Amazon moves into fashion while Asos tries to take lead digitally

Fashion label Asos will be testing new digital features that include a gifting assistant and a “pay later” feature. The fashion company is also adding a chat box feature on its Facebook page starting November 8th for shoppers in the UK and France. The Shoppers will answer a series of questions that will help the chat box compose a list of suggestions for potential gifts that are available on the site.

The chat box service is originally set to run through Christmas but there is a possibility that this simple addition to the website could lead to a foundation for Asos to work with artificial intelligence. Earlier this year Asos began to test a virtual assistant that would help customers search for products and it even kept a profile of their personal data, including size and their specific preferences.

Asos has also been the newest company to try the “try before you buy” trend. This trend is similar to Amazon Prime Wardrobe. The shoppers who buy from Asos app will only have to pay for the items they want to keep by selecting the “pay later” option that gives the shopper 30 days to use their payment method to confirm the purchase of the clothes they were indecisive about. Asos focuses on the shoppers who don’t want to buy clothes rather than trying to persuade the shoppers to not return the items like Amazon Prime Wardrobe would do.

Asos said, “the service will appeal to customers who want to try on everything they’ve ordered and only pay for what they keep. Not being able to try on items before buying them has long been a challenge, so it made sense to explore a try-before-you-buy service in the U.K.”

Asos has partnered with provider Klarna to be able to offer the “pay later” feature that had a successful test in Germany. The company doesn’t have enough expertise to be able to provide its own flexible payment process like PayPal and it also doesn’t have ownership of a logistics process like Amazon.

“The positive experience of flexible payment options in other territories, our belief in the Klarna service and a clear desire from customers made us confident that now would be a good time to launch.” Nicola Thompson, Asos global trading director said.

Asos is using this new feature to battle against other top brands like Topshop, Miss Selfridge, and Amazon have all already started offering services like this. With Amazon, they began using the feature US this summer that let Prime users order high ends brands like Hugo Boss, Adidas, and Levi’s without having to pay upfront. Shoppers were given seven days to decide to keep the items or not.

With this new feature in place, it will give shoppers a bigger incentive to browse the website and look at different items they wouldn’t have thought twice about. Users spend an average of about 80 minutes per month on the website but the business has admitted that only a small fraction of its catalog gets looked at due to limitations in screen size, search, and navigation.

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