The Spanish department store chain Zara is temporarily ditching its mannequins and dressing up its stores with Augmented Reality experiences featuring virtual versions of real fashion models.
Augmented reality (AR) is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, somatosensory, and olfactory.
Customers inside and outside the stores are now able to view AR activations through the Zara AR app available for both iOS and Android. Store windows and in-store podiums, as well as shipping boxes for online orders, will display AR content when scanned. However, only 120 of its flagship stores worldwide will be able to provide its customers with this incredible experience, which shows AR images of international models who pose, walk, and speak in AR for approximately 10 seconds.
Customers will be able to see 12 different scenes, all of which were captured with 68 cameras on a 170-square meter stage. One of the largest productions of its kind, according to a company spokesperson.
The models presented in the app are showcasing ZARA’s new Studio SS18 Collection. After experiencing the AR App, customers can purchase the ensembles immediately via the app or in the brick and mortar stores.
Many examples of AR used by retailers, such as IKEA and Lowe’s Home Improvement, have been used to preview products in the home. However, for categories such as apparel and jewellery, most of the customers still prefer shopping in-store as opposed to online, which makes Zara’s decision to engage customers in its stores with Augmented Reality an extremely smart move.
On their Instagram, they showed off the new technology in a short step-by-step video. All you need to do is download the app ZARA AR and point your phone at designated spots such as windows or delivery boxes to see models appear for 7 to 12 seconds on your phone screen as a hologram. From there, you can click to shop the look and related items.
Zara has also made it easier for shoppers to install the app by providing dedicated store Wi-Fi networks, QR codes, and making it available via zara.com (in addition to offering it on the major mobile app stores).
In a press release from the brand, they added that “the app features a tool for sharing the experience on social media, encouraging users to take and submit photos of the holograms, establishing a virtual connection that appears remarkably real.”