Have you ever heard of a ‘mopper’?
I don’t suppose many have, but they are set to play an increasingly important role in business in the future. Moppers are mobile shoppers – those who access the social media on the go and would like to purchase what you have to sell. Unfortunately purchasing hasn’t been that easy up until now. Companies were aware of the potential of social media marketing, but the procedures haven’t been in place to allow these companies to exploit all of its potential.
You could look at a website via Facebook, but if you wanted to place an order you’d have to sign out of your application and log onto the company website. Well one retailer has now been brave enough to tackle this ecommerce problem head on. ASOS have become the first fashion retailer to sell its entire catalogue through Facebook. The initiative comes appropriately enough during London Fashion Week.
Asos, the European fashion retailer ‘as seen on screen’, is currently the UK’s second largest online retailer and is currently flying high having logged a 54% increase in revenue in the nine months to 31 December, 2010. Its turnover now stands at $371 million and estimated profits are forecast to be around $44.5 million. Asos already has an e-tailing outpost on Facebook and has an enviable ‘friend’ following of 465,000. However, purchases from mobile devices only currently stands at around 3% of total sales.
It’s hoped that with the opening of its Facebook store this figure will increase dramatically.
If the experience of eBay is anything to go by, it may well be right. In a sense it is a brave decision: its major competitors Gap and Zara aren’t prepared to take that risk just yet, preferring to see social media as more of a listening and protection tool. Asos, however, are confident the gamble will pay off. Not only will this initiative allow its customers to browse and buy online through Facebook, but they will also be able to post photos on their walls so their friends can comment on their potential purchases. It is currently working on an application that will allow its ‘moppers’ to buy directly from smartphones as well via the Facebook store.
With eBay forecasting that global mobile sales are set to increase this year to around $4 billion, it looks like Asos could well be on to a winner.