Zara is now enabling its stores to ship online purchases in an effort to boost sales of full-priced items.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the service will be available in around 2,000 stores in 48 countries, including the U.S. This will be one of the largest-scale attempts by a retailer to use shops to fulfill online orders.
Zara, whose Spanish parent company, Industria de Diseño Textil (Inditex), is the world’s largest fashion retailer by sales, expects to complete the transformation by the end of the year.
“This is something very, very strategic for us, this idea of full integration between store and online stockrooms,” Inditex’s chairman and chief executive, Pablo Isla, told analysts in June. The ability to offer shoppers what they want, and quickly, increases the likelihood of a full-price sale, he said.
The service allows online customers to purchase something that is out of stock online, but available at a store nearby. With the ship-from-store option, that store would then mail the product to the online shopper’s address.
This is just the latest initiative from Zara, which announced earlier this year that it would be integrating augmented reality into its stores in an effort to attract millennials.
With the technology, Zara will be able to show models wearing the latest fashions to customers when they put their mobile devices near a sensor within its brick-and-mortar stores or near certain shop windows. If customers like the clothing on display, they can purchase the looks through their mobile devices.
It was also reported that the retailer is turning to a high-tech solution for its “click and collect” service. Robots will now fetch items from the back of the house and speed up the in-store pick-up process.
In addition to Zara’s experiments with robots, the company has also decided to open a digitally enhanced pop-up store in a U.K. mall.