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Abercrombie & Fitch’s first app update in a year hits right marks

With 60 percent of its online revenue coming from mobile, Abercrombie & Fitch is moving forward with a new shopping application for the first time in more than a year.

The apparel retailer is hoping to compete with its rivals in the mobile space through a new app in which users can seamlessly navigate apparel collections, save products of interest, listen to the store’s music and receive a bevy of exclusive deals. Abercrombie & Fitch is hoping to recreate its in-store shopping experience on mobile in time for the holiday season.

“I think any app that supports a company’s business and drives user engagement has the potential to have a significant impact on their ROI,” said Mark Ghermezian, co-founder and CEO at Appboy. “When executed correctly, and in conjunction with in-store purchases and other channels, an app has the ability to foster long-term relationships with customers, drive sales and support company goals.

“A&F obviously took their time with the launch of their new app, which suggests that they have been purposeful and meaningful with it,” he said. “I hope it does facilitate success for them.

“The unique features that allow for saving items, as well as listening to in-store music, are unique-to-A&F engagement opportunities that will drive opportunities to market to specific segments based on interest in select content or products.”

Mobile modeling
Mcommerce Web sites recently hit their stride, with leaders such as American Eagle Outfitters, Coach and QVC leading the way in taking a holistic approach while effectively layering in tactics for driving conversions, according to a report from the e-tailing group (see more).

On last week’s earnings call, Abercrombie & Fitch revealed more than half of its online profits come from mobile. To get a leg up on competing brands, the retailer re-launched its app with a sleeker design.

While the app lacks loyalty integration, it hits all the staples needed in a mobile app including purchase history, social media incorporation, deals and product recommendations. The update may just be Abercrombie & Fitch’s way to be included on the scene along with rivals, but its earnings show that the retailer is doing something right on mobile.

The retailer plans on continuing to streamline its mobile efforts in 2016.

The mobile app prompts users to choose between shopping women’s and men’s upon opening. Music fans can get the complete Abercrombie & Fitch shopping experience by turning on its playlist of the station that plays at bricks-and-mortar locations.

The Explore tabs congregates a series of collections for mobile shoppers to browse, as well as discounted categories such as clearance items exclusively for online and 50 percent off Jeans.

Top customers
Abercrombie & Fitch is looking to continue attracting its most loyal customers with the app as that has proven to be the most of its user base. An executive from the retailer at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2015 said that the turnover rate for its mobile app was not a problem because users consist primarily of the top one percent of customers (see more).

“A&F is a well-known and popular brand globally,” Mr. Ghermezian said. “I have no doubt that it will attract users simply by brand recognition.

“The real challenge will be whether they can sustain the interest and attention of their customers,” he said. “At Appboy, we have conducted a number of analyses on the importance of consumer engagement.

“In short, what it comes down to is consistency. We have found that the level of consumer engagement is directly correlated with the levels of customer retention.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily