The Abercrombie and Fitch mobile shopping app is designed the way that you would most probably expect. If you have ever been brave enough to step inside one of their stores, you will be aware of their store environment and brand personality - something you've never seen before. Loud, upbeat dance remixes fill the stereos whilst all of the lighting attention is spotlighted onto the folded garments. For someone who likes to shop in well lit, spacious environments, it is not a place you would want to find yourself on a bank holiday or seasonal time, as I have found on many occasions taking friends and family into the London store. Yet, I have always had a fondness for the store, possibly just because of their originality and overt American style. For me, walking into the store until the time you leave with a scented shopping bag, is an exciting and unique shopping experience. Therefore, I find it slightly disappointing that they haven't transferred this onto their mobile channel.
The menu screen displayed above does not display a brand name but a slogan - 'Summer hotter than others.' Most definitely true, especially for the models of this brand. The slogan is emblazoned across a black and white Abercrombie model relaxing in the sand, well if we weren't jealous and aspirational before, we are now. Below this image are five simple menu items...
By choosing to 'Check out what's new' the user can view some of the latest products. By flipping the iphone on its side, a larger product description is displayed, showing fabric qualities, the price, and product and fit descriptions. By choosing to 'Shop A&F' the user is taken to the Abercrombie website, within the app boundaries. Therefore the app is transactional, yet is not at all user friendly. Purchasing from an online website on a mobile, as you might have experienced, is a difficult and tedious process.
The second menu button encourages the user to check the brand out on Facebook. Promoting the brand's social networking page is seen so often within apps and online channels, it could be easily bypassed, but as Abercrombie and Fitch have specified a menu button to promote the Abercrombie Facebook, the user is really encouraged to join.
The 'A&F Gallery' presents the latest campaign imagery for both men and women as brand inspiration. It is nothing special, but simply presented throughout in black and white, promoting the youthful and playful brand personality.
'The A&F Family' page allows the user to view the company's sub-brands including Hollister, Abercrombie Kids and Gilly Hicks. Each brand is simply laid out and after selection offers a quick synopsis of the brand. Minimally designed and easy to use.
Overall, the app is neatly and minimally designed, sophisticated and sleek in dark grey, black and white with the recognisable and unique promotional imagery. There is nothing extra special or innovative about the app, no blog or information to read, no quick purchase buttons, no interactive functions, yet it still manages to represent a youthful, sexy brand image. For its beautiful design but lack of innovation, the app is awarded a 2 out of 5.
All images screenshot from the Abercrombie and Fitch App, June 2011