Hollister uses Share2Pay to help young shoppers share their carts with guardians
Listen to this article:
In the second quarter of 2022, the teen-centric clothing brand Hollister was ... not doing very well.
It experienced a 7% year-over-year sales loss. On top of that, its sister labels Gilly Hicks and influencer-led brand Social Tourist reported a 15% decline in sales. Conversely, Hollister’s parent company Abercrombie & Fitch saw a 5% lift in sales.
What was the issue?
After an internal study of sales data, executives at Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch found that brands targeting teens were losing sales. Part of this was due to inflation and the rising cost of living, but they found the key pain point was an age-old reality: most teens simply don’t have much purchasing power. After researching today’s Gen Alpha (teen) consumers, Hollister created the Share2Pay app to tackle this problem.
Understanding Gen Alpha consumers
Gen Alpha (born 2010-2025) are consumers who are just beginning to flex their consumer muscles and do their own research before deciding what to buy. This demographic isn’t small either; in 2021, Statista reported an average of two children under 18 in every American household.
Gen Alpha is influenced by friends, (28%), influencers (25%), and family members (21%) when it comes to purchasing decisions.
While this demographic may not have purchasing power, they are still highly influential consumers. According to a report done by the National Retail Federation, nine out of 10 parents said their children influence their purchasing decisions: especially for things like apparel.
With this in mind, Hollister started thinking about how to cater to Gen Alpha consumers who depend on someone else to pay for the things they want.
Research done by Hollister found one of the main issues it had to overcome was cart abandonment. Teens were going on the Hollister app and website and filling shopping carts, but since they didn’t have access to a credit card or digital wallet to complete the purchase, carts would idle or time out, ultimately becoming abandoned.
That’s why Hollister created Share2Pay.
What is Share2Pay?
Share2Pay is an app developed by Hollister that allows teens to share their shopping carts with their parents. Teen shoppers use the Hollister app to put items they want into an online shopping cart; then the app sends a text message to the parent or guardian. There the payer can review the items and even add, modify, or remove items before checking out.
The app was launched the second week of October 2022, but is currently only available for use in the U.S. and the U.K.
What Share2Pay will do for Hollister
This isn’t the first app created to better serve teen consumers, but it appears to be one of the more successful attempts. The release of Share2Pay garnered coverage from publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg News, and more.
So what does Hollister hope this app will help accomplish, big-picture?
Reduce cart abandonment
The first thing Hollister hopes to tackle with the Share2Pay app is reducing cart abandonment. Cart abandonment is not unique to Gen Alpha: As of the second quarter of 2022, Statista reports cart abandonment rate averages 84% for purchases attempted with mobile devices. At the same time, 40% of global merchants describe cart abandonment as an issue for their business.
This issue is even more common within a demographic that has to ask someone else to finish the online order. The Baymard Institute’s research shows that 17% of shoppers abandon a purchase if the checkout process is too complicated. Share2Pay is set up to make the checkout process more fluid so teen consumers (and their guardians) move through the sales funnel more efficiently and without friction.
In a soft release of the Share2Pay app earlier this year, Hollister found that customers who used Share2Pay had a higher average order value (AOV). Customers who shared their carts through Share2Pay placed orders at almost two times the rate of other shoppers. This data suggests focusing on the checkout process for teen shoppers encourages them not only to finalize their purchases but also encourages them to spend more.
Gather more data
There still isn’t much data about Gen Alpha and their spending habits just yet, so apps like Share2Pay provide extremely valuable insights into this emerging demographic. The more data Hollister gets, the more successfully it’ll be able to meet the needs of its customers ... and it puts them ahead of the curve as these consumers age into adults.
Samir Desai, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Abercrombie & Fitch Co, had this to say:
“We’re putting things in the hands of the customer and then getting feedback and iterating, versus going away for nine months in the lab and building something that’s going to be unbelievably perfect. We might have missed the boat on customer experience at that point.”
Build relationships with future buyers
Finally, by developing Share2Pay, Hollister is going a long way to building trust and loyalty with their Gen Alpha customers. Meeting their needs in a way that not many companies are doing right now will encourage Gen Alpha to continue to shop with the Abercrombie family of brands as they get older.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, even a 5% increase in customer retention can lift a company’s revenue by 95%. That means, in the future, other brands will be fighting to attain these customers and spending a lot of money to get their patronage.
Share2Pay isn’t the only teen-centric eCommerce app
Share2Pay isn’t the only app trying to solve the pain point of reaching teenage shoppers with influence, but little purchasing power. A few other players are taking a stab at connecting with young shoppers.
Amazon Teen Login
Amazon Teen was introduced in 2018 and aims to serve 13 to 17-year-olds. Teens in that demographic can create an Amazon Teen account and get a unique login.
Much like Share2Pay, when teens place orders through an Amazon Teen account, the platform sends a text or email to their parent or guardian. That person can then review and edit items before finalizing the purchase. Amazon Teen also allows parents to set spending limits instead of manually reviewing each order.
Holiday Amazon Toy Catalog
Targeting a younger audience, the Holiday Amazon Toy Catalog creates an engaging experience for children. It starts with a fun holiday story you can read to young kids and then opens up to an interactive catalog of the hottest toys this holiday season.
Kids can swipe through the catalog and point out the things they want. Hovering over pictures of each item will also give kids and parents more information on each product, as well as a link to buy.
“Ask to Buy” by Apple
“Ask to Buy” was created in 2016 when Family Sharing was developed for iOS 8. Family Sharing allows people connected to the same group to share purchases, books, music, etc.
This option is more of a digital wishlist: It allows kids to request certain items be purchased in a Family Sharing Group. Then the guardian/parent can approve or reject that request.
The drawback to “Ask to Buy” is it tends to be buggy. If the organizer or guardian/parent doesn’t have the right settings, the “Ask to Buy” notifications may never reach them.
The future is now
Hollister’s Share2Pay app is helping to pave the way for ecommerce businesses to understand, engage, and meet the needs of younger demographics that are largely unserved. If you want your business to continue to grow, you need to think like Hollister and start making moves to meet the needs of your future customers. That means Generation Alpha.
Look to your own brand and see where you can find ways to engage your customers, no matter what demographic or buying power they possess.