At the end of last week ASOS unveiled a new design for its men’s and women’s category pages, with a strong focus on product ideas and fashion content.
The retailer has totally overhauled the old homepage, which had a fairly standard layout with product categories down the left and a large carousel promoting various ranges.
It’s certainly a bold revamp and requires a lot of scrolling to take it all in, but it’s not too dissimilar to H&M’s ’& Other Stories’ off-shoot.
We write a lot about ASOS on Econsultancy, largely because it’s one of the best in the business. So to find out more about the retailer’s wider ecommerce strategy read our blog posts on its excellent on-site SEO and how it uses Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
Or for more on its new homepage, read on...
How does it look?
ASOS has drawn attention to its revamp with a banner advertising its new “lick of paint,” which also doubles as a request for feedback.
This obviously suggests that it’s a work in progress and will be modified over time based on user data and customer feedback.
It’s a massive step away from the old version, which I just so happened to screenshot for a separate post looking at different ways to promote free delivery. The previous iteration had product categories down the left, plus a large carousel containing links to different ranges.
The benefits of carousels are dubious at best as they often move too quickly for customers to digest the information, plus a study by Notre Dame University found that the five slides on its website were only clicked on by 1% of site visitors, with the first slide bagging 84% of those clicks.
Old version of the men's homepage
As always with ASOS the basic layout uses plain black text with plenty of white space, but the graphics and images more than make up for any colour deficit.
It has retained the familiar three-bar header advertising free delivery and a 10% student discount, but the rest of the page is a hodge podge of product ideas, links to new ranges, advice on new trends and brand promos.
It appears that ASOS is trying to create a homepage that people will actually want to visit to find inspiration on products and trends, rather than just navigating directly to category pages.
I’ve not really noticed ASOS’s blog posts before, though admittedly I’ve never analysed its homepage, so the strategy seems to be to make the site more content-focused.
As such blog posts on the men's homepage take pride of place at the top of the page next to its ‘New in’ and ‘Tailoring’ products, plus a big ‘30% off’ promo.
If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page there are more than 20 different tiles linking to separate product or category pages, so there’s plenty for customers to browse.
The women's homepage places even more emphasis on blog content, presumably because there's more of it. Under the on-brand, teenage heading of 'This just happened' it lists fashion and celebrity news, plus a post showing its "Friday Fittie".
I’d be very interested to find out whether the new design has any impact on user behaviour, as a large proportion of website visitors land directly on category or product pages as a result of Google searches rather than navigating directly to the homepage.
Therefore I'm unsure as to whether that many people will even be exposed to the new page, let alone stay to browse the various product suggestions.
Furthermore, for a company with such a strong focus on social there's a surprising lack of social integration in the new design. For example, alongside the blog posts ASOS could potentially have displayed the relevant Twitter or Instagram feed for each category.
But the lack of any social widgets suggests that ASOS wants the focus to remain on product inspiration rather than driving traffic away from the site to social networks.
Overall then, the new design is an interesting move away from the expected norms of homepage design but only ASOS will know if it has any real impact on visitor behaviour.