Asos will be one of the first businesses to launch an app for the Apple Watch, chief executive Nick Robertson said today.

Nick Robertson

The Asos boss said the app will be used to send alerts relating to its products and delivery.

He suggested the app could send notifications to the device when an Asos delivery is five minutes away. “Hypothetically it would also flash up product recommendations,” he said.

Apple Watch will go on sale in the UK on April 24. Asos has yet to confirm the release of its app, but Robertson said it was likely to be within the next two months.

He said Asos will continue investing in mobile technology for customers going forward, as it believes more and more customers will be shopping on ‘phablet devices’ – a smart device smaller than tablets at around 6 inches, but can still used as a mobile phone.

“I didn’t believe customers would want to shop 75,000 products on [a mobile], but they are and in increasing number”

Nick Robertson, Asos

Robertson said he thinks his customers will all have notebooks and tablet devices, but will be carrying around the larger mobile phones in their pockets – many of which will be connected to smartwatches.

“I like that we can have different apps for different functions,” he said, suggesting an app for shopping, as well as further applications for recommendations and inspirational content. “We have about two or three but some will come and some will go.”

But he insisted businesses need to make the experience on the app as simple as possible.

Although Asos will be one of the first retailers to launch an app on Apple Watch, Robertson admitted in the past he has underestimated the appeal of m-commerce. “I didn’t believe customers would want to shop 75,000 products on [a mobile], but they are and in increasing number,” he said.

Asos Ventures

The retailer is also looking to start-ups for technology to solve business problems such as decreasing the number of returns it receives. Its Asos Ventures programme has been running for about a year to keep an eye on emerging technologies.

But Robertson said Asos Ventures is not a channel for the retailer to start investing in small companies, but more to learn about what is going on. “There is lots of technology being developed that might not either be a threat or opportunity to us, but we need to listen to what is going on.”