Given the growth of e-commerce over the last decade, and its offline presence, the lack of a Gap e-commerce site in the UK has been a bit of a mystery.

This was finally rectified this week with the launch of a transactional site for Gap and Banana Republic (with a .eu domain).


I've been seeing how the new site measures up...  


The homepage is clearly laid out, with two tabs to switch between the Gap and Banana Republic websites. At the moment, a message greets shoppers from the UK, while the free delivery offer and returns policy is heavily promoted. 

There is also an offer of 15% off in store and online purchases when you sign up for the newsletter, which is a good way of quickly building up an email database:  



One thing missing from the homepage, or indeed anywhere, is a site search option, which is puzzling. The US version of the site, which is broadly the same, has this option, and I can't see any reason not to include it here. 

Site search offers users a shortcut to the products they want generally converts well, and can benefit retailers by providing an insight into customer research patterns, so I think Gap is missing a trick here. 

Also, if customers like a particular product that they have seen in offline advertising, in store, or on a promotional email, then site search is the obvious route into product pages for customers with a clear purchase intent. 

Chris Lake pointed out the missing site search on three years ago, though the US site has since added the option. It seems strange that it hasn't been included on this site. 

The rest of the navigation is clearly laid out and works from six clear menu options on the homepage. Instead of providing sub-categories via drop-down menus, users need to go to the section and choose a category from there. 


At the moment, the site lacks filtering options, so there is no way to filter and sort by size, colour, price etc. At the moment, since there seems to be a limited range of stock on the site, this isn't so important, but once more product are added it will become essential to make product selection easier for users. 

Product pages

The site has a 'quick look' option which allows shoppers to click on products within search results and see product details and even add items to the basket without needing to go to the full product page. 


This quick view feature is becoming more common on e-commerce sites, and is meant to increase transition rates from product list pages to product detail pages by offering customers an easier and smoother route to view product availability and make a purchase.

The main product pages are good, with a decent range of product photos and a zoom option, while the available sizes are clearly marked, though delivery charges are harder to find. Since shipping costs are a key factor in many customers' purchase decisions, and Gap has a flat rate anyway, this should be clear. 


Checkout process

The checkout process requires registration, which can be a barrier to sales, though any potential damage is mitigated by the fact that not too much information is required to progress. 

The checkout is a fully enclosed, one-page process: 


A single page checkout like this is designed to reduce abandonment rates since it requires less effort on the part of the customer, and it does allow users to review all of their details and make edits without going back and forth between different pages. 

There are a few irritations with the checkout though. One is that there isn't a postcode lookup tool, something which can reduce the amount of work a customer has to do to complete the purchase. 

Another is the entry of the discount code. Having signed up for the email offering 15% I was looking for where to enter my code. I would have preferred to do it on the basket page, and certainly before entering my card details, so I can be sure the discount has been applied first. 

However, the code entry box has been placed after the card entry, while the box has been labelled 'promotions', which could be confusing for some. The word 'code' should be included. 

Also, as the screenshot below shows, I came across an error message when I copied and pasted the code from my email: 


It turns out that the reason was a full stop which I'd picked up when I copied the code. 

This could have been executed better by Gap. Firstly, customers have to print the voucher if they want to redeem it in store, which makes it less likely that it will be used, while the code is impossible to remember, meaning people will have to copy and paste to use it.

Placing a full stop next to the code means that a number of customers will make the same mistake I did, causing unnecessary frustration. 

A better idea would have been to make the code shorter and more memorable, something like 'GAP15OFF", or at least think about how people will use it and make it nice and easy to copy and paste. 



Gap's entrance into the UK e-commerce market is long overdue, and given the popularity of the brand and its existing high street presence, it should do well online. 

It lacks some of the bells and whistles of other online fashion sites, such as video, virtual wardrobes, looks, blogs etc, but does the basics well. 

The website is generally well designed and user friendly, but there are a few problem areas, described above, where Gap could make things easier for customers and thus increase conversions. 

Graham Charlton

Published 25 August, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (11)

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Greg Power

Nice summary, Graham.

Aside from the non-nonsensical lack of search, the display slideshows could get benefit from an inviting call to click them.

As for the voucher code being impossible to remember, I would imagine that's because they're dynamically generated for each email sign-up?  

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

Hi Greg. Good point about the code, though I think they should make it easier to copy and paste, as this is how people are likely to use it. 

Another thing I missed in the review, which was pointed out by @cee_m_bee on Twitter, is that the women's clothes are displayed in US sizes, meaning people have to open up a size chart to figure it out. 

almost 8 years ago


Paul @ mellow media

One (Amazon?) inspired feature, is the quick checkout. (Only available once you create an account) Not sure if this adds any value, after all how many pairs of khakis would you buy in a year? Free delivery (orders over £50) and free returns is defiantly a great incentive to buy, you can even return to store, we have worked on fashion ecom sites and often the whole process is disjointed, having third party suppliers ‘drop shipping’ on behalf of brands, and out sourcing customer services, making it impossible to allow customers to return to store. Good luck GAP!

almost 8 years ago



The GAP EU site doesn't include the full range of sizes.  In the US you can order 'tall' sizes in jeans and shirts, for example, but not in the UK!  Why!?  This seems bonkers.

The customer service rep that answered my query said they have no plans to introduce tall sizes to the European website.  Europe is undoubtedly home of some of the tallest potential consumers, so they're missing out on sales and alienating a large number of their customers.

almost 8 years ago



Personal experience of the site is not good.

Signed up in store, got a welcome email that said I could use a discount voucher in-store or online. The online code was missing from the email. Emailed the obvious help / contact us point on the website only to be told that I should not have gone through to .eu but to the UK group (customer not clairvoyant).

Finally got two emails from differnet people with different subject lines and in very different tones giving me the code (at least the code was the same).

Result - I bought in-store!

almost 8 years ago



I've just tried to sign up for the newletter/15% offer and got this message on the page:

Is that my end or the security certificate their end? Either way, an unsuccessful visit for me.

almost 8 years ago



The email sign-up in the bottom right has a "confirm your email" text box.  This is good in theory but clicking on either box clears the contents of the box.  Great first time you use it but useless if you click between both boxes after you have already entered your email address! Is this intentional to stop people using copy and paste to populate the second box?  It is definitely annoying. 

almost 8 years ago

Mark Pinkerton

Mark Pinkerton, Director of Optimisation at Practicology

Good review Graham

So it has taken GAP several years to replicate a poor cousin of its American sites?

Normally the advantage of being a late entrant is that you can cherry pick features based on what actually works and even localise the site. Having US sizes is unforgivable given how long GAP has been in the UK.

I supsect that GAP have pretty backward systems as when I asked in store if they could check another store for stock of a different colour, the store assistant offered to phone the other stores for me!

I was waiting for this site with anticipation given that GAP used to be seen as a leader in the US. This site is no better than average!

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

Thanks Mark, and yes, I think it is a poor cousin. The US size issue is poor, but the lack of a site search function is baffling. 

almost 8 years ago



I like the new site. I agree with the search option. I am not sure for the filtering options. They can create soooo many duplicate urls.

almost 8 years ago


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over 5 years ago

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