Blog
Loyalty trends and best practices

Loyalty Makeover: Abercrombie & Fitch

by Zach Woith
March 24, 2014
Loyalty Makeover: Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie_Fitch_Logo

In this installment, we look at the loyalty program at Abercrombie & Fitch, the $4.1 billion fashion retailer with over 1,000 stores, and brands including Abercrombie Kids, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks. 500friends Loyalty Makeovers offer suggestions to retail brands for making the most of their loyalty initiatives.

What Abercrombie & Fitch's loyalty program looks like today

Abercrombie & Fitch's loyalty program, known as the A&F Club, distinguishes itself from cookie-cutter loyalty programs by embodying the brand's tone and effectively addressing core customers. Benefits include free streaming of A&F music playlists, the chance to skip lines at events, and members-only birthday offers. Limited-time promotional offers keep the program fresh and relevant.

First impressions

Abercrombie & Fitch is attempting a turnaround, with revenue dropping 12%, to $4.1 billion, and profit falling 77%, to $54.6 million, during fiscal 2013. To counteract sliding sales and rising expenses, Abercrombie & Fitch's reorganized management team will need to leverage the A&F Club loyalty program to retain and grow the brand's most profitable customer segments (without increased discounting). We think A&F Club is on the right track, but we offer a few ideas we think the Abercrombie & Fitch team should consider.

Makeover ideas:

  1. Leverage loyalty to drive mobile engagement Given Abercrombie & Fitch's young customer demographic, mobile experiences will be important for reaching and engaging the brand's shoppers. While responsive design of the company's website is a positive, opportunities remain to thoughtfully leverage A&F Club via the brand’s mobile app. For example, members could unlock an exclusive sweepstakes entry upon completion of the app's style quiz. With geo-fencing or mobile beacons, Club members could receive personalized, limited-time gift-with-purchase offers while shopping in stores.

  2. Power Cross-Brand Customer Views Abercrombie & Fitch can increase its share of wallet by offering A&F Club members an exclusive offer or benefit in partner brands. While delivering more value to members, such cross-brand promotion would create a more unified view of customers, allowing Abercrombie & Fitch to target relevant opportunities through follow-on lifecycle marketing.

  3. Clarify the benefits of loyalty While we think A&F Club's focus on insider benefits is right for its demographic, the company currently does a poor job explaining those benefits to customers. The dedicated A&F website page lacks details, and when we called a customer service representative to learn more, she directed us back to that page. The challenge is that most benefits are tied to limited-time campaigns, so it's difficult to describe them clearly. Adding tangible benefits — along with clear, consistent messaging — is an opportunity to make the program more compelling. For example, early access to new styles and collections or special access to limited edition items wouldn’t burden the program with incremental rewards costs but would still complement the A&F Club's positioning.

Zach Woith is Head of Loyalty Strategy at 500friends, which helps retail brands maximize the value of their customer relationships. Email him at zach@500friends.com. 

 

SEARCH
SUBSCRIBE

Enter your email address recieve notifications of new posts

ARCHIVES