Inditex’s powerhouse fashion brand Zara is set to launch an augmented reality app that will be powered together with its upcoming Studio Collection. Aptly named Zara AR, the tech is designed Ezra Petronio, co-founder and Creative Director of Self Service Magazine and Petronio Associates.
The technology will be introduced in a total of 120 Zara flagships for 2 weeks starting April 18. In order to use the tech, customers will have to download the brand’s smartphone app. After the AR activation next month, they can just point their camera towards the designated graphic signage and models Léa Julian and Fran Summers will come to life in a 12-second clip walking around in the latest collection.
The AR will also work when pointed towards boxes of your online purchases, a way to encourage alternate orders, as well as the store’s shop windows overlooking the street.
As is the case with all retail entertainment features, the holographic images and experience can be shared on social media as well. Omni-channel is no more a choice for retailers and that goes for everyone from luxury to the high-street. Recently, Nordstrom acquired two tech start-ups to boost its retail business and Barneys New York is marketing its Spring 2018 collection by way of Virtual Reality.
Zara’s direct competitor in the brick and mortar game, H&M has also announced technological interventions for customer engagement at a recent investor’s meeting.
Commenting on fast-fashion giant’s latest endeavour, George Wallace, CEO of retail consultancy MHE Retail said, “The remarkable thing about Zara is they’ve been at the top of the tree for so long and they’ve kept on innovating. They’re experimenting with different payment methods and self-service checkouts, eliminating paper receipts….I’m sure they’re looking at artificial intelligence, both in warehouse application and stores.”
These moves are focussed more directly on the 20-something shoppers, a big consumer cohort for Zara, who are also the fastest adopters of e-commerce. Even though the Spanish retailer continues to lead in its segment, its concentration on keeping the number of stores less and their quality higher is laudable.