ZOOM | ZARA’s Customer Experience

ZARA: Technology and Customer Experience as Drivers of Business

Zara is one of the world’s most successful fashion retail brands – if not the most successful. It is a clear leader in fashion industry, but not only in fashion. Also, Zara is a large tech firm. The key of Zara’s success is that its business model leans heavily on technological innovation and customer experience.

In essence, Zara is the market leader thanks to a pioneering technological strategy. By adapting to new tools -including big data, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, the Spanish clothing retailer has managed to outpace its direct competitors. While it took Zara longer than most other fashion retailers to enter the online channel, once it overcame this barrier, it designed a unique high quality online customer experience.

Zara’s parent company Inditex is known for bringing the latest fashion trends to retail stores in a matter of days, compared to many other companies which take months to do it.

 

How Zara is using tech to improve customer experience

It seems that Zara has focused on technology to improve customer experience – or at least this is what the latest ecommerce and app updates show. Zara is obsessed with its customers and it aims at offering them a slicker, more streamlined, and ultimately enjoyable shopping experience.

So, here’s a run-down of how Zara is using technology, as well as what value it provides to consumers:

 

Augmented Reality (AR) brings clothing to life in-store

Zara has been recently one of the first mainstream retailers to launch an AR app, which is designed to bring clothes to life in-stores. By pointing cameras at sensors installed in windows, users of the app can see virtual fashion models strutting their stuff. Other AR imagery includes mannequins moving around and showcasing the brand’s new Studio Collection.

Once users have lived the experience, there is also the option to buy the featured clothes directly through the app by simply clicking on “shop the look” button or in the store itself. This is a great solution to attract millennial shoppers to its brick and mortar store locations.

Zara AR APP, discover new looks in augmented reality

 

Fast-Fashion Shopping Experience with AI:

The more quickly and efficiently a customer can navigate through the store to explore and find hidden gems, the better the experience. In this field, Zara is the king. The SIMILAR button in Zara’s eCommerce allows a new way to discover fashion. When you click on it, a pop up opens that it shows available options of products visually similar in color, pattern, shape, etc. to the original  image. This AI visual solution helps customers to navigate the product catalog in a more visual, intuitive and attractive way, and also to access automatically a greater number of products in one click.

Zara pop up shows visually similar in-stock items

 

Sizing Tool for Online Shopping based on big data analytics:

Zara’s parent company Inditex is always ready to assist the customers. And helping its e-customers to pick the right clothing size is one of the challenges that Zara wants to resolve immediately. The feature “What’s My Size?” asks shoppers to enter their height, weight, and fit preferences (tight, loose, or perfect). Then it informs you what customers who fall into similar size categories purchased, and organizes the results by percentage (big data analytics). The feature seems to appear on every item’s page, and after entering your information once, the website saves it and automatically applies it to other items’ pages.

“What’s My Size?”, new tool to help shoppers find the right size

 

Live chat-based customer service:

With the new feature “chat”, Zara puts the customer at the center one more time. In the app customers can chat in real-time with Zara and resolve problems as they appear. Live chat is an awesome technology however not all questions have answers and also, you can’t share images in the chat. This live chat is a simply customer care tool, not a personal shopper service or style advisor. Maybe Zara’s live chat has to evolutionise into a chatbot. With the help of AI-powered chatbots, businesses are better equipped to handle personalised customer service functions.

 

In conclusion…

Thanks to its increased focus on technology, Zara has certainly made steps to improve and enhance the customer experience journey with initiatives helping to counteract some of its problems.

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