The ‘better half’ recently ordered from ASOS, an online clothing retailer. The site is well laid out, easy to use and incorporates video to showcase the items. They also send out regular newsletters designed to resemble the pages of glossy magazine style-guides (see screenshot below).
These are all good ideas that have helped ASOS buck the falling retail trends with year-on-year sales up 90%.
However, what really struck me was what happened when the clothes that arrived weren’t exactly what she was looking for. No hassle, no fuss. The delivery bag came complete with ‘peel and stick’ return address and tracking reference – and a second peel off closure strip, specifically for returns.
You could argue that making returns so simple encourages customers to do just that (although you do pay the postage for sending it back). But with a little investigation, one of the principle reasons that ASOS has become such a firm favourite in our household is the fact that returns are dealt with simply and painlessly.
In fact, it is less to do with the returns policy (which is actually not that different to many other online retailers) than with how it is presented and brought through in the execution.
With quality and service being expected, how you deal with problems when things inevitably go wrong has become an opportunity for differentiation and positive buzz.
The difference between choosing you and opting for your competitor is often down to how easy it is to do business with you.
My only question is why ASOS don’t make more of this on their website? Perhaps they’ve already made it just about as easy as they want it.