Pioneering as ever, Asos.com is poised to launch its brand new Marketplace just in time for the holiday season. A place where an individual can sell off their own unwanted fashion wares or a store can set up its online space, it’s a timely poke in the eye to Ebay and its increasingly unfriendly attitude to independent sellers. The only stipulation to individual sellers in the Marketplace is the merchandise must be photographed ‘street style’, so none of your dingy still life pics, these need to be styled on a human body, preferably in an interesting way in order to get the most exposure on the Asos site.
Taking its cue from sites like Lookbook.nu, Asos has tapped into the consumers’ desire for wearable styling ideas and personal context. Sellers are encouraged to shoot their pictures in photogenic scenarios to make them as ‘editorial’ looking as possible. The picture/item can be ‘liked’ which will place it highly in searches. The selling process is straightforward. A price is set and payment is made by Paypal with Asos taking 10% of the sale price.
A big draw of the Marketplace will be the ’boutique’ of vintage sellers. Selected vintage retailers can upload their logo and product (again, styled on people in situ) and merchandise their area as they see fit to make the space their own.
For designers and retailers, there is the opportunity to set up shop in the Marketplace. When the site launches (ETA mid-end November), Browns Focus and Faster by Mark Fast wil be among the first retailers/designers with a presence. “We want to help small businesses grow,” I was told by an Asos rep at the press day this morning. “This way we can build a platform that exposes small businesses to our vast database.”