Monthly Retail Round-Up - March 2018

Some of the best articles from the world of retail and its supporting industries.

Monthly Retail Round-Up - March 2018

There’s no stopping retail. With lots of news to keep track of, Dressipi brings you this month’s best stories.

1) Zara Continues to Pave The Way with New Technology

With Zara opening their online-only store in Westfield Stratford and digital kiosks in January, Inditex continues to implement new technology to stride ahead of competitors.

Many retailers are looking to improve and accelerate their ‘click and collect’ services, and Zara’s latest move this month was to roll out in-store robots for buy online pickup in-store purchases.

As reported by Retail Dive, “The service automates the pickup process by prompting customers at pickup stations to enter a code that activates an in-store warehouse robot to begin searching for the requested order. The robot then delivers it to a dropbox.

Zara also announced they will introduce a mobile augmented reality app to be used on their displays in stores from April. Reuters reported that this technology:

  • Enables customers to stand near certain displays which show AR images of models wearing selected looks from Zara ranges when a mobile phone is held up to a sensor within the store or designated shop windows

  • Lets customers click through to buy the clothes on the models

  • Enables models to pop up on packages of online purchases delivered to customers, showing alternative outfits

The Evening Standard highlighted, “In addition to enabling online shopping, the app features a tool for sharing the experience on social media, encouraging users to take and submit photos of the hologram models.”

2) Shopping on Instagram Just Got Easier

Last week, Instagram launched their shopping feature to all UK businesses, now being used by retailers such as Topshop, M&S and J. Crew. No more ‘link in bio’ - retailers can now link to products on their own site with prices and product details under an Instagram post. Customers just tap the ‘Shop Now’ button on a tagged post taking them straight to the product. Read what WIRED has to say about it here.

Amber Spencer-Holmes, Head of Marketing, Heidi Klein told Drapers, “Instagram Shopping feels like the missing piece in our digital strategy - in fact, it’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for. The interface is simple and intuitive, and we’ve already seen encouraging customer engagement over the beta period.

On Day 2 of Millennial 2020, we talked about the ongoing aim of retailers to achieve “seamlessness” in both their technology and customer experiences. Instagram’s shopping function lends itself to this, giving customers an easier way to shop with only 2 taps to checkout. Jim Squires, Head of Business, Instagram told Retail Gazette, “People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses. We want that to be a seamless experience…shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”

3) ASOS Launches Different Sized Model Feature

Retailers who trade online have struggled to solve the problem customers face when deciding what size to buy.

This March, ASOS rolled out a new feature on their site which includes a range of models of different sizes and body shapes so people can see what the clothes may look like on a model closer to their own body shape. You can read more about it on Refinery29.

ASOS told Cosmopolitan, “We’re always testing new technology that can make our customers’ experience even better. In this case, we’re experimenting with AR to show product on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape.

The pureplay retailer is renowned for experimenting with new ways to express body positivity and inclusivity, and the feature has so far received positive feedback from customers.

4) Farfetch in Another Digital Tie Up

In our February Monthly Round Up, we covered Farfetch’s move to create partnerships with Burberry and Chanel. This month sees the announcement of the business teaming up with Harvey Nichols.

Daniela Rinaldi, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Harvey Nichols, told Drapers, “online currently makes up 10% of sales, and adding the Farfetch deal will grow this significantly.” Another Drapers article reported that Harvey Nichols, “will benefit from Farfetch’s ecommerce and logistics experience. Harvey Nichols customers will also be able to use Farfetch services such as in-store returns and same-day delivery.

Harvey Nichols is the first department store to join Farfetch with their products being sold on both Farfetch’s platform as well as their own website.

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash