ZARA vs. H&M

When we talked about trends of digital marketing in the near future (location service, customization of the products and services, and Socially Generated Content). I think of these two brands, which are the “trends” of fast fashion industry. I wonder how they are doing in terms of keeping up with the trends of digital marketing via mobile platforms.

What I feel is becoming ever important is the simplicity of user interface without losing the basic functions, which yields better user experience. As in the case of Zara and H&M, Zara’s app is better designed, simpler and easier to use. It provides almost the same user experience that you would get from the website because the categories are the same. While in H&M’s case, there is no categorization of the products, it is very poor user experience if you have specific item in mind and are not able to get it easily.

Second, both Zara and H&M use location service, the one on Zara works efficiently, showing all stores near your location fast. Whereas in H&M’s case, the app closed itself for several time while I was trying to locate myself, to me this is another very important trend that H&M are not perform well with even though it has touched on it.

Integrated social platform connections and experience is another important trend in the digital marketing world. While both of them do provide links to share the products with friends. I feel they could have done more. They could set up an official account in instgram and allow the customer to share pictures of their own styling of the cloth, and then after each week/month, Zara or H&M could pick out the ones that received the most likes and create an E-look-book of that and allows the users to share the journal with their friends through various  social platforms.

One feature that only Zara has is Product scanning, I’ve tried it with my own cloth, it works well. After the app picked up the scanning number, it will offer you all the product information and images. However, I feel this is not enough, because having the scanning number at hand meaning I know pretty well of that particular product. What it could further done is providing suggestions for other clothes that goes well with/similar to  this one. If Zara/H&M had the “sending your looks to instagram” project, then it could also suggests other people’s looks using the item the customer scanned. I feel mobile app, should also be available to do some cluster filtering in the near future.

In conclusion, Zara ‘s mobile app is performing much better than the one of H&M in terms of integrated user experience, and it is reflected in their ratings (4 stars vs.3 stars). However, they both have lot of  space to improvement to catch up with the trends in digital marketing, even leading them.

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