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Gilt exec: Mobile could end up driving 75-80pc of flash retail sales

September 13, 2013

NEW YORK – A Gilt executive at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 conference said that as mobile’s role continues to grow for flash retailers, it is possible to imagine some companies hitting significantly higher revenue percentages through the medium.

During the “Gilt Groupe: Using mobile to keep members coming back daily” session, an executive revealed how the company is taking on a mobile-first mentality with every initiative that the company puts out. Additionally, the session gave a look at which platforms and tactics work best for the company.

“What you see in the email today from Gilt is not what I saw in the email from Gilt,” said Jason John, vice president of online, mobile and social marketing at Gilt Groupe, New York.

“We do personalization all the time – it’s a big push for us on the mobile devices,” he said. “We’re also trying to filter out explicit data on everything.”

The Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 conference was a Mobile Marketer event.

Mobile flash
Gilt’s personalization strategy is based on what consumers click on throughout the Web site and apps and their past purchases.

Gilt has accumulated 6.5 million application downloads and attributes 40 percent of revenue to mobile.

Gilt has four different apps for both Gilt and Gilt City that are available for iPhone, Android and iPad devices. Gilt and Gilt City also both have mobile sites.

Seventy-three percent of Gilt’s members shop via their mobile devices, and app shoppers are split evenly between men and women.

Although this does present a big opportunity, it also sets the company up for high expectations from consumers.

Differentiating a tablet and smartphone strategy is key for Gilt. The tablet app and strategy is more focused on highlighting editorial content and images compared to the smartphone strategy.

Interestingly, 34 percent of Gilt’s unique visitors are on mobile, indicating that mobile is becoming one of the primary ways that consumers browse and shop.

Mr. John presenting

Overall, the company has more than eight million active users who skew younger with high incomes. Sixty-two percent of Gilt’s members have a household income of $75,000 or greater, and 87 percent of users are between the ages of 21 – 44 years old.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Gilt has seen consumers make big-ticket purchases via mobile.

The most expensive item that a consumer has bought on mobile via Gilt is a $29,603 sale that included a 2014 Acura MDX car and a travel package in Los Angeles.

The fastest checkout time was less than one second for a $5,995 Volkswagen Jetta that was bought via an iPhone.

On the iPad, the most expensive item sold was a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch that was valued at $24,000.

Gilt’s mobile program

App happy
According to Mr. John, apps play a strong role for Gilt because the company is able to drive customer service through the data and customer research that is collected through them.

Take push notifications, for example. The brand sends out push notifications every day to alert consumers about daily deals.

Typically though the experience is more skewed towards general notifications versus messages that target specific groups of consumers.

The company is also focused on building engagement and gamification into its apps.

For the holidays, Gilt is focusing on cross-channel consistency in messaging and experience.

“This is the year for mobile to really become integrated into holiday strategy,” Mr. Johns said.

“Moving forward, we are launching new products and initiatives on mobile-first, we are building it for mobile, we have planning, creative and marketing involves thinking about mobile,” he said.

“I think from a holiday strategy standpoint, always keeping mobile in mind first is definitely the way he go.”


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