Profits soar for ASOS as it attracts 3 million new customers amid pandemic

Online fashion giant has added 3 million shoppers to its customer base in the past year, highlighting a significant change in consumer buying habits since before the pandemic.

The company says its customers are buying less special occasionwear and more face products and leisurewear, which are less likely to be returned. However, the firm says it is mindful that the economic impacts of Covid-19 have not yet filtered through to the 20-something audience and that it could be hit by rising unemployment.

Recent research commissioned by PFS found that during the first UK-wide lockdown, over half (53 per cent) of shoppers said they made more online purchases. Following the re-opening of non essential bricks-and-mortar stores, as many as 77 per cent said they planned to continue purchasing more online once the pandemic is over.

However, according to Zach Thomann, executive VP and general manager at PFS, it’s not all been “plain sailing for online retailers” and that they are also having to adapt quickly to a shift in consumer behaviour: “Further PFS research has also found that a new ‘conscious consumer’ who is more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases has emerged from the pandemic. Over a third (37 per cent) of shoppers say they are now more conscious of the environmental impact their online shopping habits have, while nearly three quarters expect online retailers and brands to use recyclable packaging (73 per cent) or minimise their use of packaging (74 per cent).”

He adds: “For struggling brick-and-mortar retailers, looking at innovative ways to add value such as BOPIS (buy online pick up in store), can keep customers coming in store, merge the online and offline experience, and better enable social distancing.”