Last Word: The GAP Method of Fashion eCommerce Centralization
The struggling apparel chain’s chief executive, Art Peck, told shareholders that Gap is open to selling its merchandise on Amazon or other third parties in the U.S.…Amazon has courted apparel brands for years and has started to lure some department store staples to its site, including Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Levi Strauss. But Gap is among the chains that have shunned the online retailer and it has largely focused on selling jeans, khakis and button-downs through a fleet of more than 3,500 stores and its own websites.
The traditional omni-channel approach to brand growth, through beneficial to current cash flow accounting, may well stunt the growth and longevity of brands who lack the vision to invest in an eCommerce-first retail future. Here are the top characteristics of a DNVB that can sustain and/or grow their business once Amazon begins to host virtual malls of top 500 eCommerce retailers:
- Product differentiation
- Key Question: Is the product a commodity?
- A Strong digital media (re: Twitter / Snapchat / Facebook) presence
- Is organic interaction and amplification a common occurrence?
- Branded content and influencer distribution
- Key question: Does the brand publish natively and elsewhere? Do consumers appreciate the voice?
- Emphasis on elite eCommerce performance
- Is the brand in the top 1,000? (via Internet Retailer rankings)
- A strong relationship with premium online publishers
- Is the brand frequently featured by women’s blogs and men’s blogs?
eCommerce industry analysts see an inverse correlation between Amazon’s fashion growth and physical retail traffic. For brands, investing in eCommerce (slower short term revenue) before brick and mortar (faster short term revenue) accounts is a longterm strategy for a privileged few who will be able to withstand the pull towards Amazon’s effective “one-click” checkout and mall-like variety of lines and brands to come.
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