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Why Urban Outfitters wagers on Wanelo for mcommerce

April 10, 2014


Urban Outfitters’ iPhone app

When it comes to which social media platforms to bet on, Urban Outfitters thinks outside the box with a new application update that heavily plays up the retailer’s growing fan base on Wanelo.

According to Wanelo, Urban Outfitters has built up a following on the social site that amasses some of the bigger social sites. The brand has a following of 2,435,965 on Wanelo, 134,632 on Pinterest and 1,300,245 on Instagram. Urban Outfitters has updated its iPhone app with two new features that reflect this shift towards favoring engagement versus sales in mobile.

“The iOS app is the key engagement point for Urban On,” said Jim Davis, director of CRM and interactive marketing at Urban Outfitters, Philadelphia.

“This latest release just continues on our path of allowing Urban Outfitters’ most loyal customers to engage with our brand and the broader community of Urban Outfitters’ insiders whenever and wherever they are,” he said.

Social sharing
Urban Outfitters has previously integrated Wanelo into its Web site and decided to release the feature to the brand’s mobile app for consistent cross-screen efforts.

Wanelo is a user-generated online shopping platform that aggregates retailers’ products into one place. Users can then collect, post and shop products straight from the retailers’ Web and mobile sites and applications.

The social site has roughly 12 million products from 300,000 stores and content has been saved two billion times. Eighty-five percent of traffic comes from mobile.

Urban Outfitters claims that it has posted more items on Wanelo than any other brand.

Additionally, Urban Outfitters sees 540 Wanelo saves per product, which is up from the ten average engagements that a product sees on Pinterest.

With the app update, Urban Outfitters has integrated a Wanelo button into its app along the bottom of product pages. When consumers click on the button, they are prompted to download the Wanelo app, where they can then save the item to a shopping list.

The Wanelo in-app sharing

With most retailers primarily limiting their social reach to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, Urban Outfitters’ approach suggests that there are additional opportunities available for marketers outside of the main social juggernauts.

“As consumers are moving online, they are faced with an explosion of choices,” said Deena Varshavskaya, CEO/founder of Wanelo, San Francisco.

“What this means for retailers is that, in order to succeed, they need to not only be online, but also be where consumers are now making buying decisions,” she said. “They need to actively participate in social platforms and mobile.”

Instant reviews
In addition to the new social features, Urban Outfitters has also added the ability to write and read reviews for products.

Consumers can also sort text and picture reviews to help shoppers find information that they are looking for quickly.

Another screenshot of Urban Outfitters’ app

These two new community-focused features are the latest examples highlighting Urban Outfitters’ focus on mobile outside of commerce and sales.

Compared to the other retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle that are struggling to connect with fickle teenagers, Urban Outfitters’ mobile strategy stands out with a loyalty and reward program that gamifies its app (see story).

With this app revamp, Urban Outfitters hopes to build up its mobile efforts with its Web experiences.

“This latest release allows users of the app to more easily access product reviews from within the shopping experience and add reviews of their own in a more mobile friendly way,” Mr. Davis said.

“As with our overarching strategy, this release simplifies the shopping experience for customers and allows them to engage with Urban Outfitters and our content more deeply,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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