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Aeropostale puts mobile in the forefront of new concept store

The company partnered with Usablenet to execute the mobile effort. Aeropostale’s Roosevelt Field locaton will feature fitting rooms, which are equipped with iPads and help the company better interact with its customers.

“Aeropostale’s core objective was to establish an emotional connection with its always-online millennial shopper,” said Carin Van Vuuren, chief marketing officer of Usablenet.

“By partnering with Usablenet, Aeropostale created a customizable in-store experience to reflect the personal style and needs of its hip target audience,” she said.

Aeropostale Inc. is a specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories, principally targeting 14 to 17 year-old young women and men.

New technologies
Aeropostale believes that through this new initiative, the company will be able to make an emotional connection with its customer.

Aeropostale is placing Apple iPad devices into its fitting rooms, where customers will be able to select and listen to their favorite music while trying on clothes.

Additionally, shoppers will find four iPad kiosks placed throughout the store that feature a user-generated build-your-own outfit guide, which can be emailed to yourself and friends for online purchase.

Customers will be able to shop an optimized version of the brand’s Web site for hard-to-find items and place orders to ship home.

Aeropostale implemented the iPad devices in-store after seeing a proliferation of tech-savvy consumers.

Through this effort, the company is able to use mobile to connect with consumers while they shop in-store.

“Aeropostale’s recent in-store efforts are a first for the clothing company; it extends their mobile strategy to multichannel, so that they can better engage with their target audience,” Ms. Vuuren said.

“Aeropostale is taking advantage of what mobile technology has to offer in the retail space; they demonstrate a keen understanding of what their customer wants and delivers an experience to satisfy their need,” she said.

“This interactive, digitally engaging experience provides the consumer with complete control over their shopping journey.”

Interactive shopping
In addition to being able to build their own outfits, as well as send it to friends and family, consumers are able to scan in store bar codes to learn more about products from the Web site, receive alternate color suggestion and check out items that go well with certain looks.

Consumers can also vote on the music playing in the store – a feature that attempts to keep shoppers engaged by crowdsourcing the store’s playlist.

“Over the next year, we expect to see more brands recognize the importance of adding social to their in-store experience and we believe tablet is the touch-point that will enable these customer conversations,” Ms. Vuuren said.

“As more brands prioritize customer-focused experiences, fixed-wall tablets will become a staple in retailers’ multichannel strategy,” she said. “Experimenting in-store and sharing on social adds dimension to the typical try-and-buy practice – which can be fun and more enjoyable.

“As shoppers continue to tweet, blog, and Facebook their shopping experience, these behaviors will continue to create opportunities for brands. Today’s consumers want an immersive shopping experience across all channels that allows them to move about the web and the store without ever disrupting their shopping journey.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York