Helping Retailers like American Eagle Outfitters Drive Conversion with a Secret Weapon

Content marketing and conversion optimization — two topics mobile commerce professionals hold near and dear to their hearts. Everyone is looking for an edge to remove friction from the purchase process, while also differentiating their offering in the buyer’s mind. Brands have traditionally under-leveraged a tool that has surprising impact on core conversion metrics— music.

That’s where we come in. powers commerce and brand connections through music. As CNBC recently called out: “Shopping, especially among the younger generations, is happening on devices, so that’s where retailers are experimenting with music.”

We’ve had the pleasure of working with our partners at American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) to bring radio to life in their app. Here are some things we’ve learned.

Why Does Music Work?
That’s a nuanced question that deserves a deeper dive. Here are some of the broader trends that are driving the success of in-app music for our partners.


Consumers don’t care about how we divvy up the work on the back end and which department owns physical vs. digital. They expect seamless transactions and a consistent brand experience. Music has long been a powerful part of the physical retail experience, and it follows that bringing that experience to life on mobile serves to reinforce that hard-earned brand love. Companies like AEO understand the importance of the curated tracks they select for the in-store experience, and music is core to the brand. There’s no reason for that experience to exist in physical stores only. In fact, as more customers are shopping and experiencing the brand via digital channels, it makes sense for retailers to give an immersive brand experience to the shopper at every touch point.

Edutainment and Content Marketing

With so much content available to them, consumers look increasingly to brands they trust to help make sense of it all. Edutainment and content marketing are really both about teaching and sharing information about your product or brand while entertaining your audience.

In the case of AEO, the customer looks to them for help in turning individual pieces into an outfit. Case in point — the number one topic of in-app chat outreach to the company isn’t refunds or shipping — it’s “How should I wear this piece?” Following that same line of thought, exposing new artists and curating thoughtful radio stations for the customer helps establish AEO as a trusted tastemaker.

Streaming and Changing Attitudes

It’s not breaking news that the way we consume music has changed radically in the last few years and millennials are driving this evolution. According to Vevo’s “Music Fan Report” from September 2015, younger listeners spend 25 hours a week streaming music from a variety of different sources and 60% say they are always trying to find new music. This generation has also tossed aside the notion of selling out. In fact, in their 2013 Music to the M Power research, Viacom found that 68% of millennials believe there is no such thing as selling out — as long as the artist isn’t being fake in their alignment with a brand.

How AEO is leveraging music
We worked closely with the AEO’s digital leaders to integrate music into their commerce app in a meaningful way. Any customer that downloads the app can listen to a free streaming experience that is constantly updated and optimized for both the AEO and Aerie brands.

And the results? AEO Global Brand President Chad Kessler summarized it best:

“Music has always been an essential and defining element to the American Eagle Outfitters brand. By bringing our playlists to life on our mobile app, we are able to reach customers in more complete and personalized way. We are thrilled with how drives deeper customer engagement and we’ve seen increased mobile commerce as a result”.

The net results are pretty amazing.

More time spent in app

  • Over 200% increase in session times when customers engage with radio

More likely to come back and use the app in the next 30 days

  • Over 100% increase in Day 30 retention when users engage with radio

Higher conversion to purchase

  • Over 300% increase in unique visitor to order conversion rate when users engage with radio

What’s next? We continue to find ways to bridge the digital and physical worlds to drive a cohesive customer experience.

Each brand’s music integration is unique to their user experience and tailored for their customer, but positive ROI improvement and customer feedback are consistent across companies and verticals. It’s not just about providing a background soundtrack to a shopping experience anymore. Innovative brands like American Eagle Outfitters are harnessing the power of music to keep customers coming back for more and engaging in a meaningful way.

For more on the impact of music on ecommerce conversion, and to watch Jeff Yasuda's latest video, check out the CNBC article here.