10 Jun Zara and its digital revolution
Inditex encountered key strategic changes over the past months. A new UK Managing Director has been appointed, a unique pop-up store was deployed and a new Zara flagship just opened in London Westfield Stratford – revealing Inditex digital ambitions.
In the past fiscal year (ending on January 31st, 2017), Inditex group has released strong sales for both offline and online channels boosting net profit by 7% to £2.9 bn. In addition, online sales grew by 41% and represent now 10% of its total revenues.
Moreover, in order to increase online sales, Zara had to position itself as a tech leader and put data at the heart of its decisions. Zara UK womenswear data shows that consumers shop online at Zara less than at online pure-players like ASOS, or at retailers like Next that established their online presence earlier. However, the retailer is ahead of both Topshop and H&M.
In order to strengthen its market share and digital acceleration in the UK, Inditex has initiated majors projects such as the appointment of a new UK Managing director and the opening of a new digitalised flagship.
NEW UK MANAGING DIRECTOR
Max Nutz joined Inditex in 1999 and has previously held senior international positions across the retailer’s European businesses. He is now replacing Iñigo de Llano, who has been UK managing director for the past three years. Mr.Nutz takes over the UK business as its flagship brand Zara begins a new tech-heavy approach to its bricks-and-mortar estate.
In May, the new Zara flagship in London’s Westfield Stratford opened and this is the first of the kind in the whole world. This new flagship features a self-checkout area, click-and-collect services powered by in-store automated warehouses, digital mirrors, etc. Zara is revolutionising the British high street with its new flagship and other fashion retailers will have to keep up with well-executed omnichannel strategies.
A CONCEPT STORE BEFORE THE NEW FLAGSHIP
While the old Zara store was under renovation, a Zara’s new concept store opened on January 26th in Westfield Stratford. This pop-up space, much smaller than usual Zara, dedicated to online order and Click-&-Collect. Indeed here no fitting rooms, nor items exposed in several sizes. This store has been conceived as a showroom where the pieces are displayed once and the salesmen accompany the visitors throughout their visit. These connected sale representatives (with iPads) were able to directly add items found in stores to your online shopping cart, to finalize your order and your delivery terms. As a result, in the new flagship – connected sellers are also present.
In the pop-up store, for any order placed before 2pm the delivery was operated the same day, at home or in store. For orders placed after 2pm, delivery was the next day. The absence of fitting rooms has been compensated by the presence of digital mirrors. Customers were able to scan the items in front of the mirror (RFID technology) and the falling of the piece then appears on the screen and product associations were also suggested.
Inditex CEO Pablo Isla emphasized the importance of this pop-up concept: “This marks a new step in our strategy of integrating the in-store experience with the web experience, this defines our identity as business”. This pop-up concept store is now closed and in front of it, has just opened the new Zara flagship.
THE NEW DIGITALISED FLAGSHIP
The new Zara flagship just opened in the shopping center of London Westfield Startford and it reproduces several key features of the previous Zara pop-up store. This new store features RFID technology, areas where customers can buy online in store, Click-&-Collect, etc.
The store has also have arming sales staff with mobile devices to help customers who can order for same or next-day delivery or collection. Store features include a product recommendation system based on information screens embedded in mirrors. When customers scan an item the screen then brings up the selected item and other items that would go with it in order to create a full outfit.
In addition, mobile has been a key focus for the group as 47% of zara.com’s traffic was previously coming from desktop (considerably above the clothing industry average of 35.1%) and the new initiative is to push for smartphones and tablets usage, familiarising customers with the mobile web experience.
The renewed flagship store has been specially designed to transform the customer experience by offering a seamless shopping experience using innovative technology. This flagship store marks a key milestone in parent company Inditex’s ongoing strategy to integrate its online platforms with its physical store. This is the first Zara in the world to offer a dedicated area for purchasing and collecting online orders, in addition to offering the Spanish fashion retailers divisions for women’s, men’s and children’s lines.
The new fourth section of the store offers two automated online order collection points, which are serviced by a concealed, tech-driven location that is able to handle 2,400 orders simultaneously, thereby enabling shoppers the opportunity to collect purchases made via Zara’s e-commerce platform in store.
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