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.
Rolling out to 120 of its flagship stores worldwide, customers inside and outside the stores can view AR activations through the Zara AR app for iOS and Android. Store windows and in-store podiums, as well as shipping boxes for online orders, will display AR content when scanned.
The experience shows AR images of international models including Léa Julian and Fran Summers, who pose, strut, and speak in AR for 7-12 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 Collection. After view the AR experiences, customers can then purchase the ensembles immediately via the app or in the brick and mortar stores.
The trigger images in the Zara store windows are designed to attract passers-by, with a bold sign inviting them to download the app and view the experience. Zara has also tried to make 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).
Many examples of AR used by retailers, such as IKEA and Lowe's Home Improvement, have been to preview products in the home. However, for categories such as apparel and jewelry, the majority of customers still favor shopping in-store versus online, which makes Zara's move to engage customers in its stores with AR a sound decision.
But fans of Zara will have to hurry, as the experience will only be supported for the next two weeks starting on April 18, according to a Harper's Bazaar report.