Zara Turns to Robots to Speed Online Order Pick-Up
Zara is turning to robots to automate its click and collect fulfillment.
Due to re-open in May, the fashion retailer's expanded London, UK, flagship store will feature an automated online order collection point serviced by two small warehouses. The system is designed around an optical barcode reader which scans the QR code or accepts the PIN codes received by customers when they place orders online. After a shopper scans the code, a dynamic robot moves through the warehouse and in just a few seconds, it delivers the order to a mailbox where the shopper can collect it. The robot has the capacity to handle 2,400 packages simultaneously.
The fashion retailer has turned thousands of its stores—including its 85 locations in the U. S.—into a pickup and return point for online customers, The Wall Street Journal reports, and one-third of its global online sales are now picked up in the store.
Now the flagship store in London’s Westfield Stratford shopping center is undergoing a refurbishment which will double it in size and feature next-gen technology.
In addition to the experimentation with robots, store customers will be able to pay using their mobile phones, via either the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet, and there will be a self-checkout area to complement the regular cashier desks. This system will automatically identify the garments being purchased so that customers only have to confirm their items on a screen before paying.
Click and Collect Pop-Up
Zara has also debuted its first pop-up shop for ordering and collecting online orders. The pop-up, which resides in the same local as the flagship and will be open until May, is staffed with associates with mobile devices to assist customers. Shoppers can make returns and receive orders the same day, if placed before 2pm, or the next day, if placed in the afternoon.
The pop-up features an innovative POS system operated via Bluetooth and a product recommendation system based on information screens embedded into mirrors. Once customers scan an item using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, the system can bring up, in the right size, multiple choices for coordinating and combining the item they are trying on with other garments and accessories.