The Gap has shut down the web sits of Old Navy, Banana Republic and the Gap in an apparently successful effort to make the web sites MUCH easier for customers to use and to especially reduce the number of clicks it takes for someone to find what they want and buy it.
As of 6:20am today the Gap.com web site was still not up but I expect it should be live soon.
Gap.com’s story is interesting in that all three web sites of Gap’s stores were shut down, resulting in a loss of some business; but Gap’s owners apparently knew that it would be worth it in an increase in future sales.
The New York Times writes “Gap’s new sites leapfrog every other retail site out there today,” said Carrie Johnson, a retail analyst with Forrester Research, an online consulting firm. “They’re providing a customer experience that other retailers will quickly try to figure out how to copy.”
In particular, Ms. Johnson said, Gap’s sites, which were shut down in late August and reopened to limited numbers of customers over the following two weeks, went far in solving what she called the “too many clicks” problem.
For instance, when women browse Gap.com’s T-shirt section, they do not have to click to a new page to see details about the 16 shirts shown on each page. Rather, when they put the cursor over an item (called “mousing over” in industry parlance), they are invited to click on a “quick look” link for the shirt. That link yields a pop-up window that shows a model wearing the shirt alongside swatches of the colors it is available in. Mouse over any swatch, and the shirt takes on its hue – and the window tells you what sizes are in stock. Read the full NY Times article here [end post]
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