American Eagle Outfitters Introduces First Digital Clothing Collection on Bitmoji
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) has recently introduced its first digital clothing collection on Bitmoji, the cartoon avatar creation platform owned by Snapchat, according to a company news release. With this new initiative, users can view the retailer's back-to-school collection on virtual representations of brand ambassadors Addison Rae, Chase Stokes, Madison Bailey, Caleb McLaughlin and Jenna Ortega. Their outfits mirror the ones they wear in AEO's new "Future Together. Jeans Forever" ads that try to capture the excitement of friends being able to get together in person again. Users can also dress their own Bitmoji in the AE x Bitmoji Collection on Snapchat and the Bitmoji app. AEO, also in partnership with Snapchat, is testing an augmented reality (AR) experience as well, where users can virtually try on and shop selected looks from the collection directly on Snapchat using the self-facing camera.
Total Retail's Take: AEO clearly knows who its audience is (Generation Z), and is reaching them where they are (online and social media). With this back-to-school campaign, for example, the retailer is focusing on influencers popular with the Gen Z set as well as anything Snapchat-related. In fact, among U.S. teenagers and young adults, Snapchat is more popular than Twitter and Facebook. Over 500 million monthly active users worldwide use Snapchat every day to share their experiences with brands, products and services.
This is also not the first time AEO has created a Snapchat-oriented campaign. For its spring campaign earlier this year, for example, the retailer created an AR-powered jeans guide on Snapchat that enabled users to virtually try on jeans and make purchases. Lastly, AEO is smart to focus on digital shopping in general. More back-to-school shopping is expected to be conducted online — including on social media platforms — than in years past. Social commerce sales in the U.S. are forecast by eMarketer to rise 35.8 percent to $36.62 billion this year.