MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Gap, Banana Republic offer omni-channel ‘reserve in store’

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Gap Inc. is rolling out its “Reserve in Store” capabilities to all U.S. Banana Republic stores and more than 200 Gap stores in 15 major U.S. markets. The launch, which follows a successful pilot in San Francisco and Chicago-area Gap and Banana Republic stores, makes it easy for customers to shop online or with their mobile device, place items on hold and pick them up in local stores.

Online and mobile shoppers at Gap and Banana Republic’s e-commerce sites can now reserve up to five items per day and within one hour they will receive an email or text confirming their items are on hold, along with pick-up instructions. Items will be held in their selected store until close of business the next day.

“With Reserve in Store, our stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Tom Sands, executive VP, Gap North America. “We’re focused on delivering an incredible store experience and making it even more convenient for our customers to shop with us however and whenever they want.”

Gap Inc.’s omni-channel initiatives are designed to bridge the online world and the bricks-and-mortar experience. Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta customers who shop online and on their mobile devices can also use the “find in store” feature, which tells customers if a particular item is in stock at their local store. “Ship from store” uses Gap’s inventory engine to connect online demand to in-store inventory.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Showroomers more likely to buy in store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Despite conventional industry wisdom, shoppers who use mobile devices for showrooming are almost twice as likely to purchase from the retailer in-store or online (38%) than buy elsewhere (21.6%). A new study from e-commerce technology provider SeeWhy, “Showrooming Realities: When Worlds Collide,” also shows that one third (33%) of more 60,000 consumers surveyed who owned a mobile device had used a device as part of their shopping process, and 12% do it routinely.

When asked about the actions shoppers took when using a mobile device in-store as part of their shopping process, the most common behaviours were looking for cheaper prices elsewhere (35%) and reading reviews of the product (34%), followed by checking prices online for the same retailer (27%) and looking for promo codes (27%). Sixteen percent have checked the stock for an item while in stores.

Other results include:

  • Less than 5% of the total survey pool feel showrooming is unfair to the retailer, and a mere 3% feel “guilty” when showrooming inside a store.
  • The most likely showroomers are young, urban, affluent men. Thirty six percent of this segment has showroomed, and they are twice as likely to use their devices routinely as part of the shopping process.
  • Urban populations (32%) are most likely to showroom, followed by those living in suburban areas who showroom (25%).
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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Six-in-10 consumers shoppers say smartphones critical for Black Friday

BY Dan Berthiaume

Nashville – Almost six-in-10 (58%) adults say their smartphone is very important for Black Friday shopping. A survey of nearly 1,000 adults by technology protection services vendor Asurion, also reveals 49% of shoppers will make Black Friday purchases from their smartphone.

For 46% of those responding, the smartphone will be their shopping assistant, providing a wealth of product information. Once that must-have holiday gift is found, 35% of those surveyed said they’ll use their smartphone to save money by finding discount codes and coupons. Smartphone owners surveyed by Asurion said they already have three or four shopping applications from popular retailers on their device. Sixty-two percent say they will use those apps to make their holiday purchases

"Technology should make our lives easier and it looks like smartphones will do that this holiday season," said Bettie Colombo, Asurion spokesperson. "It’s another example of the mobile lifestyle we live today. With our smartphones and tablets we can be connected from almost anywhere. On Black Friday, shoppers and retailers alike will take advantage of that connectedness."

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