A description and critical review is given about the Asos Magazine app , written by two students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute: Sanne de Hoop and vera Lobik.
In this blog we will be discussing the Asos Magazine App and the role of this app in the fashion scene. By researching various aspects of the app, such as the visual style, references to cultural icons and interpretation of the consumers, we will conclude if this app is useful or not in an objective manner.
The person behind the app is Duncan Edwards, Editorial and Design Director for Asos Magazine, who works together with the Asos Magazine team on the app. The brand Asos started this app on the 3rd of September 2012 to transform the printed Asos Magazine into a dynamic shopping experience (www.marketingweek.com, 2014). The number of followers was 450.000 on the 22th of August 2014 (www.powerretail.com, 2014). Once a month they publish a digital issue which includes fashion trends, celebrities, style features, street style, and fashion and beauty how-to guides as well as exclusive music content. With one click on an item you get directed to the web-shop and you can buy the product. There are no ads in the app but only brands featured that are represented and sold by Asos.
“Through publishing relevant content, a constant social media dialogue and our curated ‘edits’, we’ve developed an emotional connection and earned credibility with 20-something fashion-lovers around the world” (Asos Annual Report, 2013). The monthly magazine is send free to almost 500,000 customers and although there aren’t exact numbers available of the visits of the magazine app, we can conclude that the app is also partly responsible for the engagement with the consumer. 30% of the website visits are curated through mobile phone and tablet visits. The launched ‘buy-the-look’ feature in the magazine app, allowing customers to purchase entire outfits, are redirecting consumers to the web-shop and therefore raising sales. We believe that the role of this app in the fashion scene is fairly small, but the Magazine does have an impact on the engagement with the Asos consumer and the rise of the sales.
The visual style has a clean overview because of the use of the white background and round pictograms that highlight the topics. The contrast between the white and the colourful photos attracts the attention of the consumer. The images that are used in the app are very bright, colourful and have multiple elements in them with causes a bold effect. It doesn’t refer to a certain subculture as Asos tries to act upon different micro-cultures/fashion styles.
The Asos Magazine App is rated a 3.6 out of 4 in the Google App Store (197 ratings), has 4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings) in Itunes and has 3 positive reviews. ‘Love the app, it’s so easy to flip between the articles. It’s like flipping through a magazine in real-life’, says LadyWithTowelOnHead on Itunes (Itunes, 2014). We can conclude that the people that downloaded the app were satisfied with this app. On a critical note, only a small percentage of the people that downloaded the app actually rated it. We can say little about the consumers that are reading this app as no data or information is available about this. An objective conclusion is therefore not possible.
The app refers to cultural icons/pop stars such as Ella Eyre and Rita Ora and actors like Will Poulter (Asos Magazine App, 2014) to show that they know what is going on in the consumer’s life/micro-culture. They act upon this by dressing these stars in Asos clothing to make them sort of a role-model. Consumers that want to be like them will probably purchase these clothing pieces.
Taking all these research findings into account, we can conclude that the app is useful for the engagement with the consumers and a small part of the sales. The loyal consumer group of Asos is getting a more in-depth connection with the brand and is constantly made aware of new products and upcoming artists/musicians. However, we don’t think the app has a big impact or influence on the fashion world as it is mostly used as a promotion for the Asos products and not an interesting magazine on itself. There are many alternatives that non-Asos fans would rather read such as Elle and Net-A-Porter Magazine. In conclusion, we believe that the app is useful for the loyal Asos customer as it creates a cooler brand image but if we look objectively at the Magazine app, there are many better alternatives.