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So ASOS, leading European fashion e-tailer launched its f-commerce store yesterday.  And in our view, the new f-store lives up to the pre-launch hype, setting a new gold standard for Facebook stores.

The ASOS f-store – featuring the full range of ASOS products – has a lot in common with JCPenney’s f-store that the US department store chain opened up last month; logical, given that they are both built on Usablenet‘s platform.  But the ASOS f-store is a whole lot more polished; compare, for instance, the two sign-up pages.

Good: JCPenney Registration

Better: ASOS Registration

Rather than a lesser version of their own e-commerce site, the ASOS f-store holds its own – elegant in usability and simplicity (see screenshots below).  And it looks smart on a mobile handset. The ASOS f-store sports a commendable attention to detail and concern for user experience; from the reassuring name of the app – ASOSOfficial, to the favicon and the clever use of accordions and tabs to reveal and hide in-app content.

The store is fully internationalised, and whilst pitched as the world’s first fully integrated Facebook Store in Europe, we had no problem purchasing from the US (see screenshots below).  And purchasing was a breeze; in a timed benchmark as fast and easy as purchasing on the traditional ASOS e-commerce website.  True to high expectations, we received notification that our product had shipped within a few hours of purchase. The only weak point in the whole experience was the rather curt and unfriendly purchase confirmation page detracting from the overall user experience.

If you had any doubts about f-commerce viability – especially in terms of user experience, we recommend taking a look at the ASOS f-store.  We think you’ll change your mind. And for those in the market for an f-commerce solution, we urge you take a look too – you could do far worse than adopt the ASOS store as the gold-standard benchmark to match or better.  Whilst we’re of the opinion that it makes sense to differentiate the purpose and content of your f-store from your traditional site-based e-store (not simply replicate it), if there is a ‘fish-where-the-fish-are’ case for replicating your e-commerce store in Facebook, then this is it.

And because of ASOS’s status as an industry leader in online retail, Europe’s answer to Zappos, we think the opening of the ASOS store could mark a Tipping Point in f-commerce.  Social commerce solution providers; man your stations.

As William Gibson famously observed, the future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed.  And so it is with f-commerce; the future is already here, and it’s called ASOS.

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    Tweets that mention The Future of F-Commerce is Here: And It’s Called ASOS [Screenshots] | Social Commerce Today — Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Paul Marsden and Nuttaputch, Urbae. Urbae said: The Future of F-Commerce is Here: And It’s Called ASOS [Screenshots] http://goo.gl/fb/2cVGm #latest #marketnews […]

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    Facebook offers 500 million users SSL crypto « V E X E D

    […] Biggest Frustration With Google AdWords Google buys social network-compatible voicemail operation The Future of F-Commerce is Here: And It’s Called ASOS [Screenshots] WebMynd Receives 100K TechFellow Award To Focus On Addon Cross Browser Developer Platform Google […]

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    Tim Rombach

    a excellent f-commerce case study :-)

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    Author
    Ludwig

    I’m wondering why more and more f-commerce stores are moving away from working inside an actual tab and using the app canvas, just as this practice is being called out as basically taking a user to a whole different page. Everyone is talking about the necessity of a streamline checkout process, yet nobody seems wiling to make due with the limited space available inside a tab. Are there any other considerations why they would not do product to checkout inside a shop tab (not canvas)?

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    Author
    Matt Compton, CEO, ShopIgniter

    There have been many Facebook Store launches, but not many with metrics or what is actually happening. This week we put out a release on the Portland Trail Blazer’s Facebook Store, while its been up since last November. The store is here, http://apps.facebook.com/trailblazersstore, but that isn’t the real news.

    During the holidays they saw 16% higher conversion on transactions that originated from a friend sharing (post, comment, product share), have increased fan based by 25% since the launch in party by providing an incentive program providing store points for getting friends to connect, and used limited time sales to sell out of items in hours.

    2011 will be a good year as we’ll actually start to see metrics….

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    Will Dobbs

    Been subscribing to your feed for close to two months..Great articles and very insightful writing!

    Great case study above!!!

    Thank you for publishing!!

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    Author
    Muliadi Jeo

    Does anybody express any concern that the embedded store does not show any secure https activity (at least visible to the human eyes)?

    • Reply
      Author
      Neil Crookes

      It is all secure under the hood. The frame content is coming from:

      https://m.usablenet.com/ma/asos.com/

      But as you say there is nothing to show the user other than the “Pay now securely button”.

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    Author
    AJ

    That looks great.. I believe that this is one of the finest examples of f-commerce I’ve seen so far… Wonder what and who will be next.

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    Author
    Neil Crookes

    One issue with the User Experience is you can’t use the browser’s back button – when you do, you go all the way back to the start.

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    Sergey

    Does anyone know if SSL has been used for credit cards processing or not? It doesnt’s seem so for me, but it looks like too valuable issue to be truth…
    I saw a few comments above about it but still don’t understand is it secured or not. :)

    Overall the store and idea is great! I guess it will start the new iteration of Facebook apps popularity. The great post as well. I believe that in the nearest months more and more merchants will be interested to do something like this.

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    Natasha

    Thanks for publishing! That looks great, but actually I can’t answer the question why purchasing on Facebook without redirecting to store on checkout step is much better (=more profitable) than viewing the store catalog on Facebook page, but processing checkout on the store.
    Before asos has launched this facebook app there were many stores on facebook page tabs. Why app is much cooler than page tab?

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    Author
    JS Moon

    Thanks for good information. As a leading department store in Korea,
    we take into consideration opening f-commerce store.
    Because it is crucial to persuade our executive level,
    we are looking for sales summary of ASOS, JCPenney f-commerce store in January, 2011.
    However, it is very difficult to find out it via web.
    Is there anyone who can notify us the sales summary of f-commerce stores
    such as ASOS, Pampers, JCPenney, etc??

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    Paddy Johnson

    This site is a good start but it is still ‘a lesser version of their own e-commerce site’ … I am sure we will see a lot of improvements over the next 12 months but at the moment this seems like it has been done for the sake of doing it rather than to take advantage of the benefits face book can offer to e-commerce…

    You point out the registration page, this seems one of the main areas facebook could help why do I have to enter my name and email address details when face book already has these details.

    A goo start but a long way to go …

    • Reply
      Author
      Paul Marsden

      Thanks for the comment Paddy, agree it would have been more seamless if FB personal data was ported to the shopping cart to avoid signing up again. Think we’ll be some streamlining and optimising over the coming few months.

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    Beifiedypeshy