As one of the biggest online retailers of clothing and accessories in the UK, ASOS was a natural choice as the first site for this blog to shine a light on to discover the prevalence of pockets in fashion (or rather the attention retailers give them).
Who are ASOS?
ASOS is a millennium baby, launching in the year 2000. Originally stylised as As Seen On Screen, selling copycat clothes that caught buyers’ eyes at the movies, they soon dropped the imitations and now sell over 850 different brands. ASOS introduced their own in-house label in 2004, which has since grown to include womenswear, menswear, maternity and plus-size offerings. A short-lived kisdwear range was dropped in 2010.
ASOS led the way with Premium accounts, offering free delivery and easy returns for an annual fee, but felt the need to review this selling point in 2019 amid claims that customers were taking advantage of the returns policy, as well as the environmental impact of the delivery and returns cycle.
The sheer number of products available on ASOS is hard to fathom. At the time of writing you can choose from…
- 13,648 dresses
- 1,819 skirts
- 1,726 jumpsuits & playsuits
- 1,046 shorts
- TOTAL: 18,239
Pockets Site Search
As part of our Brand Spotlight profiles we like to do a quick search for “pockets” to give you a rough idea of how well they serve the pocket-minded shopper.
Every online retailer does things similarly when it comes to searching their websites. Their site search algorithms will generally search through product titles and descriptions, possibly key features, to find matching results.
|Womenswear > Dresses||76|
|Womenswear > Skirts||54|
|Womenswear > Jumpsuits||17|
|Womenswear > Shorts||7|
|Womenswear > Playsuits||6|
Note 1: It appears that ASOS’s search algorithm only searches product titles.
Note 2: Results for the keyword “pockets” do not necessarily mean that they are returning products with practical pockets, it could simply mean “pocket detail” lines purely for aesthetics. Nor does it give an indication of how many products actually have pockets on them, rather which ones it has been deemed a noteworthy mention or selling point.
Many of ASOS’s clothes do have amazing pockets, take this prom dress – there’ll be no carrying around a cumbersome clutch for this lady…
However, the ability to find clothes with pockets is lacking. If we take the figures at face value, based on the number of dresses on the ASOS website (13,648) we’ve discovered that only 0.55% of have pockets based on the search results (76). I don’t know about you but I am gobsmacked by that figure.
This doesn’t mean to say that all of these actually have practical pockets. Nor does it mean that in reality less than one percent of ASOS dresses have pockets. As previously mentioned, these are just the items where it was noteworthy to name pockets as a feature.
To further illustrate this point, a manual review of the search results reveals many “pocket detail” type items, i.e. those which have fake pockets or small pockets for style, for example breast pockets. Similarly, we were able to find items in the main dresses category that clearly have pockets in the images, yet are not returned in the search results.
As this is our first Brand Spotlight we don’t have any direct comparison to make with other retailers, however, we will update this post as soon as we have enough data to draw an informed conclusion.
It’s our intention to come back seasonally to see how these figures vary, as well as annually for year-on-year comparison. Although, we do hope that isn’t needed and the fashion industry gets its act together by then to include practical pockets on clothes and make it easy to find them.