Call me a critic, but it’s not every day that I cite an example of a Spanish company that’s exactly customer-oriented or that does something new for customers. Or talk about a Spanish company that could be doing something more advanced than customer-centric US retail stores…
Well, Zara is another story. I just read that they’re integrating ipads into dressing rooms. Listen up US stores!
First, it’s a great store. Not just for the fashionable clothes and good prices, but also for it’s cross-channel customer service. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of stores that don’t let you return things you’ve bought online in the physical stores. Zara lets you buys things online and pick them up in the store or have them shipped to your house and then make any returns or changes in the store – without any problem.
Also, from an operations point of view, Zara is pretty impressive. I remember reading the Zara business case during the first year of my MBA and being completely impressed with the way they had operations running to be able to have new clothing designs every two weeks. (And surprisingly all of this with a man behind it. Although, then again, Victoria’s Secret was also founded by a man)…
In any case, having said all of this, I’m not surprised that Zara is once again doing something new and innovative to make its customers happy:
Now you’ll be able to order clothes you want from an ipad right inside the dressing room – different styles, sizes, colors – just like on the web site. To me, this is beyond cross-channel customer experience; it’s more like merging channels in the physical setting. Pretty cool. (Hopefully they’ve thought of a good anti-theft system as well).
Now, an important question remains for me: will they be testing this out at one of the stores in Madrid so I can try it myself??