In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The additions complement a mobile commerce site and magazine app.
Online fashion retailer Asos has outfitted itself with mobile commerce apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch and for the iPad. The United Kingdom-based e-retailer launched a mobile-optimized web site a year ago and within the past month the Asos Magazine app for the iPad.
Asos took its time with the mobile apps because it wanted to ensure customers could synchronize their accounts regardless of whether they shopped on the e-commerce site or with a mobile device, Asos says.
“We wanted to make sure the app synched with the main site, so we built APIs to do that,” says James Hart, Asos e-commerce director. Application programming interfaces enable the retailer to synchronize multiple Asos shopping carts into one account, he says.
Connecting the multiple shopping carts was fairly straightforward, says Jason Taylor, vice president of platform strategy at m-commerce technology provider Usablenet Inc., which worked with Asos on the apps. Essentially, a mobile Asos checkout flows through Usablenet to connect with the Asos e-commerce system, he says. Each mobile transaction also contains a piece of code that identifies if a checkout was made via the m-commerce site, iPhone app or iPad app, Taylor says. That will help Asos identify how often consumers shop via each method, Taylor says.
The mobile apps also can save items for viewing later, which is useful when the wireless connection is lost. The Asos iPhone and iPad apps only are available in the United Kingdom. Versions for other regions, such as the United States, should be available within three months, Taylor says.
Asos Plc. Holdings is No. 42 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe Guide.