US retailer GAP Inc reported earnings yesterday for the previous quarter. Retailers, as a whole, are seeing falling earnings year-over-year due to coronavirus-related store closures and customer pivots. GAP did have a couple of interesting bright spots in their earnings. Their Athleta brand has been able to capitalize on the athleisure trend, as people spending more time at home are spending more time in comfortable activewear, which was somewhat expected. What did surprise some analysts is how much GAP made on sales of face masks in the last quarter – a phenomenal $130 million on individual and bulk sales.
And how, exactly, did they manage to capture so much of the mask market? On their earnings call, their CEO credited some excellent SEO work:
Chief Executive Sonia Syngal said during an earnings conference call that Gap is currently the No. 1 search result on Google for “face mask style guide.” She said Gap scaling this business is “the ultimate example of how we want to operate as a culture.”
This page that features excellent content, informative links, a solid mix of visual, textual and video content, and soft shopping-related calls to action captured the #1 organic spot. (Side note: imagine how much easier it might have been for them had the page had a friendly, keyword-rich URL.)
The face mask business will only be able to scale so much, but when their CEO says this is an example of how GAP wants to operate as a culture, it suggests a commitment to a digital-first, innovative, and nimble strategy, educating customers, providing multimodal content and becoming a high-ranking authority wherever opportunity exists – here at the intersection of safety and style – and doing it all in a timely manner.
Digital strategy makes it possible to pivot instantly like this to meet customer demand, and we’re impressed to see this SEO shoutout on a conference call.