Asos has urged independent retailers and brands that failed to be accepted as online shops on the etailer’s Marketplace platform to sell as individuals on the site.
Following the launch of Asos’s Marketplace initiative in November, 95% of brands and retailers that applied to become a ‘boutique’ - an online shop on the Marketplace site - had been rejected because of a failure to meet strict criteria, including the ability to fulfil orders efficiently.
However, Asos chief executive Nick Robertson told Drapers indies and brands should not be deterred, and that its overall top trader to date was an individual whose boutique application was originally rejected.
Robertson referred to Marketplace as a “fashion democracy” where no seller should be excluded.
Marketplace has just 24 live boutiques, and individual sellers vastly outnumber its online stores. Only 25% of women’s outerwear and dresses and 14% of bags on sale on the site originated in boutiques, according to the etailer.
Asos said it had been inundated with “hundreds” of boutique submissions each week, but it was undertaking a strict vetting system to ensure applicants could operate as credible stores. Many were rejected either because they didn’t have a sufficient range of products or due to customer service concerns.