A Day in the Life - working diaries
API Product Manager
Womenswear Marketing Manager
Head of Buying - Menswear
Senior B&M Finance Manager
Customer Care Team Leader
Logistics & Supply
Seller Development Executive
Senior B&M Finance Manager (Corporate Functions)
Every morning my day starts with an email that gives me an update on the previous day’s sales performance so I can review the week performance against the forecast I issue on a Monday afternoon.
After reviewing the numbers, I give the Trading Director a call to go through any changes to the forecast for the rest of the week. If the sales units have changed significantly, I issue an update to our Logistics team so we can adjust our resources at the Fulfilment centre. Given the changing nature of ASOS, we need to be ready to re-work the numbers to reflect any tactical changes to trade such as Next Day Deliveries and Product Promotions.
My tasks can come in from lots of different angles. It can range from forecasting and planning to analysis – all of which are crucial to ASOS. It’s very fast paced, so it’s important to know what's due, when, how important it is and what the impact is on the business. Other common tasks involve producing the KPI pack for the Operating board and focusing on forecasting and analysis.
In the afternoon I run the numbers through our Gross Profit model, which takes the sales, margin and country data to another level. We need to understand the number of orders we’re dealing with so we can calculate the Postage and Packaging impact of what we’re doing. I’ll look at how the day’s sales are tracking, then focus on a piece of analysis like Brand Profitability – we’ve built up a big portfolio of brands over the years so it’s important we review their financial performance.
I then have a quick look at the latest Merchandising roll the team has produced. I compare this to our management view and the previous roll to see if anything is looking significantly different. We want to ensure we are maintaining the fashion credibility but also making the most viable business decisions.
By this time, it’s time to put the calculator to rest for the night and I head off for a well-deserved drink with my friends!
API Product Manager, IT
The best thing about my job is the variety. From liaising with companies in the States to overseeing the ASOS API/Application Programme Interface, no two days are the same.
The API I work on is an IT interface for internal and external parties to access our full product catalogue of over 50,000 items – with the functionality to search this and add items to a shopping cart. Our current API was deployed specifically to power our IPhone and Ipad shopping apps. Today, it allows us to be creative in the digital space and for external companies and developers to utilise our data in a much wider way.
My job involves building strong relationships with internal departments to foster adoption of our API. I also need to keep on top of what’s happening in the Commercial, Marketing, Creative, Magazine, Press, Editorial, International Sales, Marketplace, Fashion Finder and IT teams. This way, I can find new opportunities for our API.
The API is truly a powerful tool for ASOS to distribute our services, making them faster and easier to consume. It’s still in its infancy – but it offers a huge growth area for ASOS.
A large part of my role involves research and strategy to make sure the ASOS API is designed in accordance with IT best practices and that it offers something that truly benefits our customers. As a result, I’m always looking for ways to make improvements to the way we do things.
IT at ASOS is a really diverse and progressive area. I think I’m fortunate to be working on the API, which I believe will change the shape of IT as we know it. And for us, the potential is limitless.
Head of Buying - Menswear
The branded buying process involves bi-annual trade shows but as the world gets smaller and fashion gets faster, customers demand more and more. We used to buy ranges every 13 weeks however the edges are now blurred and we buy every week, taking influences from around the world, working with a bigger and broader team across design and merchandising within Menswear.
I manage a team of 20 and we have 250 brands with 5000 plus options to cover each season. Ultimately we offer an edited fashion range from HQ, London which is then bought by our customer worldwide (with free delivery). The team travel the world on the lookout for the best fashion whether that be from the UK or worldwide or from emerging talent or a big global player.
The difference between bricks and mortar and online, is that we can buy more width; less density as we have no walls. ASOS is a global online retailer so we offer a spring summer range to the Northern hemisphere and a new exciting one to southern hemisphere too. Presentation, styling and copy are key to getting a look across so we work with the production team closely who shoot every day to capacity.
I deal with strategy which is key to getting everything in and out, live and selling. Process is very critical to buying; you can’t be first if you can’t get the product in, shot, live and ready for sale.
Developing a team is key to any successful business and people are at the heart of it. I’m responsible for the development, career planning, hiring and promoting of my team. It’s always great when you see members of your team develop, get promoted, buy their first range and grow with confidence.
Someone once said you need to be a sponge to be a good buyer; absorb things, listen, learn and apply logic and creativity. Later in my life as I developed into my role as Head of Buying it became clear that you also need need to build a great team, steer them, develop them and reward them.
A Day in the Life | ASOS
Womenswear Marketing Manager
No day in any marketing department is ever the same and here at ASOS where life is so fast paced this is especially true.
Our job is to constantly question, innovate and strengthen the connection between our product and our customers. We use research, results and insights to lead our thinking so that we can tell the most impactful story to the right audience in a way that resonates with them – driving engagement and purchase.
This means we play a dual role on a daily basis; working with design, merchandising and buying to understand our internal objectives and expectations for the business, whilst simultaneously analysing our 20something target audience on and off the site in order to match their needs to our own. This interplay is crucial on every single campaign, big or small, and getting the balance right delivers powerful results.
I work really closely with the editorial, creative, pr, commercial and magazine teams to create content across all our platforms and deliver campaign assets that activate our customer and strengthen our brand. Daily tasks include briefings, brainstorms, creative reviews and presenting the results so we can continue to learn and improve.
As with every department we are in the process of evolving globally and this year has seen a positive shift in our ability to deliver strong, globally relevant marketing initiatives that are implemented across all 7 sites and 5 languages. It’s important that we always work with the international team to deliver the right degree of localisation - ultimately everything goes back to understanding our customer’s needs wherever they live.....
Let’s hear it for the boys… with ASOS ever upping and expanding our menswear range, we now have a dedicated copy team dealing solely with clothes and accessories for the guys. A normal day starts with a quick email check and running our reporting list to see what’s been shot and pushed through the Production team ready for us to add copy and get it ready for going live on site.
Products range from our own buy and trend brands to super premium pieces and as we’re the last people to see products before they go up for grabs on the site, we get the edge on what’s going to land next.
I’ll also spend a lot of time down in Sample Receive. Really getting to know the ins and outs of our products ensures that the customer knows exactly what they’re buying. No unwelcome surprises, just really in depth copy… wow inner pockets, contrast linings, hidden details! It’s all in there.
Our Copy Manager also visits a lot of our brands, working through the Buying Team’s orders to glean as much extra info as we can straight from the designers themselves. We’re currently loving our inner denim geek; getting down and dirty with weights and washes and upping copy content on trainers and footwear.
It wouldn’t be ASOS without hundreds of new products dropping in daily and a fresh new brand on the launch. And where better to shout about this than right in the heart of social media? With the whole Copy Team on Twitter (we don’t just chat about what snacks we’re guzzling and what we’ve bought that week #honest) we’re constantly on the lookout for behind the scenes snippets and Fashion 101s, always trying to outdo each other with the best tip off and ultimate swag.
When we are ready to wrap up the day, we head out the door; arms heavy with bags shoe-horned full of Staff Purchases!
Customer Care Team Leader
I joined ASOS in 2007 and wow what a place to work! I always ask myself ‘What will another day at ASOS Customer Care bring?’ No day ever unfolds in the same way – variety is the spice of life, right?
I’ve had lots of opportunities to move around the department to heighten my knowledge of what ASOS Customer Care has to offer. Being a Team Leader enables me to get stuck into all things operational and work to drive forward the quality of care we offer. We’ve evolved a lot since I’ve been here, and it’s incredible to be part of it. Customer Care is key to each and every Customer who orders with us, knowing we can make a real difference to their shopping journey is something pretty amazing.
I’m currently firmly placed in my Team Leader role and I absolutely love it! Once I’m at my desk every morning, I check in with my team, who focus on responding to Customer emails. We discuss our position for the day and look at who’s working each query type.
I like to keep an eye on the quality of service we offer our customers, so I’ll often be seen hovering over the MI Teams desks asking questions around our results and service levels from the day before. After I’ve got my head around the stats and figures from the day before, I love to share them with the teams
A real highlight of my day is getting together in our Team huddles where we spend time working out new ways to keep getting better and better!
I love to spend some time coaching my team. Our people are the most important thing to us; its valuable time spent supporting them. As I work alongside them, I’m able to get a real feel for how they work and aide in developing their skills.
As my day draws to an end, I always like to sit back and reflect on what I’ve achieved. I keep track of the things I’ve achieved by ticking off everything I’ve completed on my ‘To do’ list. Home time beckons as I deliberate over which ASOS dress I’ll wear to see my friends tonight. Roll on another fun day at ASOS towers tomorrow.
Seller Development Executive – Marketplace
I get to work just before 9am, turn on my PC and first thing’s first – tea! Once I’ve got my brew I can focus on the influx of emails in my inbox. I spend the first hour making my way through these while listening to the last hour of Chris Moyles on Radio One, a must.
We receive lots of boutique applications a day and we look through any new ones that have come through. We have to check that the imagery is suitable for the site and follows the guidelines.We also need to make sure boutique owners are making the most of the features they have access to and what they need to do to be featured on the homepages.
We are currently spending a large chunk of the day scouting for new boutiques both on and off line. We visit markets and shows, keep a beady eye on ASOS Fashion finder, scour blogs and find some really exciting prospective sellers. We went international in September (bonjour, hola, ciao and all that) so we are finding some really amazing international bloggers with beautiful clothes to sell.
We use social media quite a bit to keep in contact with our boutiques, following them on Facebook and chatting via Twitter helps us to feel connected to them and them to us and reminds them that there are actual real people on the other end.
We aren’t just about boutiques; we have thousands of basic sellers so we are working on ways to increase awareness that ASOS Marketplace is also a platform for wardrobe recyclers in a pure fashion format.
We love meeting our sellers so will always do our best to make it to any events they are running or attending. It’s fair to say that this isn’t necessarily a Monday – Friday, 9 – 5, but that’s what we love. You have to be flexible as the days are so different and sometimes there will be a launch in the evening or a fair on the weekend. But, you know what, when you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel like work!
The only downside to my role is that somehow, don’t ask me how, at least 5 new items get added to my basket a day!
Working in Logistics means we’re responsible for managing all aspects of the ASOS fulfilment centre, which works pretty much 24 hours a day, every day. I work in a team of three Operations Managers and together we have overall ownership and accountability for a department within the warehouse that brings in all those amazing shoes and dresses, making sure they are despatched to our customers on time.
I’ve been lucky enough in my three years at ASOS to manage or be involved in all aspects of Logistics. We work in a fast paced environment and are a growing team, so everyone needs to get involved. That’s why my day can vary massively – from helping the customer care advisors resolve an unusual query, negotiating costs with suppliers or presenting elements of strategy projects at board level.
My day-to-day remit covers the returns operations within the UK, and more recently, our international returns centres. It’s my job to make sure we process all customer returns within 24 hours of them being delivered into our warehouse, so that refunds can be provided quickly.
I work closely with a great management team at each warehouse to ensure we keep our operating costs down through process enhancements and system changes. Customer experience is just as important so I also work with the customer care and technical teams to enhance the experience; for example we have recently reviewed our returns notes to make them easier for customers to use and also changed our packaging to ensure we enhance the experience of buying online.
I’ve been fortunate enough to play a key part in the strategic projects our team have delivered. The success of ASOS means we’re growing every year, and, after large involvement in managing our storage capacity, last year we moved from the four warehouses we were utilising in Hemel Hempstead into one 500k square foot space in Yorkshire. It’s pretty incredible when I think about it.
Working for ASOS, you need to be incredibly passionate and committed but the rewards are great...did I not mention the discount and the sample sales?!