Sunday, 30 May 2010 sadly disappoints

As a regular online clothing browser and shopper, I thought I'd spend a few minutes writing about I love Zara (the shops), but am not that keen on (the site) - and I wish that wasn't the case! They could do much better and increase loyalty and revenue by focusing on their online products. Think Asos or that have done so remarkably well online.

So let's check our their site doesn't yet allow online shopping, at least not in the UK, but they're showcasing their products on a horizontal carousel.

Unfortunately, using a slider to view the full range of say 100 dresses takes its toll on the user's eyes. With only three dresses in view at the same time, it's a real pain for your poor eyes to scroll through all the clothes. Whether your site does e-commerce or not, it should be easier to overview the offering. That's the whole point of specifically browsing a certain category on a publisher's site! The best bit about is their look book, an area of the site which matches its clean and sleak brand.

I've heard Zara's got an app? recently released their own iPhone app which got a fair bit of attention and a luke-warm reception as there wasn't much a user could do with the app except from look at static images of some of the garments. See Econsulty's 'Zara releases a pointless iPhone app' and you'll get the picture.

Is Zara doing social media?
Yes Zara is on Facebook. Whilst they're not lacking a shortage of fans (currently over 2,6 millions), their feed leaves a lot to be desired for. Basically, it's a look book feed with no written engagement from Zara HQ.

Twiter: No.

Company blog: No

So, this is a bit of a disaster!
For a company that knows its customers well and has excelled in managing super quick turn-arounds (reportedly only weeks between HQ design desicion, manufacturing and store availability), I'm a little bit surprised that they haven't yet optimized their site or made a better effort on Facebook. Sure, Zara is doing well already so maybe excelling in an online presence isn't exactly vital, however it's kind of what customers expect nowadays.

What I would recommend
*Clear overview by product - grid system of images and product information is sufficient.
No scrollers or complications.

*Tell me more about Zara. Nowadays, corporate responsibility is a big deal. Promote what you do well, even in areas surrounding your product.

*Focus on the everyday elegance which you do so well. The beauty with Zara is that the clothes and they way they look can convey luxury - at high street prices. Include a visual blog and / or Facebook feed which won't be dependent on the many langugages Zara customers speak. Think The Sartorialist.

*In my ideal world, an easy to use e-commerce site.

Come on you Spaniards, you can do better I know it!

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