The State of Retailing Online 2015 report finds search and email leading the pack with e-retailers.
Some Gap and Banana Republic stores in Chicago and San Francisco offer the service.
Gap Inc. has begun enabling shoppers to reserve items online and pick them up in the chain’s stores. For now, “Reserve in Stores” is available only at select Gap and Banana Republic stores in Chicago and San Francisco, the retailer says.
Gap did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how many stores have rolled out the service. A Gap women’s blazer within 25 miles of Chicago’s Loop was available for pickup at seven locations, though the web site also listed four locations where the blazer was available without the reservation option.
Online shoppers reserve items by clicking “Find in Store” beneath the price information on the product page. That prompts the consumer to enter her ZIP code to find where an item in a particular size and color is available nearby. The Gap and Banana Republic e-commerce sites claim to update store item availabilities every 20-30 minutes. Customers may reserve up to five items from either Gap or Banana Republic per day, regardless of which locations they use for pickup, Gap says. Stores hold reserved items until the close of the next business day.
Shoppers do not have to pay for the items they reserve online until they pick them up, Gap says. That way, they can try them on and change their minds if they choose. When they buy, they pay the lowest in-store price for the item, even if it differs from the online price, Gap says.
Gap sends shoppers an e-mail—and a text if they enter a mobile number—when their orders are ready for pickup. It promises to put items on hold within an hour of a shopper reserving them online; If the store is closed for the day, the confirmation message will arrive in the first hour of the next business day, it says.
The retailer announced it would roll out the online reservation servicein a Q1 earnings call with investors.
Gap Inc. Direct, the retailer’s e-commerce unit, is No. 19 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.