Friday, March 6, 2009

Gilt at the speed of light

I don't know whether I should be thrilled or terrified. Maybe both. Gilt Groupe, the purveyor of much-coveted designer goods at an EveryWoman's prices, has mastered the art of making shopping so easy that it almost does not feel like shopping. For those new to Gilt, it's an invitation-only, online version of a 24/7 sample sale. Different designers' wares go on sale each day at noon, and customers order online through the site.

Once a customer's payment info has been saved on Gilt, she pretty much never has to re-enter anything ever again. One click of a mouse and an item is speeding on its way to the recipient. On the one hand, this is great: Gilt's merchandise goes on sale precisely at noon, when most of us at work. This necessitates clandestinely surfing Gilt while appearing to do actual (translation: hellish, boring) work at one's desk (unless your job is looking at products all day anyway, in which case I am insane jealous, and would like to trade jobs with you ASAP). The whole 'one click' thing means I can get in, get out, all before my boss is the wiser. On the other hand, I don't know if I like how fast the whole process is -- I mean, this is time I might actually spend reconsidering and NOT buying an item, thus saving money for something like, say, I don't know, rent, or paying bills. Silly little things like that.

Gilt has clearly considered the whole "time to reconsider" factor and cleverly eliminated the whole issue. In fact, Gilt has gotten so wily at feeding into its customers retail addictions that it once you click an item, it's pretty much yours. Literally.

Readers, this is a true story. I ordered the above pictured Kooba 'Delia' bag today at 12:28 p.m. I came home and it had arrived. Six hours later.
Oh, Gilt Groupe.

*Photo courtesy of Gilt Groupe.

For an invitation to join Gilt Groupe, send me your email address at

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