Zara has unveiled a new store concept that aims to transform the customer experience and integrate online and in-store shopping.
The 4500-square-metre store in Stratford, London is the first Zara location to include a dedicated area to purchase and collect online orders, in addition to the usual sections for women’s, men’s and kid’s ranges.
This includes automated online order collection points, which are serviced by a concealed area able to handle 2400 orders at once.
To collect an order, shoppers scan the QR or PIN code they received when they placed the order. Behind the pick-up point, a robotic arm collects trays and organises the packages according to their size, delivering orders to customers in seconds.
The new store includes automated online order collection points.
Online orders are available in store on the same day for orders before 2pm, or the next day for purchases made after the same day cut-off.
Zara parent company Inditex is focused on using technology to create a seamless, convenient and enjoyable store visit. It has invested over €1.5 billion (AUD2.3b) in innovative technology in recent years in order to drive growth in online sales and further integrate its physical stores and e-commerce platforms.
This includes interactive mirrors equipped with RFID that can detect the item a customer is holding and make recommendations for other garments and accessories to complete the look.
There is also a self-checkout area that automatically identifies garments being purchased, and Zara staff carry iPads to advise customers and accept payments.
The Stratford store has been under refurbishment since January and Inditex chairman and CEO Pablo Isla said its reopening was an important moment for the company.
“We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online,” he said.
“In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimised our stores for this aim. Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.”
In April Zara launched an augmented reality experience at 120 flagships across the world in an attempt to engage customers, particularly younger shoppers, in a new way.
After downloading the Zara AR app, shoppers could point their phones at a Zara shop window, in-store podiums, delivery boxes and certain images on the website to see models wearing looks from the retailer’s ranges. Users could then click through to purchase the clothes.
Known for its ability to quickly translate runway looks to the high street, Inditex has 19 stockrooms in 17 markets and continues to invest in new technology including automated storage and distribution systems.