About two out of every three shoppers can’t find what they need in stores, according to Google research. And too often, when store associates can’t answer customers’ questions, they make a dash to the backroom, disrupting the customer experience.
For Gap Inc., these scenarios are history thanks to the mobile devices and apps they’ve put in employees’ hands. When customers can’t find their size or a particular color, Gap store associates simply scan the product’s barcode with an app to pull up rich inventory and product information in real time.
Instead of leaving the conversation to search the backroom, Gap employees can continue the discussion and add value. Employees can see all inventory available on the app, search out-of-stock products at nearby locations, reserve items at other stores and place online orders for in-store shoppers.
In addition to accessing inventory and product information, Gap employees can also watch training videos on the iOS mobile devices supplied in stores, and store managers can oversee operations from the floor with customers instead of from the back room, according to Mobile Commerce Daily. Gap brand Banana Republic even provides employees with an app for styling tips.
Gap’s mobile devices and apps not only empower employees with real-time information but also increase the availability of their entire inventory and help Gap’s five brands create flagship store experiences across all locations, according to Gap’s senior director of Omnichannel Architecture, Roger Kibbe. Watch the entire interview with Roger and VMware CMO Robin Matlock below.
Creating Omnichannel Experiences with Mobility
Roger’s top priority is creating consistently great customer experiences across every Gap marketing channel using technology. That means, no matter where customers engage with the Gap—online, in stores, in a mobile app—the experience feels the same because every channel is integrated.
Omnichannel retailing, the merging of all sales channels, is now essential for the retail industry to meet changing consumer expectations. In fact, our newest infographic on retail business mobility shows that not being omnichannel costs retail businesses approximately 10 percent in lost revenue.
For example, about half of consumers now expect to buy online and be able to pick up purchases in stores, according to our infographic. Likewise, customers increasingly expect to use a brand’s app on free Wi-Fi while shopping in store, to check out via mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and receive receipts via email and to order out-of-stock products online or over the phone with the help of a store associate.
According to Google, 71 percent of shoppers today rely on their mobile devices, not store associates, to shop brick-and-mortar stores. With innovative solutions like those at Gap stores, retailers can elevate the in-store experience to rival the speed and convenience of online shopping and turn frustrated shoppers into satisfied, loyal customers.