American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) built its brand almost 40 years ago on three principles: customer centricity, dedication and innovation. These values are woven through its men’s and women’s collections today, with the goal of inspiring young people everywhere to find their passion and purpose – and “have fun doing it.”
This vision drives the American Eagle brand, as does the desire to transform into a multi-channel business that can “successfully and profitably compete on a global stage.” And the company is heading in the right direction. It’s experienced significant growth recently, with its digital segment contributing most to its sales improvements.
To sustain its momentum, American Eagle is focusing its technology investments in three key areas: mobile technology, digital marketing and customer experience.
So far, its attention on mobile is setting it apart from other brands on the path to omnichannel.
In our 2018-2019 Omnichannel Leadership Report, American Eagle ranks in the top five in the “Search & Discover” section for its superb mobile experience. This category focuses on the ways in which brands are closing the customer expectation gap with inventory visibility. Specifically, it looks at how retailers are connecting consumers, store associates, product and inventory information with mobile – the connective tissue between physical and digital retail.
AEO’s mobile tech makes it really easy for shoppers to search for products and see product availability in-store. This is a win-win for the customer and brand. For the customer, it satisfies their need for instant information and convenience. For the brand, it drives customers in-store which increases the chance of additional sales and repeat business.
Even more, the app and American Eagle’s mobile site show if a store nearby carries a certain product. You can even reserve those must-have jeans if the inventory is low. How’s that for dedication to the customer? The last thing American Eagle wants is for the shopper to show up to one of its stores to only leave empty-handed and frustrated.
Getting shoppers into its stores is core to American Eagle’s brand vision. As it expands into other lifestyle categories, and even into international markets, the store experience is becoming increasingly important – and so is the store associate. Global Brand President Chad Kessler said:
“…we’ve invested quite a bit in our stores over the last few years, making sure that we have the best associates out in the field that can provide the best experience and customer service and that we’re keeping our more than 1,000 stores attractive and nice places to shop.”
With innovative technology like interactive fitting rooms, a new subscription service called “Style Drop,” and a stellar mobile offering, American Eagle is shaping up to be one of the most disruptive retailers.
Want to see which other brands we ranked alongside AEO in our Omnichannel Leadership Report? Download it today or reach out about a customized copy.