ASOS

Increasing tech spend 25% to maintain superiority in sector

The brand will be looking to continue the strong performance that’s enabled it to lead the way in the fast-fashion sector over the last year in 2019. The London-based online retailer spent 50% of 2018’s £242m capex on tech and digital transformation and with the appointment of a new Head of Technology in October, as well as the planned opening of a Watford tech-hub next year, it is expecting this figure to increase by a further 20-25%. With sales growth of 26% over the past 12 months its digital strategy is clearly paying dividends; it has developed a chatbot, Enki, rolled out a Fit Assistant for its mobile app and is now looking for automation solutions that can increase warehouse efficiency.

As the most visited fashion ecommerce site in the UK, the company has spent the last four years migrating its entire estate to the cloud in order to improve scalability and cope with the demands of shopping peaks such as Black Friday. The company is a Microsoft-house primarily, using Office 365 and Azure applications. While chief competitor Boohoo appears to be closing the gap, boosting revenue by 53% earlier this year, its infrastructure is at a much earlier stage and there are question marks over whether it’s robust enough to support its own growth. Almost all of Boohoo’s sales growth is being generated by one brand, PrettyLittleThing, while ASOS’s performance is distributed across multiple divisions and regions.

ASOS’s significant focus on UX and its online platform is being attributed to its continued superiority in the sector, while over the longer term it is set to invest further in its international operations. This is particularly true in the US, where it is planning to open a new warehouse next year, presenting an opportunity for suppliers with international reach to support the kitting-out process. 

Revenue: £2.53bn

Financial year end: August 31st

IT suppliers: Microsoft, Oracle, Mulesoft, Amido

New appointments this year:

Head of Technology – James Dilley

CISO – George Mudie

Other key contacts:

CIO - Clifford Cohen