Abercrombie encourages its shoppers to ‘snack’ on mobile

February 22, 2016 05:11 PM

Snacking isn’t just something shoppers do between meals.

Anshuman Taneja, senior director and head of digital product management at young adult apparel manufacturer and retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co., says it’s something shoppers do when they’re browsing and buying online, only not with food but with their eyes and on their mobile devices.

“Mobile customers are more time-crunched,” he says. “You pull out your mobile phone because something came to you and you wanted to check out whether that product is available in your size or color. If the context is for most users they want to snack, let them snack.”

Taneja addressed a Monday session at the annual eTail West conference in Palm Springs, Calif. One of the ways that Abercrombie, No. 65 in the 2016 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, lets consumers “snack” is by allowing them to bookmark individual items that interest them and return to them later.

Here’s how that works: Each item has a heart on the bottom left side of the product image, which allows shoppers to come back to that product when it’s more convenient—such as when they’re not walking or in front of a larger screen.

Taneja says many more Abercrombie customers use the feature on mobile than on desktop.

“When we did (bookmarking), we saw the number of saves go through the roof,” he says, declining to further specify a dollar figure or a percentage.

The next push to increase mobile conversions may involve targeting push notifications based on a shopper’s offline shopping habits, Taneja says.

Abercrombie hasn’t implemented this idea just yet, but here’s how it could work: If a shopper visits a mall or a shopping center every Wednesday, for example, the Abercrombie app could send her a mobile offer each Wednesday, the day when it’s most likely to lead her to make a purchase.  

“It relies on the app having geolocation turned on at all times and (the retailer) having a database of locations that are of interest to you, so geofenced malls and geofenced stores,” he says. Geofencing refers to creating a digital map around a location so that a retailer can know when a shopper with a mobile phone is nearby, if she allows the retailer to track her location. Once a retailer knows when a shopper is typically near a store it can create a schedule of push notification offers, Taneja says.




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