How Gap’s Facebook Deal Could Have Been Better 5

On Friday, November 5th Gap became the first company to make a really big splash with Facebook’s new check-in and deals feature. The company gave away 10,000 pairs of jeans to customers, and offered a 40 percent discount on jeans to customers that came to the store after quantities expired. The deal certainly caught a lot of attention, but was it successful?

Since there are so many Gap stores, many physical locations only had a few pairs of jeans to giveaway, which were gone within minutes of when the store opened. This meant that many people went to Gap (some before work or during their lunch break) only to find they were out of luck. While 40 percent off is a nice consolation prize, the company has been having that sale a lot recently, so it’s nothing extraordinary new.

This resulted in many disappointed customers, some who made their feelings public on Twitter and Facebook. Could Gap have made this promotion better? Probably. Here are two ways:

1. Hold the event on a weekend instead of a Friday. Most people work during the week, so it’s frustrating for them to navigate through traffic in the morning or during lunch to go to the Gap. Holding this on a weekend is better for people’s schedules and a bit more balanced.

2. Instead of giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans, discount jeans at 75 percent. There are two reasons to do this. First, 75 percent off is pretty darn good. When a $60 pair of jeans is suddenly $15, you’re going to have a lot of happy customers, who will likely buy multiple pairs. Second, more people can get this deal. Even if it only lasts from 9am – 12pm (on a weekend) it’s a deal that will drive people to the store and can be shared my many more then 10,000 people.

I believe that if Gap had made their deal on a weekend and allowed more people to get a large discount rather then giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans, their overall customer base would be much happier. After all, there are more then 10,000 people that shop at the Gap.

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5 thoughts on “How Gap’s Facebook Deal Could Have Been Better

  • KevinMGreen

    Certainly interesting points. What would have made the deal great was if all jeans were free for the entire day… but that’s unrealistic. You have to look at the business objectives The Gap had in participating in this initiative as the pilot brand.

    Most likely, they chose a Friday on purpose to drive foot traffic into stores on days that are typically slow. The Gap is always crowded on Saturday’s and surely was the next day as well. Holding this pilot on a Friday allowed them to determine the value, needs and drive impact on a day when sales may be slow.

    Discounting jeans 75% would also probably not be a sound business decision. Even if just for a short period of time. I would guess that Gap locations are not staffed to handle the type of rush this would have caused. There would still have been many unsatisfied customers.

    For a first attempt, I would say The Gap did everything right. It’s better to control the situation and learn from it then go beyond your means and deliver an experience you can’t recover from. This program created tons of awareness and I would bet check in’s on Facebook are going up.

    The real question is, would this have been better if no one new about it?

  • Brian McDonald

    I think 75% is too much and they did offer a generous 40% off any regular priced item. If they did it on a weekend it would have been a mad house. Doing it during the week got people in the store on a day they typically would not have shopped. I think the campaign was great and it also helped Facebook demonstrate how to use Facebook Places better than Facebook did. It forced consumers to use the new check in feature with coupons versus the bland initial launch of Facebook Places that offered no value.