Fast-fashion retailer Charlotte Russe announced at the Shoptalk 2017 conference in Las Vegas this week that it has surpassed 1 million downloads on its native app that launched in July with the help PredictSpring and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Notable features of its app include a shoppable Instagram feed the lets users draw fashion inspiration and instantly buy fashions while browsing the social media platform; an integration of online and offline store experiences that allows customers to check item availability in any of Charlotte Russe’s 550 stores; and a platform for offering special discounts, promotions and flash sales.
A Charlotte Russe official also credited PredictSpring’s platform with enabling app performance that is “20 to 30 times faster than a typical mobile experience. Also, the integration with digital wallet, Apple Pay has proven key to driving increased conversion.”
Are we already at the stage of the mobile shopping evolution where the speed of a mobile shopping app is a point of competitive differentiation? Maybe not in some markets, but it may very well may be the case in the fast-fashion segment, where brands have been competing on innovations for a while, and are trying to appeal to younger demographics with potentially higher expectations for mobile performance. Fast fashion is a tightly competitive environment, in which new entrants like Kohl's are spicing things up just as other fast-fashion brands like The Limited are falling behind and shuttering stores.
There is actually a lot to like about this app beyond the highly touted speed advantages. The shoppable Instagram feed, integrated online/offline inventory search and ability to support flash sales and other promotions are all state-of-the-art features that many mobile apps would do well to support out of the gate. The integration with Apple Pay may offer benefits, too, although at least one recent study recently found that consumer adoption of the major mobile payments apps has been sluggish.
Charlotte Russe's biggest challenge at this point may be continuing to meet expectations for speed and reliability of the app as downloads continue. That is no small feat when flash sales are part of the business model. The retailer will likely lean heavily on PredictSpring and Salesforce Commerce Cloud to make sure it can continue to meet expectations.