Gilt Adds New Twists to Mobile AppAugust 21, 2012
New York Times
by Brian X. Chen
Gilt Groupe, the New York company known for its time-sensitive sales of designer clothing, is releasing a major upgrade for its iPhone app on Wednesday. It introduces a complete redesign as well as the ability to search automatically for apparel that matches the clothing you own.
The Gilt app’s design has been streamlined and cleaned up; some buttons, like the ones to choose the size or color of a piece of clothing, have been moved around so that product images take up more space on the screen. The app is also designed to be faster, said Yon Feldman, vice president for mobile at Gilt.
The quirkiest new feature is the built-in “color” tool, which employs the iPhone camera to detect the color of something the user is wearing, then searches Gilt.com for pieces of clothing with matching colors. This feature is in experimental mode, which means it is not quite finished, but it is an example of a special twist that Gilt’s mobile app has that its Web site doesn’t.
The new Gilt app will be version 3.0, the first major upgrade the company has released in a year. Mobile is a crucial part of Gilt’s business, accounting for about 25 percent of its overall revenue, according to the company. Its flash sales give people only a small window of time in which to purchase items at a discounted price, so naturally, smartphone owners have the advantage when it comes to shopping wherever they are.
Gilt is already busy working on the next update of its mobile app, which will add more mobile-exclusive features. It will add filters so that shoppers can automatically find items based on their sizes and preferred colors. For glasses shopping, it will include a feature allowing you to take a picture of yourself and superimpose an image of the glasses on your face. That could spare you the headache of returning a pair of shades that do not look good on you.
“We’re all kind of on moratorium from buying sunglasses until we can use this to buy them,” said Chris Gonzalez, director of mobile product management at Gilt.