Tommy Hilfiger debuts iPhone shopping app

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Tommy Hilfiger released a mobile commerce-supported iPhone app, the company's first move into the mobile arena, on September 30. The launch is another step in the brand's campaign, which began in August, to reposition the company in the digital space.

The impetus for the iPhone application came from Tommy Hilfiger's vendor partner ATG, which helped the brand revamp its global Web presence by merging its e-commerce store and marketing site into one destination in August. The app is available in the US and ties to the e-commerce site, so orders can be fulfilled through existing back-end software. The app's concept is to engage and retain existing customers, who are already passionate about the brand.

“Tommy is always looking to be an innovator in the world, and while there are a lot of people in fashion making fashion applications for the iPhone, it felt a little more natural to us to do something more special like allowing like shopping on the phone,” said Kate Klemmer Terry, EVP of global e-commerce at Tommy Hilfiger. “It ties into our brand language of accessible luxury, and any association with Apple has a cool aspect to it.”

The goal of the app is to build the brand image, rather than specifically to increase sales — at least in the near future, she added.

“It may not be a boon to sales, as customers might not yet be comfortable with making purchases on the phone, but we wanted to be there for when they are ready,” Terry explained. “In the short term, our goal is engagement, whether they shop or not, and from there our hope is to gain registered users who sign up for push notifications. And then finally, we'll look for orders.”

The application is part of the first of two phases of digital overhaul for the brand. Its merged site gives more attention to photography and the products than the two previous sites did.

Phase two will improve the site's details, including more personalization, outreach marketing and brand marketing efforts. “Now we have built the house, so the next phase is the decorating,” said Terry.

The site revamp occurred both in the US and Europe. While each region has specific products with different fulfillment on the back end, the overall branding is consistent.

“This is our decentralized, centralized approach,” said Terry. “The global theme is throughout and it ties it all together, but with some local differences.”

Tommy Hilfiger has also created Facebook and Twitter pages to connect with consumers in the social media sphere.

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