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It’s no surprise to say that online fashion retailer ASOS has been setting the trend in online fashion and purchasing experience. With its original concept of ‘as seen on screen’ ASOS has been the go-to website to bag a piece not found on the high street. ASOS has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and is definitely setting the bar for other online retailers like boohoo.com. How is ASOS staying ahead of the game in an age where internet shopping is on the up and competition springs up from every corner?

Last year ASOS launched a brand new shopping platform that cleverly combines rival clothing and online retailers all in one place. Fashion Finder, offers a whole new shopping experience which runs simultaneously with the main ASOS site. Fashion Finder brings together more than 50 fashion companies including River Island, Urban Outfitters and My-Wardrobe.com creating a unique shopping experience that allows fashion fiends to shop in one place. If ASOS doesn’t stock a particular brand or store it provides a link to the retailer’s website working on a commission based agreement.

That’s not all. The Fashion Finder hosts social networking features that allows users and clothing retailers to create a personal identity based on fashion preferences and style. Fashion users can create looks and trends using the many clothing possibilities and encourage ‘friends’ and other users to provide feedback in the form of votes and comments.

If that isn’t enough of a fashion frenzy, features that allow video uploads, links to users social networking sites like Twitter, Pinterest and G+, style credits and competitions based on creating looks makes the ASOS Fashion Finder a smart social commerce that will effortlessly encourage users to purchase their favourite retailers in one place – the perfect global department store.

Shortly after launching Fashion Finder, ASOS went a step further and introduced ASOS Marketplace ‘the global fashion democracy’. Markplace works on a boutique idea where anyone in the world can sell their clothing. Offering a mix of ‘indie labels, multi-brand boutiques and vintage sellers’ (ASOS marketplace) marketplace is a platform that allows known or unknown sellers to create their own virtual market stalls where shoppers can browse, buy or feel inspired.

While marketplace may sound just like a regular eBay account its features differ. Vendors can customise their shop front and pay an additional £50 per month for an ASOS account manager with premium features on the marketplace site. Virtual boutique vendors are advised to take their own photographs with a street chic style adding to the marketplace aesthetic and authenticity.

Whether you are buying, selling or just looking for inspiration and a fun social channel for sharing looks and trends ASOS has created a diverse shopping experience. From its global fashion offering combining high-street and luxury brands to its interactivity, this is a new form of online shopping that is here to stay.  Will other online fashion retailers see the need to step up their game and add social features to their sites? I don’t think it will be long until clothing retailers being integrating a ‘like’ or ‘share’ button that links with users Facebook and Twitter feeds. At the moment, I don’t think that there is an online fashion retailer big enough to take on ASOS and its innovative global shopping experience.

Find me on ASOS Fashion Finder – JessicaY