At Zara, data analysis is happening NOW. From its headquarters of Arteixo, Spain, to its stores around the world, the fashion retailer uses it as a guideline for designers, to improve stock management and user experience. We found out more.
For designers: more data = more autonomy
Unlike its direct competitors —H&M, Gap and Primark— Zara doesn’t have a chief designer and its organisation chart is relatively flat. Thus, the group’s 350 designers are empowered to approve products and ad campaigns, which allow them to ship new creations to stores twice a week.
Zara’s guide? Data. Through daily updated feeds, which act as a guideline for designing new collections, they can very closely monitor what sells (or doesn’t). This way, according to Bloomberg, every morning at the Arteixo headquarters, staff are able to predict the next trends, by analysing sales figures and hundreds of comments and feedback from customers, store managers and country directors from Taipei, Moscow or New York.
smart tags and connected clothes
Zara was one of the first clothing retailers to implement RFID: “Implementing RFID was the most important change we brought about in terms of the operational management of our stores”, said Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, in an interview on French website LSA in May 2016.
-> To find out more about RFID technology, read our interview with Jean-Christophe Lecosse, Managing Director of the CNRFID (national centre for RFID reference)
The architecture used by Zara is based on edge computing. Basically, stores have small data centres that help process information more rapidly. In addition to accurate sales monitoring, there are a number of advantages: inventory compilation in under two hours (compared with two days before, i.e. an 80% decrease), real-time restock alerts, and improved quality of service since sales staff can easily check the availability of a particular size or model.
From the headquarters, where the collections are designed, to stores, data is the key to Zara’s success. While the Spanish brand has understood perfectly well the advantages of digital, others have as well: we recently mentioned Walmart, but there are also more and more examples in France: Klépierre’s digital customer experience, L’Occitane’s tablets, etc. No doubt, in the retail sector, digital is here, NOW!
-> Further reading: our interview with Jean-Guillaume Roger, Retail Marker Manager for Econocom Group and a specialist in the transformation of the retail industry.