Monday, September 12, 2005

What a Gap!

Gap Inc., the apparel company, shut down its online stores--Gap.com, BananaRepublic.com, and OldNavy.com--this past August in an effort to improve the functionality of the websites. Although praised in a New York Times article, demonstrating how the number of clicks required to navigate around the stores are reduced through innovations such as a "quick look" link popup and opening a smaller separate window for checkout items, Gap left off two features that are SOP for an online merchant.

They did not include a search box and failed to provide a way for customers to filter their purchases globally. Amazon.com, the standard in online retailing, has allowed users to keyword search and filter their choices by price, description, date, etc., for the longest time now. I cannot believe that when Tony Lenk, president of Gap Inc. Direct, who overseas its catalog and online divsions, approved of the redesign he overlooked two of the most important and useful functions that must be included in an online store.