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Gilt Groupe leverages push notifications to trigger wait list orders

NEW YORK – A Gilt Groupe executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference said that leveraging push notifications for shoppers with products that are on wait lists is an example of a mobile feature that makes sense for the company.

During the conference’s closing keynote, the Gilt executive spoke about the different tactics that the company is using to take its mobile efforts up a notch. One of the more interesting ways that the company is doing that is through experimenting with push notifications.

“Things that do really make sense are things like wait-list push notifications,” said Steve Jacobs, chief information officer at Gilt, New York.

“If an item sells out on mobile, you can register and say, ‘Hey, when we get this inventory comes back, let me know,” he said.

“Leveraging push with a wait-list notification is really great for us, so that’s an example of how push really makes sense for us.”

Mobile sales
Seventy-three percent of Gilt’s members shop from their mobile devices, and 45 percent of Gilt’s sales now come from mobile.

Given the daily flash sale model, it is no surprise that the company’s mobile app plays a big role in how Gilt drives daily traffic.

Gilt claims that its mobile app has been downloaded six million times, and the company sends out more than 2.5 million push notifications.

Gilt’s shoppers are also cross-platform.

Mr. Jacobs said that Facebook is proving to be a strong platform for acquisition, and members that spend time on social networks and mobile spend more.

Better shopping
Gilt is also looking at how to leverage different pieces of data, such as time spent or browsing history to serve shopppers more relevant pieces of information.

However, there are challenges specific to mobile with data, one of which is the shorter sessions that consumers spend on the site.

One way that Gilt is addressing this is through personalization.

Gilt recently rolled out a new feature to its mobile apps and Web site that shows consumers one personalized sale per day, each curated to products that users have shown interest in previously (see story).

Additionally, Gilt pulls apart its smartphone and tablet experiences to make shopping more contextual.

For example, asking a consumer which products they like during the day is more suited to the iPhone when consumers are likely using their devices.

The tablet experience on the other hand is more focused on telling a story with a different experience.

“One thing that the team does really really well has to do with the member or customer and where they are,” Mr. Jacobs said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York