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Gap bolsters European presence with Zalando mobile Web push

By
November 25, 2014

photo 1[1]_opt-14Gap’s plan to launch an online store next summer on Zalando, a European fashion Web site that receives 40 percent of its traffic from mobile, continues the United States brand’s ramp-up of omnichannel services to engage new consumers.

The San Francisco clothing and accessories retailer will make its maiden foray into multi-brand retailing in Europe by offering a broad assortment of clothing and accessories on Zalando’s site starting in summer 2015. It is the latest example of the forward-thinking approach Gap has been taking recently to broaden its global customer base.

“It’s about distribution and mobile’s influence on the shopping experience,” said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize. “Gap gets access to a following of 40 million a month and growing. The company wants to sell more stuff. The ‘how’ expands with innovation. Gap sees buyers combining American fashion with European fashion.

“It isn’t hard to envision a photo sharing element, plus an ability to not only see how clothes look, but how they look on an individual,” he said.

100 million visits
Gap did not respond to media inquiries by publication deadline.

Zalando, founded in 2008, is the most trafficked ecommerce fashion site in Europe with more than 100 million visits to the site per month, the companies said.

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Seeking new customers abroad.

Gap, which has continued to expand across Europe since launching its first company-operated international store in Britain 27 years ago, now has 190 company-operated stores and 33 franchise locations on the continent.

With 1,700 global company-operated and franchise retail locations, Gap’s brands include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix.

Zalando’s site includes more than 1,500 international brands offering shoes, apparel and accessories. Its target markets include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Britain.

As of June 30, Zalando’s Web sites attracted more than 100 million visits per month, resulting in more than 13.7 million active customers.

Gap’s partnership with Germany-based Zalando continues the U.S. brand’s stepped-up leveraging of mobile to connect with on-the-go shoppers.

Last week, Gap introduced an omnichannel wish list that lets shoppers compile and share items with family members via Twitter, Facebook and email, supported by free in-store Wi-Fi.

Gap’s holiday outreach to shoppers on mobile also includes improved visuals, easier navigation and new search capabilities.

The retailer also has extended its Order in Store feature to approximately 1,000 Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta stores in the U.S.

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

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Thinking progressively on mobile.

Gap has been slow to fully adopt mobile, but has been making some strides with its Styld.by 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.

“Gap’s newly promoted CEO has been a strong digital and mobile proponent,” Mr. Hasen said. “This is surely just the start of new things.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

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