TECHNOLOGY

Teen apparel chain revamps app experience

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Pacific Sunwear of California is stepping up its game to better connect with its mobile-savvy customers.

Through a partnership with PredictSpring, the teen apparel chain has launched a new mobile app experience — one that is faster and more and visually rich. For example, the new app links to Instagram Shop-the-Look, a service that allows customers to browse and purchase directly from the PacSun Instagram feed.

The app has also integrated its loyalty program, a move that enables members to easily view and manage their myGSOM Rewards points and activity. Users can also access wishlists and a store locator, and push and geo-fenced notifications keep customers engaged and drive purchases via the app and in-store, PacSun said.

“Mobile plays an important role in consumers’ everyday lives, and we know that translates to when and where they are shopping,” said Eugene Lai, director of digital of PacSun. “Since partnering with PredictSpring, PacSun has increased year-over-year app revenue by 45.8%, and we have enhanced our app experience to engage with our customers in a meaningful way.”

This increase was based on mobile activity conducted in July 2016 compared to July 2017.

Customers can download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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TECHNOLOGY

Target streamlines mobile strategy

BY Marianne Wilson

As promised, Target has moved its Cartwheel savings program into the retailer's app.

Target announced the move on Monday, saying that shoppers no longer need to switch back and forth, or maintain separate apps. The Target app is now listed as “Target—now with Cartwheel.”

"Guests can now access everything they love about Cartwheel — like the ability to find deals at their store, redeem savings with one barcode scan and watch their lifetime savings soar — plus so much more," said Andrew Weisbecke, Target's senior director of apps and digital strategy, on the retailer's blog, A Bullseye View. "The team has worked hard to make the change as smooth as possible for the millions of Cartwheel users who have saved more than $1 billion on their in-store purchases."

And the app is likely to see more changes going forward, including mobile payment for REDcard holders, according to Weisbecke.

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TECHNOLOGY

The top destination for U.S. holiday shoppers will be….

BY Marianne Wilson

Expect an Amazon-dominated holiday retail season among U.S. consumers this year, with the e-commerce giant being the top destination for shoppers.

That's according to the first in a series of reports on "How the US Shops" from global think tank FGRT (Fung Global Retail & Technology). An August survey of more than 1,000 American adult Internet users found that three-quarters of all holiday shoppers and 83% of those expecting to shop online plan to buy from Amazon during the holidays. Target and Walmart are the second- and third-most-popular destinations, respectively, with each set to attract just under half of holiday shoppers.

Citing ease and convenience as primary factors, more shoppers (82%) expect to buy holiday gifts online than expect to shop in physical stores (77%) during the upcoming season. This is especially true among those aged 30-44, as nearly 85% of respondents in that age group plan to buy online compared with about 76% who expect to buy gifts in physical stores.

“Expectations of buying gifts online peak among holiday shoppers ages 30-44, likely reflecting a preponderance of busy parents in this age group," wrote FGRT managing director Deborah Weinswig. "This is significant in part because these consumers are of growing importance as holiday shoppers."

Product quality was the top factor for deciding where to shop, followed by low prices, location, good availability of products and breadth of range. With consumer confidence higher, more respondents (22.7%) say they expect to spend more on the holidays this year compared with 2016, while 21.3% expect to spend less. But those expecting to increase their purchases will do so only slightly, while those cutting back will be spending much less, according to Weinswig.

"The [survey] results suggest solid, though probably unspectacular, retail growth this holiday season," she noted.

The full report can be found here.

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