American Eagle Outfitters Battles Abercrombie & Fitch for Best Teen Online Shopping Title

American Eagle Outfitters or Abercrombie & Fitch. The decisions we face! It’s no mystery that these two chain retail stores are targeted for the tween to young adult market and they’ve been extremely successful thus far. So, who’s stats are better? Who had a more impressive annual report in 2005? I’m sure someone would like to know, but what’s more important isâÂ?¦who has the better website?

If you’re looking for a striped tank top, you can see on American Eagle’s website (www.ae.com) that they have one for $19.50. Head over to Abercrombie’s (www.abercrombie.com) and you’ll find theirs is slightly more expensive at $24.50. As you compare items on both sites, you’ll see American Eagle definitely has the better prices, but that still leaves our question unanswered! Who has the better website?

The moment American Eagle’s site loads, you’re greeted by the fresh faced, energetic, loving life models dressed in AE’s latest. Rosy cheeks and big smiles all around, right? Over at Abercrombie, though, you’re greeted by someone we’ll call Mark. What’s Mark doing? Mark has shirt off. You’ll see plenty more shirtless boys, but it’s okay because it’s The Fitch we’re talking about. They honestly don’t need to advertise their clothes to sell them. Unlike The Fitch’s moody black and white page, American Eagle actually advertises sales they have going on at the moment. Instead of showing two young folks getting in on like The Fitch, AE just shows their product. Based on this, American Eagle walks away with the Better Website for Children To Look At Award.

So, now we’ve gotten past the models, right? It’s time to get down to business. Both sites are similar in the sense that they have the same toolbar at the top (IE: Men’s, Women’s, etc.). You have to click on one of those categories at AE’s site for it to expand to show you all the sub-categories they have. At The Fitch, as I’ll call the website from now, if you scroll your mouse over one of their head categories, a menu drops down. And it gets better! If you scroll over Graphic Tees for men, they’ll divvy up that sub-category into the kinds of Graphic’s they’ve got to offer. Schnazzy, huh? With that in mind, The Fitch wins round two with the Better Interactive Main Menu Award.

So far AE and The Fitch are tied, but there’s one more round left. Who’ll cyber walk out of this competition with their head held high?

American Eagle is all about image and they certainly know how to get theirs out there. Gearing up for Back To School, AE has revamped their website ever so subtlety. Their new layout features a set of six boxes in the middle of the screen. In each box is a different model representing a particular a particular piece of clothing such as their jean or tanks. Highlight one of those boxes and the others fade away and the focus is now on that one item. Click again and it takes you to their full selection. Kind of fun! The Fitch isn’t having any of that fancy schmancy stuff, though. You click on an item and it takes you directly to it. There’s no fading experience. There isn’t anyone to show you how the clothes look even if the models are all lean and fresh from the gym.

When deciding who has the better website, I think what I’m looking for is an overall experience. I want to be drawn in and I want to feel like I’m a part of that world. AE has this all American quality to it and it would make sense with American in their brand name. They make you feel like firing up the grill and inviting your best friends over to reminisce. The Fitch, though, is packing attitude. Instead of firing up the grill, browsing The Fitch makes you want to fire up a cigarette and invite your best friends over to complain about something or other. So I think with that said, American Eagle definitely has the better website for teens. You beat The Fitch with a big ole’ smile on your face. Congratulations, American Eagle Outfitters!

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