Zara Lets Shoppers Get Phygital with ‘Store Mode’

Power Retail By Power Retail | 15 Jul 2021

Are you a fan of phygital retail? Zara is hoping to take the trend one step further with the launch of its new experiential multichannel service – Store Mode.

It was first piloted in Spain last year and was tested in a handful of stores in London. After a successful pilot, it will now be rolled out in all UK stores. It’s also available in 30 stores across Germany and Italy, 10 stores in France, and will gradually be introduced to Russia, Poland and US stores.

‘Store Mode’ aims to be a ‘new and personalised store-to-customer relationship’ by offering shoppers ‘new customer service features and channels’. The concept aims to make the online shopping experience more exciting, convenient, safer and more sustainable by blending the physical and digital worlds.

How does it work? When a shopper is in the physical Zara store, they can use the Zara app to locate the products they want, thanks to its ‘Click & Find’ functionality. From there, they can use the app to reserve a spot in the fitting rooms – they are reserved for five minutes and are accessible using a QR code. Even the checkout process is streamlined using the Store Mode function – using ‘Pay&Go’, consumers can purchase their items by scanning them through the Zara app in-store.

For online shoppers, the Store Mode function allows users to browse for available items in the nearest Zara store. Click & Collect is then available after 30 minutes, reducing the congestion in-store and packaging waste often associated with online shopping.

In June 2021, the fast-fashion retailer announced its new concept store within Edificio España in Madrid, which will open in 2022. Zara has been focussing heavily on the improvement of its store layout by introducing a dedicated automated online order pickup spot. These automated delivery points will have the capacity to handle as many as 1,500 orders.

These stores will become “a global benchmark for the integration of the store and online shopping experiences. This agreement embodies our strategy succinctly: the highest quality sales space complemented by more efficient technology to enhance customer service in a building that will be a beacon of sustainability,” said Pablo Isla, the Executive Chairman of Inditex, the parent company of Zara.

Inditex reported a 50 percent increase in its sales in Q1FY21, with online growing 67 percent in local currencies. There is no word about the launch of Store Mode in Australia as yet, but we will keep you posted.

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