Though it makes sense that the chic Spanish apparel retailer owned by Inditex group, the biggest fashion group in the world, would fit CRM best practices into their marketing efforts – this might not be the case.
Smart CRM retail marketers know that treating customers to a one size fits all approach is not the way to go. So, how do you think Zara is shaping customer relationships in a post-COVID world?
1. Be Transparent 7/10
As Zara continues to feel the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 300 store closures will occur across Spain, according to an article published by Murcia Today. In response, the fashion chain seeks to optimize their online presence and sales.
Moreover, Zara has announced the closure of its outlet, Calle Mayor, in the center of Cartagena, Spain. This devastating news for the fashion brand will obviously bring with it numerous layoffs at a time when unemployment rates remain high and economic downturn continues globally.
What contributes to Zara’s transparency here is that the brand has approved the release of such announcements in the news, stating that they have no choice but to direct attention towards online sales – due to the change in customer shopping habits.
Transparency is all about a brand coming across as more human, and with additional messages regarding store closures on their Homepage, they do get most of the points here.
2. Incentives and Perks 5/10
They do have a special prices webpage on Zara.com, with lots and lots of products on sale.
But in fast fashion, consumers learn to expect cut-down prices on “old” collections. Zara is only getting 5 points here because we could not find any other promotion currently. Nothing for new customers, no newsletter signup coupons, nothing that relates to the weather or for working from home. We always encourage brands here at PostFunnel to hand out promotional offers that make sense at these times. They will always be greatly appreciated by your customers and are a great way to retain them – a classic CRM tool.
3. Be Relevant 10/10
In the kids’ section on the brand’s website, there’s a holiday time tab that links to a festive new collection that has been launched and promoted by the brand just in time for the jolly season.
In addition to this, since the festive season requires lots of gifts for loved ones, Zara has considered this by creating a unique “Gift Guide” for customers.
The brand also addresses COVID-19 with a note to shoppers on their website that reads:
“We are fully committed to supporting all our workers, and to working with our suppliers to minimize the impacts of covid-19.
We’re also working closely with suppliers to ensure they are following official guidance to protect the health of workers in factories during the pandemic.”
4. Be Helpful 10/10
The brand supports sustainability initiatives by working with suppliers to reduce waste, as written on their site:
“We work with our suppliers, workers, unions, and international organizations with the aim of developing a supply chain in which human rights are respected and promoted, contributing to the United Nations Objectives of Sustainable Development.”
In addition, Zara uses a systematic method to know where and how all their garments are being handled. Zara also works with several organizations to protect labor rights.
To further promote sustainability, the brand tracks supply chains, drives the creation of collaborative spaces, and in 2019 – Zara performed more than 12,000 audits.
At the outbreak of Covid-19, Inditex donated face masks and hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare workers due to the shortage caused by the pandemic.
5. Realtime Personalization 0/10
The brand made no realtime personalization efforts – after adding a wool coat to our cart and going back to the HP – we didn’t see any similar item suggestions, for instance.
In addition, no cross-selling or up-selling techniques were implemented – and they easily could have – for instance, asked us to match the coat with a hat or a pair of gloves, better yet a set of boots (as they’re likely to be more expensive).
Finally, when logging off the website and hopping onto our social media accounts – no retargeting efforts were made by the brand in realtime.
6. Master UX 7/10
Our overall experience with the brand was positive. The Zara website is very cool and interactive, allowing the customer to really engage with the clothing on offer.
The video background showcases various collections giving customers a vivid experience with the clothing, accessories, and new fashionable styles. It seems like their website has literally been made with style to suit its trendy clothing offer. They do not get a better score here because it could take some time to get the hand of the site’s style.
Additionally, customers have to scroll so many times (up and down – left and right) to get to the category they wish to browse, which can cause frustration and confusion.
7. Leverage Social Media 4/10
Zara’s Instagram account boasts over 41 million followers. But, even with such a huge following, we didn’t notice the brand using the Insta-story feature – though they do post in high frequency. We were also surprised to see the brand almost solely post photos of new collections and items for sale, and nothing much beyond that.
Zara’s Facebook account boasts over 29 million followers. On this social media channel, the brand also posts stylish photographs of their clothing which are taken artistically. Once again, we would have liked to see something a bit more engaging for social media channels.
On the other hand, we did like their “Face to Face” video featuring various artists, including this one in New York:
Zara’s Twitter account has 1.3 million followers. The brand Tweets the exact same content as explained in the two social media channels above, which is completely not the kind of content people on Twitter love.
Perhaps this is Zara’s approach to remaining strictly a fashion brand that simply promotes their latest trends – staying away from any possible backfire that could easily be caused on such platforms.
Overall, Zara is getting a 43/70 here (61%) placing them towards the very end of the pack. We did not see that coming.
Too bad no personalization efforts and other common promotional tactics were used to engage customers on a higher level. For a brand that is so desperately looking to shift to online, they seem overall behind the curve on that front. Such CRM tools are bound to help Zara easily move on from their one size fits all marketing approach to a more fine-tuned, personalized approach.
Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:
- Pets at Home91%
- West Elm81%
- The North Face81%
- Holland and Barret 80%
- Brooks Running79%
- Best Buy78%
- The Body Shop74%
- William Hill 73%
- Iceland Foods71%
- Total Wine & More70%
- Tommy Hilfiger70%
- Buy Buy Baby68%
- Zara 59%
We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!