This blog will analyse the functionality of https://www.zara.com/uk/ from a consumer’s perspective. The site is an online platform for individuals to purchase Fast Fashion garments, targeting the young, price-conscious and fashion sensitive (Harbott, 2011). The brand does not define their target by segmenting ages and lifestyles, giving them a much broader market. The product line is segmented into Woman’s (60%), Men’s (25%) and Children’s (15%) departments (Harbott, 2011). The brand’s main competitors are H&M and Mango, as determined by Alexa’s (2018) market analysis (See Appendix A). Relevant Buyer Personas (See Figure 1), will be used to evaluate the site’s functionality, following Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick’s (2016) ‘The Effectiveness of Websites’ model (See Figure 2).
Figure 1. Buyer Personas
Figure 2. The Effectiveness of Websites (Chaffey & Ellis Chadwick, 2016)
The customer journey purchasing experience with Zara is easy to follow. Once items have been added to basket and the customer checks out, payment information is displayed. This also applies to other retailers analysed. Once you have reached the Zara checkout point, the store informs you that they accept multiple payment methods; Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Zara Gift Card and Paypal, covering all platforms for online payment. The site itself feels secure, and after purchase an email receipt is send to your email address to confirm the order. This is the same with both Mango and H&M. Another email is sent confirming dispatch and tracking information is included, making the user feel confident in their decision to purchase.
The fast fashion model works purely on convenience; products from both Zara and H&M can be purchased with next day delivery providing the order is placed before 7pm. Mango does not offer this option, only standard delivery estimated to take 2-5 days. Zara and H&M products can even be delivered on the same day if you’re situated in London and orders are placed before 2pm. All retailers offer delivery to your nearest store, and also CollectPlus.
Post-purchase, an email is sent from the retailer asking for a review of the product, which gives the customer an easy opportunity to provide feedback on the purchase. Mango and H&M have a returns form enclosed in the delivery package, however Zara’s returns system isn’t as obvious. The package arrives with your items and list of the package’s contents. The customer then must go online, to the Returns link, and ‘request a return’ through their order history displayed in their account. This process will be more complicated for those whom have checked out as a guest. Following this, a courier will be sent to collect the items for return from you. Alternatively the items can be returned at the nearest store with the eTicket sent upon purchase.
All retailers analysed do not offer a student discount. Traffic sources show that less than 50% of visitors have directly searched for the page (Alexa, 2018). 6.53% of traffic to the site has been generated through links and social media platforms (See Appendix B). Digital media channels are online communication techniques such as Search Engine Marketing and Online Public Relations (E-PR), E-PR is used to maximise positive mentions of the brand on third-party sites such as social networks or blogs that are likely to be viewed by the target audience (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2016). Through the use of social media platforms, although no discount is provided, Zara’s customer demographic still includes a large proportion of 18-25 year olds (Greenfield, 2016).
Examples of social media posts by Zara.
— ZARA (@ZARA) December 4, 2018
Following on from the analysis, two customer journey maps have been created based on the Buyer Personas displayed in Figure 1. The first is representative of the consumer making a purchase online, and the second shows the returns process.
Figure 3. Customer Journey Map showing the Buying Process.
Figure 4. Customer Journey Map showing the Return Process.
Alexa (2018) ‘Zara Market Analysis’, Alexa [online] Available at: https://www.alexa.com/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2018]
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2016). Digital marketing. 6th ed. Harlow [etc.]: Pearson.
Greenfield, J (2016) ‘Zara Demographics’, Digital Publishing [online] Available at: http://jessgreenfieldfashionstyling.blogspot.com/2016/01/zara-demographics.html [Accessed: 6 Dec 2018]
Harbott, A (2011) ‘Analysing Zara’s business model’. Harbott [online] Available at: https://harbott.com/analysing-zaras-business-model-6ee755699a70 [Accessed: 6 Dec 2018]
H&M (2018) ‘About’, H&M [online] Available at: https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/index.html [Accessed: 6 Dec 2018]
Mango (2018) ‘About’, Mango [online] Available at: https://shop.mango.com/gb [Accessed: 6 Dec 2018]
Zara (2018) ‘About’, Zara [online] Available at: https://www.zara.com/uk/ [Accessed: 6 Dec 2018]