Abercrombie & Fitch celebrates anniversary of using Tmall with grand event and shows just what it gets from the marketplace

By Paul Skeldon September 11, 2018 - 5:46 am

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) celebrated the first anniversary of selling through Tmall in China with a special online and offline event.

Streamed live on Tmall, the event at the latest flagship Abercrombie store in Shanghai included an appearance by Chinese actor Johnny Huang, who had partnered with A&F on a limited-edition collection that was available at the event and sold exclusively on Tmall.

A&F’s tie-up with Tmall has produced more than just a new way to promote their store presence, it has given the US apparel company rich data on customer behaviour in China and helped the retailer shape its strategy – including how to create bespoke events in its stores.

“Tmall has provided us with insights that have allowed us to better understand our customers in terms of demographics, preference and purchasing behavior. This information shapes our strategies for various aspects of our business, such as merchandising, inventory planning and marketing. For example, we’ve seen a strong preference among our Tmall customers for styles that are less fit-specific items, since they don’t have the option to try on before purchasing online. Insights like this help us optimize our merchandise mix to deliver a better digital experience for the local customer.”

– Stacia Andersen, brand president of Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids

In-store technology showcased too

As if seeing the new store and meeting Huang in person wasn’t exciting enough, the event allowed A&F and Tmall customers to engage with exciting next generation in-store retail features. These included an ice cream stall serving up unique flavours such as wasabi and chili, a pop-up salon where customers were encouraged to try a different hair style and a Magic Mirror, an alternate reality mirror that allows shoppers to virtually outfit themselves in A&F products.

The store also provides digital payments using Alipay in-store and digital invoicing in A&F offline stores.

“We put the customer at the centre of everything we do and look to engage with them whenever, wherever and however they choose to shop. We’ve invested heavily in omnichannel capabilities to help provide a seamless customer experience and are implementing some of these aspects in the China market already. For example, we’ve recently launched “ship from store” on our local China site, and we plan to explore other areas of omni.”

– Stacia Andersen, brand president of Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids

Image: Abercrombie & Fitch

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