TECHNOLOGY

Gifting goes digital—and customizable—at two Gap brands

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Athleta and Banana Republic are giving holiday shoppers a more thoughtful alternative to gift cards.

By joining forces with Loop Commerce, both Athleta and Banana Republic will offer the GiftNow card this holiday season. The card, an extension of Loop Commerce’s online GiftNow service, enables consumers to purchase and instantly deliver any product online. In a new twist, the GiftNow card also gives the recipient the option to accept, customize or exchange the merchandise before it ships.

Here’s how it works: A customer selects a gift for someone in-store, and with an associate’s help, that gift is virtually loaded to a GiftNow Card.

The process is similar online. Customers find an item they want to gift, and click on the “GiftNow” button on the product page to buy and checkout as a gift. They provide the recipient’s name and email, a special message, and select what day the gift should arrive. Customers can send the gift immediately, or wait to deliver it on a dedicated date.

Recipients receive an email with the gift details and a URL to view their gift. Here, they can accept it, and the item will be delivered immediately.

They also have the option to customize the gift by “selecting their preferred color, size and shipping address — or exchange it for something else entirely before the gift is sent,” according to Gap’s blog, aDdressed.

Athleta will be the first retailer to offer the GiftNow experience in-store. Ten stores in Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, Illinois, Texas, New York and Wisconsin will feature the GiftNow Card option starting the week of November 13. Both Athleta and Banana Republic will also offer the service on their websites, Gap said in the blog.

“We’re excited to add the GiftNow service to Athleta.com and BananaRepublic.com, and to be the first brand to work with Loop Commerce on a connected experience by also offering the GiftNow Card in select Athleta stores,” said Noam Paransky, senior VP digital at Gap Inc. “We believe this new personalized gifting service will provide our customers an easy way to do their holiday shopping both online and in-store.”

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