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02/09/2021

GNC Improves Customer Experience With Latest E-Commerce Moves

GNC Improves Customer Experience With Latest E-Commerce Moves
The expansion of GNC’s e-commerce business comes almost a year after the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection.

Following last year’s bankruptcy filing and store closure plan, GNC Holdings Inc. is now making some serious digital moves to invest in the future of its e-commerce strategy.

The specialty retailer of health-and-wellness products has expanded its digital business by partnering with Shipt to offer same-day delivery for the first time to consumers across the country.

While the pandemic transformed delivery services to a must-have, it became even more clear to GNC over the past year how essential same-day delivery offerings are to the health of everyday families, seniors and people who are immunocompromised. 

Being able to offer same-day delivery of its nutritional products also allows the retailer to help customers stick with their New Year’s resolutions that are geared toward heathier lifestyles — something that has become much harder to do cooped up at home during a pandemic. GNC’s partnership with Shipt offers convenient solutions, like vitamins, supplements, protein bars and fitness equipment, shipped directly to customers’ doors so they can stay on track with their wellness goals.

“The pandemic has really done a number on our bodies — both physically and mentally,” said Josh Burris, president of GNC Holdings LLC. “This year in particular, many are finding it difficult to stick to their resolutions. By tapping into the infrastructure Shipt has in place, we can help people reset their goals and offer our customers same-day delivery as they continue on their wellness journey.”

“The partnership with GNC allows us to serve more people in more ways — we’re able to deliver on a need when many are struggling on how to deal with stress, weight management, sleepless nights, and more,” added Rina Hurst, chief business officer at Shipt. “We’re in the midst of an exciting evolution to a multivertical, multiretailer delivery service, and are thrilled to have GNC as part of the Shipt family.” 

Providing personal shopping and delivery, Shipt is available to 80% of households in more than 5,000 U.S. cities. Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corp. Founded and based in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt also maintains an office in San Francisco.

The Shipt partnership follows news from yesterday that GNC has selected e-Spirit’s FirstSpirit Digital Experience Platform (DXP) to help improve its customer loyalty by driving engaging customer experiences on its e-commerce platforms.

"One of our strategies for competing in today's crowded e-commerce market is to create a seamless, engaging customer experience across web, mobile and other channels that increases customer loyalty," noted Daniel Frattaroli, director of e-commerce at GNC. "We selected the FirstSpirit DXP with hybrid headless CMS as a result of its deep integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, its ability to enable our business teams to rapidly create content-driven commerce experiences, and the availability of e-Spirit's AI-driven content personalization engine. e-Spirit's hybrid headless CMS technology will make it easy for our teams to add personalized content to GNC commerce experiences with little to no developer support. With the FirstSpirit CMS and AI technology, we can provide similar engaging personalized experiences [to those] our retail customers receive when consulting with our coaches in GNC stores."

With DXP, GNC can: 

  • Drive omnichannel sales and marketing activities;
  • Personalize each customer’s unique needs and interests;
  • Quickly and easily create content-driven commerce experiences; and
  • Reduce dependence on internal IT support.

"For companies that want their CMS to be tightly integrated with Salesforce Commerce Cloud for delivery of game-changing commerce experiences in record time, there is no better solution than FirstSpirit," said Udo Sträßer, chief revenue officer of Lexington, Massachusetts-based e-Spirit, part of the adesso Group and operating offices in 16 U.S. locations. "Our DXP with hybrid headless CMS makes it easy for GNC's marketing team to create content that captures the attention of their customers. Reducing implementation time means that GNC will quickly see value in its investment in FirstSpirit, and customers will have a better overall experience."

While COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on how people shop, the projections for e-commerce continue to grow. According to Hamburg, Germany-based Statista, “In the United States alone, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $740 billion by 2023.”

Pittsburgh-based GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States, including more than 1,000 franchise and 1,200 Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations.