This article introduces the Zara store and later focuses on its key success factors. The key success factor of the Zara store is quality customer service. It focuses on the key features of Zara’s customer service and their impacts on its success. The data collected for this assignment is qualitative and by secondary means.
Zara’s Brand Story
Among the most successful fashion retail brands of the present day’s world, Zara is the one who put forward the thought of fast fashion very first. The conceptual and cultural organization of Zara came into in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera in the town of Glacia, situated in northern Spain, as their family business.
To give it a start, in the beginning, Amancio presented to the price-sensitive consumers such pieces of clothing that were the copy of those high-end fashion products usually termed as luxuries, at a very cheap price. In the later 8 years, Zara was standing with 9 fully furbished stores around Spain, and with its vision of business and fashion.
The aggressive expansion of Zara into the global market was fueled by its “instant fashion” approach. This approach was the name of the idea of extremely quick shifts to market trends. Amancio developed a new design, manufacturing and distribution methodologies that can save lead time and react faster than before.
Unique methodologies and right organization culture led Zara to operate more than 7.400 stores among the 202 developed countries of the world of the present day. Out of them, Zara also runs 49 markets with the online digital market of the modern world. Zara is also not behind in the race of manpower, the Spanish retailer is operating with more than 170,000 employees that are dedicated and determined.
Zara’s Product Mix
Zara offers casual, laid-back clothing, high-end clothing, blended styles and modern fashion, lingerie, casual outwear, Longue wear, shoes and other accessories. These offerings are for men, women and children (Zara Kids). Apart from this Zara operates two sub-brands. Zara Home, which is for home textiles and interior décor objects. And the second one is Zara TRF, which offers unique clothing to youngsters.
Key Success Factor – Quality Customer Service
Pull Strategy & The 4 Es:
Unlike its well-known competitor H&M, that focuses on showcasing its products aggressively and following the old 4 Ps theory, that is applying the push strategy, Zara is the follower of a Pull strategy. Pull strategy is all about customers, it’s about making their experience better and later on the best, putting them as the centre, and forming associations and relationships with the customers.
Zara has replaced the old 4 Ps with its new 4 Es. These Es are Experience, Exchange, Evangelism, and Everyplace (replacements of Product, Price, Promotion and Place). The modern retail economy is emerging as the ambassador of good experiences and, Zara is one of the largest contributors to make it happen. The Zara is highly focused about the instore experiences of their customers providing them reasons to keep visiting. They have shifted from the old formulae of low and discounted prices to the fresh concept of exchange. By exchange, it means an exchange of values which customers do by giving dollars. Zara is greatly concerned about the quality, quantity, timings, convenience, uniqueness, and reliability because these are the values that customers exchange with dollars.
Through this experience and exchange approach Zara tends to evangelize the brand, which led their customers to be brand influencers or brand evangelists, who could help them improve their operations and the brand itself. The modern market place is everyplace rather than a physical place. Realizing this, Zara has invested rightly to make a balance between its online and offline platforms for the customers.
Training And Teaching
Zara considers its customers as its co-creators. They highly encourages and train its sales employees, sales associates, and sales managers to pay attention and to memorize every move, every query, all of the suggestions, and all of the talks they do about the fabric, the style, the print, or the ambience. Zara empowers its sales representative to be attached to the customer’s needs and wants. Zara is also motivated to observe the likes and dislikes of their customers by directing its employees to keenly observe what they wear, or what they choose from the store to quickly respond with something new of customer’s type.
Zara is highly successful in letting its customers know completely about the products they are buying or they are willing to buy. For example, Zara has launched about 11 websites in European Union countries as well as in East Asian countries through which customers could get information in the language of their choice. There are about 20 languages customers could read in. Zara is also enabling customers to read product reviews from other customers or users.
Zara is also concerned towards customer engagement, which it is doing through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. In 2017, Zara had 26.4 million followers making it a giant of social media. Following chart illustrates the customer engagement on Zara’s Facebook.
About Twitter, Zara has a following of 1.3 million. The strategy there is making conversations with followers and proactively responding to their questions. Following chart illustrates the customer engagement on Zara’s Twitter.
Zara is also ruling the world of Instagram with 24.3 million followers. Following are the stats of their engagement.
Zara also operates its mobile application enabling customers to have a smooth shopping experience. It is also enabling the customers to pay via mobile in countries like UK, Italy, France and 12 others. The high-end technique which Zara uses is the e-receipt which allows the customer to easily track or return/replace their purchasing.
Zara’s Feedback And Exchange Policies
Zara is also quick in responding to its customer’s feedback or query. It was reported that in 2016, the employees answered to about 17 million customer queries as if it were their most valuable asset.
Zara is also having a soft and flexible return and exchange policy, like never letting their customers face any mishap. Customers could return anything having authentic and soft refund SOPs and procedures. Customers can replace their product with any other design or model, colour or size within 30 days not letting a penny spend. Exchanges and returns are welcome on both stores and websites.
Indeed, Zara has some unique and out of the box approaches to cater to customer needs and wants. Zara is successful only because customers believe that what they are getting from them would suit them because they are the co-creators of the brand according to Zara. Customers are happy to buy pocket-friendly, reliable, and best quality fabric from Zara.