Characteristics of the New Zara Flagship Stores
The new refurbished Zara’s Westfield Stratford flagship shop is a combination of technology and excellence to give customers the best shopping experience. The store has been remodeled to include features such as self-checkout areas in addition to the traditional cashier desks. The self-checkout areas are equipped with an automatic system that identifies the garments purchased by a customer and confirms them for payment through a card or mobile phone. Also, it includes a more integrated feature of the interactive mirrors that are equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology (Street, 2018). The RFID is designed to detect a garment in which the customer is holding and make outfit suggestions through the interactive mirrors. Furthermore, from the physical stores, a customer can pick items purchased online through scanning the QR or pin code of the product. The QR or pin code is issued over the email receipt for the online products (Neerman, 2018). Thus, make online services well-integrated to the physical stores.
Closing Smaller Stores as Part of Zara’s Strategy
The closing of the smaller stores as part of Zara’s expansion strategy is in line with the objective to effectively remodel the stores and the nature of customer experience. The integration of augmented reality is fundamental in the integration of online and physical stores to give customers the most exquisite experience. The operations in smaller stores are inefficient with the much-needed space vital to the inclusion of self-checkout areas, automated order collection points, and mobile payment systems (Inditex, 2018). Also, the interactive mirrors, RFID systems, holograms, robot arms, and iPad powered employees require additional space that cannot be sustained by limited space available in smaller stores (Kovacs, 2018). Thus, to maintain high standards and the new brand of the new refurbished Zara stores, the closing of the smaller stores is a fundamental strategy.
Integration of e-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortal Business
This means that customers are bound to enjoy a more exquisite and exemplary shopping experience in the store. Access to both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce services creates the impact of satisfaction, reliability, and convenience to customers. For online customers, they can access their products on physical stores giving them an opportunity to reassure themselves on the significance, quality, and standards of the products. Thus, serve both online and physical shoppers adequately.
Growing of Zara’s Online Business Without Cannibalizing Brick-and-Motor Sales
This is maintained through the retaining of traditional checkout points where cashiers are available to complete the brick-and-mortar sales. That is, with the integration of technology to advance the online services, the physical stores remain function using the brick-and-mortar system. The integration only serves as an additional feature to support the growth strategy of the company. Thus, the refurbishment of the store is critical to give the brick-and-mortar a new look vital to the attractiveness of the customers to the store.
Opinion on Zara’s Strategies Success
From the analysis of the additional features outlined in the integration of technology in the company, the strategy shows a high potential for success. This is because it focuses on enhancing customer satisfaction through unique service delivery for both online and physical shoppers or a combination of the two. Thus, customers are assured of exemplary services and customer satisfaction from the store as convenience is a major part of Zara’s strategic objective.
Inditex. (May 17, 2018). Zara Stratford Flagship Store Pioneers New Approach to Integrating Stores and Online. Retrieved from: https://www.inditex.com/article?articleId=569282&title=Zara+Stratford+flagship+store+pioneers+new+approach++to+integrating+stores+and+online
Kovacs, M. (May 28, 2018). New Zara Flagship Store Uses “Pioneering” Tech to Bring Online In-Store. Smart Company. Retrieved from: https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/retail/mk-zara-flagship-store-brings-online-in-store/
Neerman, P. (May 18, 2018). Zara Opens New Flagship Store with Holograms and Robots. Retail Detail. Retrieved from: https://www.retaildetail.eu/en/news/fashion/zara-opens-new-flagship-store-holograms-and-robots
Street, C. (May 18, 2018). Zara has Opened the Store of the Future with its Westfield Stratford Flagship. Evening Standard. Retrieved from: https://www.standard.co.uk/fashion/news/zara-westfield-stratford-flagship-a3842476.html