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Gap steps up mcommerce game via Google Wallet partnership

November 17, 2011

Specialty retailer Gap Inc. is showing that it is a force to reckon with in the mobile commerce space via a new partnership with Google Wallet that lets consumers tap to pay for products.

Sixty-five Gap Inc. retail stores, which includes Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, will be rolling out the mobile payment service. The program is running in the company’s San Francisco locations.

“We know our customers love the convenience of smartphones – including finding stores, browsing products to actually transacting – and this partnership with Google Wallet is an example of how we’re making it easier to shop using the devices,” said Liz Nunan, spokeswoman for Gap Inc., San Francisco.

Gap Inc. has 3,100 company-operated stores and 200 franchise stores in more than 90 countries under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brands.

Mobile jeans
Using the Google Wallet app, consumers can now buy items from Gap retailers via their handsets.

As a reward for using Google Wallet, Gap is giving consumers a 15 percent discount that they can redeem at the point of sale.

Gap is offering the discount on Google Wallet transactions until February.

Additionally, consumers can locate deals inside the app by tapping on the offers feature.

Google Wallet is currently only supported on Sprint Nexus S 4G phones as a downloadable app.

To add money to their account, users can enter their Citi MasterCard credit card information.

Consumers who do not have a Citi MasterCard can add money by setting up a Google prepaid card.

Shoppers then wave their mobile devices over in-store kiosks at the point of sale to complete a transaction.

Users can also pay for items via MasterCard PayPass kiosks that are available in Gap stores.

Virtual shoppers
In addition to Google Wallet, Gap has also explored other mobile commerce efforts.

Most recently, the retailer announced that it will offer discounts and deals via SMS to consumers who pay for products with their Visa credit card (see story).

The company has also used mobile check-ins and has a mobile-optimized site to reach as many consumers as possible.

Mobile payments are quickly gaining steam with consumers, and with Google Wallet, retailers have an opportunity to test out the technology with Google’s backing.

However, mobile users are still skeptical of mobile payments and have mostly been embraced them for smaller transactions such as transportation tickets or coffees.

So far, consumers have not purchased larger-ticket items such as clothing on a regular basis.

“Gap Inc. is committed to bringing a seamless mobile shopping experience to our customers, from payment innovations to an improved mobile optimized shopping experience,” Ms. Nunan said.

“We are excited for our customers in the Bay Area to tap and pay with Google Wallet, and we will continue to explore other ways to engage our customers via their mobile devices,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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