Gap Varies Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store To Make Shoppers Stay In-Store Longer

Gap is going to launch on June 10 a variation of buy-online-pickup-in-store (called reserve-in-store) designed to encourage shoppers to stay in the store longer.

Art Peck, Gap president of growth, innovation and digital, said he loves using pickup-in-store at other retailers, but he'd rather not offer that at Gap stores. "It's an amazing thing for me from a transactional efficiency experience in that store. It's a crappy thing if you're actually running the store because you just missed an opportunity to build a shopping experience around the fact that I was in there," Peck said. "I was in there and I was gone in a heartbeat."

One key difference between pickup-in-store and reserve-in-store is that pickup generally requires the shopper to pay for the item online and to then drive to the store for pickup, where reserve doesn't seek payment until the shopper shows up. With Gap's program, the shopper will have until the end of the next business day. But payment is akin to commitment. Internet Retailer quoted Nikki Baird, managing partner of research at advisory firm Retail Systems, arguing that this change is quite risky.

The problem comes when the store is holding an item for a shopper who is not in the store, possibly to the detriment of a shopper who is already in the store and who wants the exact same garment in that exact size. "That's the risky part of reservations: losing a real 'right now' sale for the promise of a 'maybe' sale," Baird said.

For more:

- See the Internet Retailer story

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