With over 3,500 worldwide stores and a workforce of over 135,000 – around the same population as Pasadena – GAP is one of the largest clothing retailers in the country, and operates other brands including Banana Republic and Old Navy.
Personalizing a business comes easier to small businesses – those local shops where the shopkeep knows you by name; knows your usual order, asks you about the family, etc.
Personalizing an international brand is more difficult, because like everything in life, the larger something becomes the more complex it becomes. And so for big brands and retailers, personalization is both difficult to implement yet desirable due to consumer behavior and expectations.
In its pathway to personalization, GAP turned towards Salesforce Commerce Cloud and you know what? The leading ecommerce platform boosted GAP’s ecommerce sales by 60% during the third quarter.
[Insert necessary generic paragraph about how Covid-19 has affected the world and impacted heavily on all businesses and has led to an explosion in ecommerce which has caused businesses to quickly adapt to shifting consumer behavior and invest heavily in ecommerce solutions and logistical solutions such as order management systems.]
GAP reacted fast: they enabled contactless payment and curbside pickup… and they also provided masks to support its customers.
“A great buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) or curbside pickup experience is as much about the processes and innovation from our store associates as it is about any technology that supports the capability,” said John Strain, its chief digital and tech office.
Connecting its tech teams, store staff, strategy teams and management across its brand at scale, GAP managed to improve its capabilities in all areas.
And then back in November, its two name brands, Old Navy and Athleta, pushed out in-store service hubs for safer and faster checkout service. Then GAP installed a doorbell feature so that customers could alert store staff just before they arrive for their curbside pickup, freeing up the phones.
“We leveraged our deep supply chain relationships,” added John, “and agile operations to quickly come up with a solution that provides companies in both the private and public sectors with high-quality reusable, non-medical grade cloth face masks.”
In order to gear their operations towards mask manufacturing, GAP plugged in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and managed to set up a site dedicated to masks within 5 weeks. Now that’s fast – although… we know a place that could do it in 4 weeks.
From April 2020 – when they started this endeavor – until now they have sold just over $225 million worth of masks. But that’s not all. Because GAP also found that they had gained an extra million new customers, too.
In short, they found an opportune moment to grow during a time of crisis. But a good idea doesn’t often reach the end stage of fulfilment.
It’s the higher performing brands and retailers that are digging deeper into digital with broad consensus within the organization.
“Digital transformation is the way we leverage our integrated technical capabilities,” added John, “to deliver a better customer experience that’s both omnichannel in nature and digitally enhanced.
“Experimenting with one-on-one virtual styling sessions gives our associates the power to deliver next-level personalization, services, and convenience to shoppers… While the technology enables virtual clienteling, removing some constraints, the technology provides an opportunity for our store associates to demonstrate their product, brand, and customer knowledge in a new way.”