Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer and owner of brands like Zara, Bershka, and Pull & Bear, is looking to technology to keep up with faster fashion.
Online brands like Boohoo, Missguided, and PrettyLittleThing are releasing new products left and right, sometimes moving from product design to sale in just one week. The websites for these brands are uploaded daily, with hundreds of new items for customers to browse.
To match the speed of online fast fashion retailers, Inditex has been partnering with tech firms to develop new technologies that will assist in things like speed and customer assistance. These technologies can help to determine if combining online sales with the in-store experience can really make a difference in retail.
Inditex’s innovation unit has teamed up with Fetch Robotics to test robots in handling stock inventory. Inditex has also partnered with Intel on making devices that can quickly determine the amount of clothing contained in a box.
The innovation unit is also testing technologies in physical stores. One plan is to use location intelligence, which would be able to track the number of footsteps in stores. Another plan is to use virtual assistants to help customers, maybe similar to the mirrors at the H&M flagship store, which use facial recognition to offer advice and answer questions.
Location intelligence also gives apps the ability to switch to “in store” mode when a customer walks into a store. Once the customer walks in, the app can offer discounts or deliver product information.
All of these ideas are still at the testing stage, but it looks like Inditex is on its way to something big. The company might be setting the stage for what retail will soon look like.
Featured image via Wikimedia