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Free People expands mobile commerce efforts with shoppable iOS app

Consumers can download the app and receive free two-day shipping on their first order. The app is available for free download within Apple’s App Store.

“Our primary strategy is to allow our girl to shop from wherever she may be,” said Jed Paulson, director of marketing and ecommerce at Free People, Philadelphia.

“Secondly, we are focusing on engagement,” he said. “You can see that via FP Me, the social layer we’ve baked into the app that allows our girl to snap and upload pictures directly to the product detail pages and interact with others through the FP Me Style Community.”

Mobile shopping
Through the app, consumers can browse the company’s inventory, check out the latest styles, as well as browse lookbooks and catalogs.

Consumers can also add a profile picture and start hearting their favorite FP Me style pictures, products and collections.

Moreover, consumers can shoot and upload FP Me style pictures immediately using the built-in camera or directly from their camera roll.

Via the app, users can also receive alerts for exclusive sales, items that are back in stock and other app-only surprises.

Additionally, consumers can instantly check product reviews, customer pictures and detailed product information, while shopping in-store using the built-in bar code scanner.

“We have a holistic marketing plan that covers all of our marketing channels and our global ecommerce site,” Mr. Paulson said.

“Our stores are also supporting the launch with events and by putting special emphasis on communicating the value of the app to their customer,” he said.

Past efforts
The app is the latest effort the company has rolled out to expand its mcommerce ambitions.

In 2011, Free People let consumers shop its catalog via an interactive ebook that was optimized for iPhone and iPad devices (see story).

“Like many brands with an ecommerce channel, we are seeing an increase in traffic from smartphones and tablets,” Mr. Paulson said. “We are focusing on ensuring that any feature developed for the site is extended to the mobile site as well as the app.

“Through surveys and analytics, we seek to better understand how our customer is using mobile – we now believe it to be less about conversion and more about social engagement and location, which is where FP Me fits nicely into the mix,” he said. “Our store stylists are doing amazing work across our 83 retail locations with our mobile point-of-sale.

“The goal is to integrate and improve the retail and online experience for our customers, and mobile POS has increased the assortment in our stores providing tremendous value to our customers. It continues to be a big focus, so expect more great things to brighten her shopping experience in that arena soon.  Also, as FP Me evolves online, the Free People app will keep pace and we have some very exciting, location-aware capabilities launching soon.”

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