Online product assortment is not the same as in-store experience, but these concepts are being integrated to achieve similar targets which focuses on excellent customer engagement. With increasing popularity of e-commerce, there is the tendency of businesses shifting their attention towards online stores as opposed to physical stalls. With the use of appropriate online product assortment strategies, the retailer allows the customer to explore the companys product line and pricing of various products. Such activities can also be achieved through improved in-store experiences where the customers are compelled to seek the services of the physical retailers.
Gap store is one of the online retailers which has adopted online product assortment strategies. The companys website is structured into different categories which allow the customer to shop by department. Some of the departments include Women, Gapbody, Gapit, Maternity, Men, Shoes, and Girls. The mens division also has different subsections (shop men styles): The holiday shop, Featured shop, Categories, Special Sizes, and Accessories. Under the holiday shop, the customer can traverse over various items such as $15 Sleepwear with code, Gift shop, Holiday Party Shop, and Holiday Sleep& Lounge. The section identified as Categories features items such as jeans, pants, casual shirts, Gapfits, and underwear.
Gap store allows the customer to purchase the product and shipped to his or her location. Currently, the Gap Stores is running a promotion. When a customer buys a product which costs $50 or more, the customer enjoys a free delivery of the product. Gap store should utilize social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter to improve its customers online experiences. This should involve being active on these social websites to engage with the clients by answering their queries and solving problems. Gap Stores should also use social media to inform customers regarding its products or currently on-going promotions.
Gap Stores should strive to integrate online and in-store experiences thus complementing each other when it comes to improving customer engagement levels within the company. The gap should introduce a strategy where customers are allowed to purchase a product online but pick up at the store. The Gap store need to utilize video conferencing technologies where the customers can have a glimpse of the in-store operations.
Gap Stores has a loyalty program. Through Giftcards, Gap Stores rewards its customers with the provision of special services. Gap stores offer traditional gift cards as well as electronic gift cars which are redeemable at its in-stores and online. These gift cards act as excellent rewards, incentives and a thank-you to the companys loyal customers. Customers with gift cards are given discounts. Currently, the Giftcard program is working perfectly, hence no need of introducing new alternatives. Gap Store should, therefore, focus on utilizing this loyalty program to strengthen its position in this market segment.
As a retailer, Gap Stores participates in various activities as far as the requirements of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are concerned. Gap Stores usually invest in the community as a way of giving back to the society. For instance, Gap stores typically sponsor at least 50 employees every year to take part in the building of the homesteads for the world for Habitat for Humanity. TheGap Store should strive to improve its CSR by being forefront in fighting against child labor (Amelia, 2007). This will enable Gap to recover from the child labor scandal that rocked the company a decade ago.
Amelia, G. (2007). Gap moves to recover from child labor scandal. The New York Times, 1-6.
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