April 15, 2010, 11:57 AM

Gap gets social with its iPad shopping app

Gap Inc. calls its shopping app for Apple Inc.’s newest darling 1969 Stream, after its line of denim by the same name. The retailer is taking a social approach to its app, enabling shoppers to share videos, photos or Gap merchandise on Twitter and Facebook through their iPads.

Gap Inc. calls its shopping app for Apple Inc.’s newest darling 1969 Stream, after its line of denim by the same name. The retailer is taking a social approach to its app, enabling shoppers to share videos, photos or Gap merchandise on Twitter and Facebook through their iPads.

All Gap products in the app are tagged to make it easy to buy the item featured or to share it with friends. One unique feature is that shoppers can directly check out from within the app while still seeing a full-screen view of the product they are purchasing. Users can also locate the closest Gap store via the app’s geo-locater .

For its launch, Gap’s app features a music video from the folk rock group Truth & Salvage Co., called "Them Jeans", as well as a video featuring Jay Sario, a contestant from the popular design competition TV show Project Runway, outfitting people in Gap denim looks at the 1969 Jeans shop in West Hollywood. The app also features photos of celebrities in Gap attire, press coverage, and Twitter feeds from Gap fashion designer Patrick Robinson.

Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research Inc., says Gap is likely one of the first in a long line of apparel retailers creating snazzy apps for the iPad. “Like early iPhone applications meant to generate buzz and establish brands and agencies as innovative, we’ll probably see quite a few iPad applications fall into this category,” she says.

But she says it’s too early to tell if consumers will use Apple’s new tablet computer for purchasing.

“We don’t yet have a good sense of how people are using the iPad—it would typically be too large to carry around unless one had a large handbag or backpack,” she says. “And it would be second to the phone on -the -go or a computer at home. I would expect that buying behavior on the iPad would be more similar to online than a phone due to its size and form factor.”

Gap’s app, which for now is only available in the U.S., was designed and developed by AKQA, a digital creative and technology house. AKQA developed Target’s gift globe mobile iPhone app that enabled uses to enter gift search criteria and shake an iPhone for a list of suggestions.

Gap is No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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