When it comes to Fashion Week, brands being photographed on street style stars brings serious social clout, almost as much as it does to bloggers. The company that’s losing out is a well-loved, global fashion retailer and this has a lot to do with the ASOS decline in standard. They haven’t done anything negative to me in a professional capacity or any for that matter, but have you seen their website lately? Especially with Fashion Week coming up in London, a retailer like that should be featuring cool, season-specific edits for people to snap up and peacock around in. I mean bloggers are basically walking mannequins for them but right now, they seem to be all style and no substance. And by style I mean that they’ve seriously levelled up their product photography… and that’s really where the compliments end.
Sacrificing choice and quality
ASOS is a global brand but their offerings of third party labels aren’t as varied and high quality as they should be. There’s been a distinct drop in the selection for the designers that they carry. Previously, some of my favourites to browse and shop have been Dark Pink, For Love and Lemons and The Jetset Diaries, to name a few. Look them up and there’s maybe, 10-15 current season styles to choose from, excluding separates like underwear or swimwear. A huge allure to shopping with ASOS was having access to more premium brands not usually available in the UK with speedy delivery times and ease of purchase. So why has this standard dropped? Perhaps their eponymous lines are selling better – it’s cheaper and there are more options available, more frequently. However, the quality of much of their own stock is debatable.
I asked a head buyer from Zalora, what she thinks of ASOS’s brand selection now:
“Many of the smaller UK brands they work with are poor quality Missguided and Boohoo replicators. Their onsite photography has improved (look at how they shoot wallets like an Instagram shot) but other developments are slow or lacking.”
And it’s true, even the stock of these smaller brands they sell are of such poor make – for example, I purchased a Pretty Little Thing dress, a brand derived from Boohoo (not that they have excellent quality either). I was so excited to shoot it, except when it arrived it was basically see-through because it was made from such a terrible synthetic fabric. And yes, I get that ASOS doesn’t manufacture PLT’s clothing however, they do view their stock, buy it and endorse it by selling it on their site. Personally, I would like to expect more from such a household name.
Losing out on Fashion Week
As I had mentioned earlier in this post, their stock for the crucial month of September is incredibly poor, leaving a vacuum for competitor brands like Topshop to swoop in. Also, I know it’s not quite fair to compare sites like Net-A-Porter with ASOS but you have to notice that even a luxury e-commerce site like them are capitalising on Fashion Week. Net’s homepage at time of writing has an A/W NYFW edit by Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Girl) in clear sight. They know that the same people looking to see what’s on trend also have one eye on what the top bloggers are wearing.
Now, let’s level the playing field and look at similarly priced competitors like NA-KD, Nasty Gal, Revolve and the more ’boutique’ brands like Storets. If any of you have ever accepted emails from them, you’ll know that they are on it with purchase follow-ups. Add something to your basket but didn’t make it past check out? Email. And yes, this can get kind of annoying but at the same time, they’re constantly staying relevant, so if you do decide to part with your cash – they’re right there. And sometimes even with enticing discounts.
As much as I hate discount codes, ASOS’s competitors are dishing them out all over Instagram and not surprisingly, also being featured on every other blogger’s feed. I know I can’t assign the significance of high street online retailer sales purely to Fashion Season, because the majority of people in the world kind of don’t care. And especially not when there are sale events like Black Friday and Christmas on the horizon, but it’s undeniably one of the prime dates for these fast-fashion labels to push their wares or at least boost their reputation in an ever-evolving industry. Who acts now stays relevant tomorrow.
What’s to come for ASOS?
But can we just get this straight: I don’t hate ASOS. Depending on the product, I will still buy from them (their delivery is very reliable). I just think that their standards are dropping and I’d hate to see them go through what Nasty Gal did with the messy, public bankruptcy. They used to be the place to go for great, on-trend, affordable pieces but I for the last few months I’ve struggled to find very much to purchase and keep from them. Let’s hope that this ASOS decline in standard doesn’t continue, I for one have checked their website nearly five times during this post in hopes of finding something better.
What do you think of ASOS right now? Drop me a DM or comment via my Instagram if you want to chat!