NEW MEDIA CHOICE: THE GAP WEB SITE

Launched amid huge hype and predicted by Goldman Sachs to generate ’incremental business’, sales from The Gap’s online store are expected to outstrip its flagship Manhattan store in 1998.

Launched amid huge hype and predicted by Goldman Sachs to generate

’incremental business’, sales from The Gap’s online store are expected

to outstrip its flagship Manhattan store in 1998.



The online store only serves the US at the moment. Presumably the

company is aware the price difference between UK and online products

could damage business here. Online products are 37% cheaper, according

to the price check I did.



The Gap joins other retail big hitters in the US who are adding Web

sites to their retail portfolio.



The sector is becoming so significant that Forrester Research expects US

online sales to hit dollars 17bn (pounds 10.5bn) by 2001.



So great expectations from The Gap. But how good is the online

store?



Stylistically, the look of the store has been captured online, but below

the surface, it appears to lack imagination.



Every retailer knows that shopping is different from buying. Shopping is

an experience that goes beyond the purely functional elements of having

to purchase essential items. Strangely, it’s the retailers which

originated on the Web that seem to have cottoned on to this. Amazon, the

online book seller, creates communities around interest in particular

authors, but in The Gap you get none of this.



Even though a customer is asked to register, the store doesn’t ask for

any personal details that could be used to show products which he or she

would be most likely to buy, thus missing out on an opportunity to make

this experience relevant to each customer.



When it does try, with a mix-and-match gizmo for clothes, it works

well.



It’s entertaining, and the product information is kept in the background

until needed. But this approach is not one that drives the customer

through the store.



The site is product-focused, rather than customer-focused, missing the

greatest opportunity the Web offers: the ability for a retailer to

tailor responses to the individual visitor.



New Media is edited by Amanda Lutchford, who can be contacted at

amanda.lutchford@ haynet.com



Client: The Gap

URL: www.gap.com.



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer