Saturday, 18 December 2010

ASOS Marketplace.

When I first heard about ASOS Marketplace a few months ago, I really felt that it would be one of the most exciting things to happen online this year and I could not wait for it to launch, which happened last month (beta mode). I have been shopping quite a lot on ASOS.COM as I just don't get time to look around in physical stores, so the opportunity to also be able to browse handmade, one-off vintage and independent designer pieces through an extension of the site would be brilliant!From a seller's point of view (I have been selling my own handmade things online for a few years now via Etsy), I saw this as an excellent (additional) platform as not only does the site look very sleek, but it is also very easy to navigate (as it is similar to the main ASOS.com layout ) and I am sure the amount of traffic the site receives will also be a huge bonus! I am also chuffed at it being based in the UK as I can't think of any other UK site that offers this. However, only people in the UK can currently sell (while it is in beta mode and any issues can be dealt with easier than if it was launched worldwide!) but I did read somewhere that it will expand next year.
There are two ways of selling on Marketplace, either as an Individual Seller or a Boutique. To have a Boutique, you need to submit an application and it will cost £50 a month plus commission fees - which is actually a great deal, especially if you do it full-time - just think of the traffic and think of what you would be paying if you had a physical boutique!! The Individual Seller option is for those who may just want to list every now and again (for free!!!) or don't really have a proper 'structure'...so you don't have to pay anything unless you sell something. I'll be opting for this as I'll be offering both my wardrobe clear outs and handmade things... but maybe in the future I will have a Boutique!
It seemed like the Jewellery category was most populated when I first entered the site so I went to have a proper look and was so impressed at the things listed so far! One of the things that ASOS Marketplace asks for (to sell on the site) is that photography is shot 'street style'. I love this idea as not only does it encourage the seller to think about styling (which at the same time helps the buyer!) but everything on the site then looks succinct and easy to browse. This small rule also ensures that things for sale are not shot 'eBay style' where garments are so hard to see or shot in an unappealing way. I love knowing that pretty much everything I browse on Marketplace will be 'on' someone (like the main site) which is also great for judging size. There is also a rating system where people can 'love' items, which also enables buyers to filter by 'most loved'...which again, should encourage great photography and styling! I think this also dictates what it is on the front page etc...
One of the first boutiques that caught my eye is by Susan Caplan who offers vintage jewellery. The photography looked fantastic and gave Marketplace a really great start in first impressions. My screenshot also shows how items are displayed on a page, and as you can see, it is so clean and easy to follow.
Marketplace only currently offers Clothing and Accessories but I do hope that in the future, it becomes more 'lifestyle' and I'll also be able to browse other things like Art, Furniture, Books and Beauty. This site could seriously become huge!
Once I am ready to start listing my own things (I have a lot of clothes I'd love to sell - so I can buy more!), I will type up another blog post to review the listing process!
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