2017 seems to be the good year for Zara! Opening its biggest store this week in Madrid, the Inditex group has also announced a major breakthrough in retail. Indeed, for the first time a high street brand is going a step further on the way of the store of the future. Watch out H&M, Zara has put its dancing shoes!
Up until now, the influence of tech in retail had been the preserve of luxury brands like Burberry or Ralph Lauren with devices such as connected fitting rooms, iPads or embedded chips. However, for Zara, one of the giant of the mass fashion, the store of the future is now a reality. Indeed, one cannot help but considering the evolution of consumption due to the progress of technology and Zara understood the necessity to keep pace with it.
As a result, Zara has planned to introduce massive changes in the fitting rooms and in the store themselves. In order to facilitate and accelerate the fitting steps, Zara will implement touch screens within the cabins for the customers to ask for other sizes and items without leaving their fitting-rooms. Browsing for clothes will be easier and more efficient. Also, to increase the speed at the cash register for the hasty clients who shop during their short spare hours, Zara will put self-checkouts in some of its stores.
These are technologies mainly centered around a more fluid customer experience. As our founder shared during talks on the future of retail, the technologies enhancing the customer experience in store will be the first to be adopted by brands, as they tackle known issues (vs. more long term technologies, for which we have yet to invent precise applications and uses).
Pioneer for the tech retail in its category, it is most likely that Zara is going to inspire its main competitors such as H&M. Is the store of the future invading us faster than we think?