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Gap introduces wish lists, in-store Wi-Fi to boost holiday sales

Upping its mobile strategy, clothing and accessories retailer Gap has introduced an omnichannel wish list solution for shoppers to compile items and share with family members via Twitter, Facebook and email and will be hosting free Wi-Fi in stores for customers’ convenience.

Gap’s holiday efforts also include improved visuals, easier navigation and new search capabilities for mobile shoppers. Compared to Gap’s holiday marketing campaigns over the past few years, this year’s effort appears to be more mobile-centric and forward thinking.

“Gap’s wish list allows customers to pick up where they left off by choosing items on one device to then add to their shopping cart on another,” said David Hewitt, vice president of mobile at SapientNitro, Atlanta. “This cross-channel capability not only supports the continuity of experience that today’s shopper expects, but also serves as a merchandising vehicle to store and remind consumers of items they liked for future visits.

Gap’s wish list solution can be accessed on multiple platforms, such as desktop, mobile or tablet.

Through wish lists, shoppers can compile their favorite products from Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Piperlime. The tool helps shoppers mix and match their favorite styles, and wish lists can be shared on Twitter, Facebook or can be sent to friends and family via email.

Gap hopes this solution will help friends and family members save time by not having to guess when shopping for loved ones.

Shoppers in the U.S. can add up to 30 items in their wish list.

When shopping on mobile, customers will notice more outfitting ideas that are all visually displayed to fit on smartphone screens. Gap has also implemented easier navigation, search tools and checkout capabilities to help shoppers complete browsing and purchases more quickly.

Also, more than 1,100 Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory stores, Old Navy and Athleta U.S. stores will offer free Wi-Fi service during the holiday season.

Gap is encouraging users to use their smartphones to shop the Web site and browse customer reviews straight from their fitting rooms.

The retailer is also promoting its reserve in store feature, which allows shoppers to place items on hold and pick them up in their nearby store location and can be done on shoppers’ smartphones.

Gap claims to continue its focus on building its omnichannel services. This month, the retailer extended its Order in Store capabilities to approximately 1,000 Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta stores in the U.S. Such moves are imperative for bricks-and-mortar retailers such as Gap as online shopping continues to grow. 

However, Gap reported yesterday after the markets closed that same-store sales for its third quarter were down two percent compared to a one percent increase last year.

Building its mobile strategy
Gap is increasingly using mobile in its seasonal marketing campaigns.

Gap’s fall campaign Dress Normal featured strong mobile aspects, such as the use of video takeovers and GIFs to appeal to a mobile-friendly audience.

Gap has been slow to fully adopt mobile, but has been making some strides with its platform and use of modern features that will appeal to a tech-savvy audience. The campaign hoped to promote individuality by advising its audience to dress according to their own definition of normal and to develop an authentic sense of style (see story).

In June, Gap promoted tweets for its Summer Loves campaign and reached Macy’s fans on Twitter by including an easy way to make a purchase, helping the retailer to attract new customers and close the loop with a transaction.

While the strategy is a clever way to leverage social for new customer acquisition, it missed the mark by not extending the reach into mobile, with the promoted tweets appearing only on Macy’s Twitter page on desktop. Gap’s Summer Loves campaign supported its new summer apparel offerings with the goal of attracting the attention of millennials through the use of mobile and social (see story).

Gap is not the only retailer experimenting with omnichannel wish lists.

“Not only are retailers looking to make online shopping more frictionless across channels, but they are also finding new ways to shop all together,” Mr. Hewitt said. “For example, Target has been looking to enhance a long-standing and successful catalog-based experience for the holidays, which is their holiday toy catalog.

“They wanted to make holiday wish lists even more exciting for families, especially kids, to create and share,” he said. “In partnership with Target, SapientNitro concepted, designed, and built two sets of mobile and tablet experiences.

“First, kids can create and share lists in an immersive, animated world, and then they can hold a phone or tablet over Target’s traditional print catalog and, through an augmented reality-enabled experience, view and add items to their digital wish lists. For parents, they can view, edit, and share with friends and family the lists their kids have created. When they’re all done, kids can even send a letter with their wish list to Santa.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York