it was all lower case "asos" not ASOS but the app name in Google Play and on now on my homescreen says ASOS upper case, same within the app on the menu on the left.

2) Totally froze at 17:34 on a Galaxy S3 clicking on the lingerie & nightwear link. 2nd attempt 17:35 "Error occurred - Retry" totally frozen again

3) I was going to that link because as a man buying clothes for a lady I find it totally perplexing that you would sell a bra on its own with no next best activity with the exact matching products for that bra. Make it easy for me to find a matching set. Looking at Mimi Holliday Frost blah, blah, blah bra £55 and I can see on the picture to the left that there are matching knickers but I can't buy them? Is it just because as a man my brain doesn't function correctly, do women only want to buy bras on their own? I'd love to give you some money but I have a very short attention span when it comes to shopping for my wife so it needs to be made nice and easy for me:)

4) The app gets quite big quickly with stored images compared to the old app which was about 1.5MB (this one got to 12MB in just a few clicks). Digital footprint matters on Android because some of the pokey cheap ones only have an internal memory of 5MB. You might consider a content delivery network to speed up the downloads and make the app lighter and faster. Less than 50% of the UK is on anything quicker than GPRS (about 30Kbps) despite what the adverts tell you, that includes Wifi. Making the app quick and fast is very important. You lose 7% of your customers after just a 1 second delay.

Again as with the other posters these aren't necessarily criticisms, just critiques and suggested improvements. Other than the nav bar at the left and the welcome removal of the ad banner there's not a huge difference to the old one.

I see that notifications are set to on. Will asos be sending me in app notifications?

JL

over 2 years ago

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Julio Laker

@ Stuart it's a good thing that people visit your mobile web more often. You cannot search for and discover content in a native app from the web, it's just not possible yet so whilst it's all very nice to have a retail app, it's not very easy to drive traffic to specific parts of it, rather you have to drive traffic to download. This kills the 3 clicks to buy principles so you lose customers and there's no way of highlighting the product they searched for on the app landing page.

The best strategy for you is a Hybrid app approach, your HTML5 mobile website (responsive up to Smart TV) should be wrapped up and placed into each of the OS app stores. That way you have the benefit of being discoverable via search, your app and your mobile web are 100% in sync, you can content manage your entire digital estate from one single content management source and you are not getting charged for an Apple, Android, RIM, Bada & Windows app independently, service costs and development.

People moan about HTML5 or other mobile web transitions and fluidity but have a look at http://app.caughtoffside.com ignore the hideous adverts and generally spammy experience but enjoy the JS and CSS3 transitions between the pages.

Happy to pick this up with you directly :)

over 2 years ago

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