Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.
After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods.
"This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."
While the three leaders of the teen retail market—Aeropostale, American Eagle, and Abercrombie & Fitch—along with quickly rising Forever 21 all have apps already, Aeropostale is the first to put iPads into its stores, Business Insider reports.
The company’s urge to find new ways to reach consumers was likely elevated after its sales went down 6 percent during the holiday shopping season while competitor American Eagle had a strong back-to-school effort last summer. Plus, mobile retail is growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year.
Don’t think that Aeropostale doesn’t want to see its customers, though. That’s why it put the iPod kiosks in the actual stores and the app is more about providing a store locator and coupons to help draw teens into the actual brick-and-mortar locations. "If you create an experience that streamlines some of the things that people want to do, you'll increase the amount of time that they spend engaging (with) the brand," said Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, the company responsible for Aeropostal’s new tech outreach, Business Insider reports. "For millennial customers, this is the only way."
Aeropostale, of course, isn’t the only company trying to reach those fickle Millennials that control about $65 billion in spending each year. (Ad Age predicts that number will go up to $200 billion starting in 2017.) Macy’s is going after them both online and in stores as well with 13 new brands, including one featuring Marilyn Monroe, a star who was long dead before the first Millennial was close to being a sparkle in a parent’s eye.
As Ad Age points out, however, it's worth doing the work to reach Millennials on whatever devices they are currently getting information from because 70% of them report that they return to brands they love. So dig deep, marketers, and keep finding new ways to engage.