Venmo Mobile Payments System Now an Option at Abercrombie & Fitch

August 10, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been taking it on the chin of late, and clothing retailers are no exception. While they have some protection built in by virtue of their chosen merchandise—trying on clothes is vital to ensuring you get clothes that can be worn in public—they’re still falling prey to fast turnaround and free shipping on returns. Some, however, are stepping up by accommodating mobile payments technology, and Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) recently brought Venmo on board as an option.

Not only can A&F shoppers turn to Venmo on its main app, but shoppers can also apply Venmo to the Hollister app as well. The payment service is readily selected at checkout, and at last report, this is the first time a specialty retailer has ever offered the ability to buy products directly from a Venmo account.

Given that the mobile app is said to be the fastest-growing channel the company has—app customers hit the brands up twice as often as regular web customers do—it’s likely a good move. What’s even better here is that Venmo and A&F are actually fairly complementary brands; almost three out of four Venmo users are under 35, and given how much of A&F’s customer base is likewise aged, it’s a move that’s hand-in-glove by most any standard.

This isn’t the only place Venmo is showing up, either; Uber added the option to pay by Venmo last month, and over two million merchants so far take the mobile payment system as well. It’s a good thing that they do; reports suggest that 49 percent of millennials use peer-to-peer (P2P) payments once a week. Given that 39 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of baby boomers can say likewise, it’s obvious the P2P concept is trending younger. Word about Gen Z, though, is a bit light on the ground, so there may not be much in the way of legs here. It might stop being valid when the millennials age out of the market. That’s at least a generation—probably more like two—away, though, so the risk is minimal.

Still, in the end, A&F is recognizing how its target market shops and is accommodating it accordingly. Smart move, and one that’s likely to pay off going forward.