E-Business: American Eagle Outfitters
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is a popular clothing and accessories company that markets primarily to young men and women between the age of 15 and 25. The company’s mission is to provide “high quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices” (Corporate Overview, 2009, p. 1). AEO manages nearly 1000 stories in the United States and Canada in addition to its retail website, which is located at www.ae.com.
The product line offered by American Eagle Outfitters is primarily concentrated upon clothing. The company offers both male and female apparel. Several brands are included within the product line. AEO’s Dormwear includes sleepwear and intimates. Martin + OSA is the company’s adult brand focused upon men and women between the ages of 28 and 40. The company recently established a new brand, 77kids, for children between the ages of two to ten. The availability of the different brands varies. For example, 77kids is only available online while Martin + OSA is offered at its own store brands and website distinct from AE.com.
American Eagle Outfitters chose to outsource to ATG for its e-commerce platform (Business Wire, 2005). Outsourcing has become a common strategy for e-commerce applications. Oz (2008) notes the “the majority of custom-designed applications are developed by companies that specialize in providing consulting and software development services to other businesses” (p. 446). ATG is one of the leading platforms for e-commerce marketing and customer services. The system is integrated and connects several different types of information systems, including transaction processing systems (TPS’s), customer relationship management (CRM) systems and decision support systems (DSS’s). The integrated system connects retail advertising, call-center customer service and order management within an integrated, functional system. The...