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How Gilt's New Dress Shop Is Fighting Flash-Sale Fatigue

A sneak peak of the Gilt Dress Shop, via <a href="https://twitter.com/mgustashaw/status/316912401402454016/photo/1">@mgustashaw/Twitter</a>
A sneak peak of the Gilt Dress Shop, via @mgustashaw/Twitter

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Gilt gets a lot of credit for reinventing the way people shop online, having trained a whole generation of shoppers, like Pavlov's dogs, to head to the site a noon every day for deals. Gilt Founder Alexis Maybank has said that the company does more than 65% of sales from noon EST to about 1:30 p.m. every single day—an impressive feat considering that until Gilt, shopping was basically a weekend and after-hours activity. But today the company is launching a new kind of shopping experience that indicates a shift in how Gilt is approaching sales.

The Gilt Dress Shop launches today at noon with a "work to cocktails" theme and will stay live for a week. Every week the shop will update with a new theme, complete with original photography and styling ideas. "Our member is really obsessed with the idea of the dress. It's the most searched term on our site and the most popular category by a mile," Gilt Editorial Director Tracey Lomrantz Lester told us. "This is really our answer to fulfilling that need.

It may also be a response to the way people are using smart phones and tablets to shop online. By creating a permanent shop, Gilt is giving its members the opportunity to shop for a dress whenever they need it. This is crucial in the new age of mobile shopping, which has drastically changed e-commerce shopping behavior in the past year.

"Today, 30% of our traffic is coming over a mobile device—mostly iPhones, iPads, Apple devices. On weekends, we watch nearly a quarter of our revenue move through mobile devices, too. So that was a big change we didn't anticipate," Maybank said in an article published on consulting firm McKinsey & Company's online forum back in November of 2012.

Gilt has also launched 9pm sales on Wednesday and Sunday nights to speak to the customer who is browsing at the end of the day, a rep told us.

These are smart moves on Gilt's part, especially as the flash sale market becomes saturated and the novelty of the concept begins to wane. If the internet has taught us anything, it's that only those e-commerce sites who can adapt will survive.
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