Gap Tests SMS Offers With Visa Real-Time Service

In an effort to extend its mobile strategy, Gap is delivering real-time discounts and promotions to consumers via SMS text messages, leveraging a service from Visa, Inc.

The opt-in service is powered by Visa’s global processing network. Participating consumers receive offers on their mobile devices after completing a qualifying transaction through  enrolled Visa accounts. The offering is part of a larger strategy designed to personalize the consumer shopping experience and deliver more value to merchants and financial institutions by helping them tailor consumer marketing programs, according to Visa.

Gap initially piloted the service in November 2010. During the pilot, Gap customers enrolled via a secure web site and received Gap offers following Visa transactions meeting certain pre-determined program criteria, such as shopping at a merchant within a specified zip code, purchasing a specific merchant category type, or spending on a specific day or during a specified time period. Customers redeemed the offers by presenting the text message displayed on their mobile devices when visiting a Gap store.


“As an early adopter of innovative new technologies we were excited to be the first global retailer to test the new Visa service,” said Amy Carr, Director of Customer Relationship Management Strategy, Gap Inc., in a press release. “It provided us insight into our enrolled consumers that we never had in the past, which improved the targeting of our promotional programs, timing of communications and allowed us to tailor offers to Gap customers.” 

Following the successful Gap pilot, Visa is expected to offer the service to retailers nationwide.

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