• Retail Dive

Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister launch Instagram Checkout

Dive Brief:
  • Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands now offer checkout on Instagram, according to an announcement Abercrombie & Fitch Co. emailed to Retail Dive.

  • Customers can shop within Instagram, tapping products to view them, then choose their size and color before entering payment information. Shoppers can choose to pay with credit, debit or PayPal.

  • Shoppers can also get shipping and delivery notifications for their Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister orders within Instagram.

Dive Insight:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has been an early leader in diversifying the payment methods it accepts. It launched Venmo as a payment option for Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister in August 2018, after discovering that more than half its shoppers had Venmo accounts and used them weekly. Beyond Venmo, in-store shoppers can also choose Apple Pay or Venmo's parent company, PayPal; online, they can use PayPal or installment-loan service Klarna. The payment variety makes it easier to meet customers' needs, especially for those who don't have credit cards.

But Abercrombie & Fitch Co.'s financials have been stagnant. After closing 29 stores in 2018, the company announced in March 2019 it would close up to 40 stores this year. It also made plans for 85 "new experiences," a mix of new stores, remodels and "right-sizes." The company reported that first quarter net sales were flat, with overall store comps rising just one percent, but said it intended to keep that number at 85.

Some analysts expect Abercrombie & Fitch, along with its Hollister brand, may benefit from upcoming Forever 21 closures as a result of that company's bankruptcy filing. But the company may lose a portion of its Q3 and Q4 profits to new tariffs on apparel imported from China.

Instagram's data seems to signal that its shopping platform could boost Abercrombie. Instagram Checkout launched in March, with an initial slate of 20 brands. The company, which is owned by Facebook, has reported that more than 130 million Instagram users tap products in shoppable posts each month.

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