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Urban Outfitters Inc.’s Free People revamps app with bigger focus on social, imagery

Urban Outfitters’ Free People apparel chain has revamped its mobile shopping application for the iPhone with a much greater focus on social sharing and delivering compelling pictures that users can share or pin to Pinterest.

Users can also watch styling and fashion videos without leaving the app. By combining shopping and social in the app, Free People wants to make it easier for users to find inspiration while on the go.

Our focus is on customer engagement and providing a one-of-a-kind Free People experience on the app,” said Jed Paulson, director of ecommerce and marketing at Free People, Philadelphia, PA.

“The FP Me Style Pic Gallery is a great place for discovery and inspiration online, and we believe it will be even more amazing as introduced on the app as the Photo Stream,” he said.

“We also wanted to be ready for iOS 7, so the app has been refactored to be compliant just in time for Apple’s launch.”

Free People is a chain of women’s apparel and accessories stores, with approximately 75 corporate stores. The brand is also available in more than 1,500 specialty boutiques and department stores and from a direct-to-consumer catalog and Web site.

Mobile social growth
The updated app offers iOS 7 support and includes the FP Me Style Pic Gallery where users can browse, indicate that they like an item by clicking on a heart icon and share pictures. This new section is designed to make it easy for users to find inspiration from the FP Me community or limit images to their favorite styles.

FP Me is Free People’s new Social Style Community where users can create a personal profile and post their own style pictures directly to the community. Users can shoot and upload FP Me style pictures using the app’s built-in camera or from their camera roll.

For the first time, users can also share pictures to Pinterest.

“We are continuing to see the highest traffic coming from the site’s longstanding categories like ‘What’s New’ and the ‘Dress Shop,’” Mr. Paulson said.

“As for FP Me, since the app’s launch we have seen a consistent increase in engagement with a growth in the number of daily ‘hearts’ given by 61 percent, and in the number of daily Style Pic uploads by 33 percent,” he said.

“This is a great sign that the app is making FP Me much more accessible to our mobile oriented customer.”

Looking good
The overall design has also been updated to show larger FP Me Pics on product pages, provide more information on the Pic Detail screen including who has hearted a picture.

Images are also less fuzzy than previously and the app’s performance has been improved.

Features held over from the previous version include exclusive offers, the ability to shop digital lookbooks, catalogs and trends as well as find out when items are back in stock.  

Users can log-in with their Free People account or via Facebook.

Once users are logged in, they can manage their shopping on the go with a shared shopping basket between the app and They can also checkout using PayPal, view their order history and track shipments.

Other features include a store locator, product reviews and a built-in scanner for in-store shoppers.

“Our pre-holiday launch introduces some amazing and unexpected features to FP Me online, which will then shortly migrate to the app,” Mr. Paulson said.

“We are also taking a careful look at our opportunity with Google’s Android OS, as this is a frequent request from our customers and store teams, and will become increasingly important as Free People continues to grow internationally,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York