Saturday, April 3, 2010

On the iPad, Gilt Is for All Kinds of Shoppers

Shopping on Gilt, the site with private, limited-time sales, can be a blood sport, with shoppers competing against others for a pair of gold Calvin Klein heels in a size 8.

Gilt’s new iPad app, which is already available in the App Store, could give iPad owners a leg up on the competition, and not just because it is mobile so people can shop even if they are away from their computer the minute a sale starts. On a site where every second counts, the iPad saves precious moments.

“It really flattens out the experience and speeds it up,” said Yonatan Feldman, vice president of global and mobile engineering at Gilt.

Gilt iPad App

The goal was to minimize the clicks shoppers make and the number of new pages that load to show merchandise and make a purchase, so more could be done from one page.

The active sales are in a column on the left side of the screen, so shoppers can easily navigate among them. If they want to view details about an item, a little window pops up on top of the sale page. They can drag an item to the shopping cart with their finger, without leaving the page, versus two clicks on the Web site.

One big advantage of Gilt on the iPad is the ability to pinch and zoom in much more closely than on the iPhone or even the Web site.

For example, I could see the wrinkles on a model’s arm and little threads poking out from a sleeve, which are not viewable on a Web site, and might convince a shopper to purchase or not. Gilt bets that the return rate will decrease because people will be able to see more detail before buying, Mr. Feldman said.

The iPad is being marketed as a leisure device, to use on the couch, more than as a productivity device to use at work or on the go. That could help Gilt attract another kind of shopper, one who just wants to window shop instead of joining the shopping race.

Gilt already aims for this audience — it hires professional models, stylists and photographers to style and shoot all the merchandise — but neither the Web site nor the iPhone app facilitates this kind of use. The iPad’s screen size, along with the ability to zoom and flip through images with the swipe of a finger, makes Gilt on the iPad look more like a magazine.

“It’s the convergence of editorial, like a magazine, and shopping,” said Alexis Maybank, founder and president of premium products and services at Gilt.

No comments:

Post a Comment