The line between physical and digital retail are blurring more than ever. The latest testament to this: Gap’s Athleta brand and Loop Commerce are working together to bring the online GiftNow experience to in-store holiday shoppers, courtesy of a physical card.
The digital version allows online shoppers to buy and send any online product, but with the flexibility for recipients to customize or exchange the purchase before it goes out for delivery. Starting Tuesday, brick-and-mortar patrons interested in giving Athleta gifts can offer the same features to friends and family with tangible GiftNow cards for the Gap activewear brand.
Athleta will stock the physical cards in select locations across the country, and those stores will also feature GiftNow kiosks, so customers have the option to e-mail digital versions on the spot. Web shoppers can also pick up GiftNow on Athleta.com and BananaRepublic.com.
“We believe this new personalized gifting service will provide our customers an easy way to do their holiday shopping both online and in-store,” said Noam Paransky, Gap Inc.’s senior vice president of digital.
At various times, the company has called this model a gifting “platform,” “g-commerce,” or an “omnichannel experience.” Ultimately, it amounts to treating customers with consistency and excellent service wherever they are — whether that’s in the aisles or in product web pages.
“While online commerce is massive and growing, the majority of the g-commerce opportunity still lies in physical stores, which don’t always have in stock what gift-givers want to give, or where consumers are hesitant to purchase the wrong item as a gift,” said Loop Commerce chief executive officer and cofounder Roy Erez. “By inventing the GiftNow Card, we’re providing a seamless alternative to shoppers who want to gift a specific item, which they consider to be more thoughtful than giving a gift card, and we’re helping store associates close more sales.”
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