Zara introducing limited-time AR experience
In recent years, many retailers have embraced augmented reality technology as a way to enhance shoppers’ in-store experience and create a memorable impression, especially in the fashion and beauty space. Spain-based fast fashion retailer Zara is introducing an innovative AR concept at 120 of its flagship stores around the world for a limited time only that is sure to turn heads and engage customers like never before.
Holographic Models Show off Zara’s Collection
Starting April 18, and lasting for just two weeks, shoppers will be able to access a unique AR experience with their smartphones via the ZARA AR app, which will be made available to download through in-store WiFi. Once downloaded, users can point their devices at signage on store windows, in-store podiums and the delivery boxes for online orders to trigger the series of seven to 12-second sequences featuring superimposed photorealistic videos of models Léa Julian and Fran Summers showcasing ZARA’s Studio Collection. Once the app is engaged, the models seemingly come to life, walking, posing and even talking about the collection.
Even the creation of the experience was itself something of a marvel. Sixty-eight cameras in a 1,800 square-foot set captured the models as holograms, it was one of the largest productions of its kind ever conceived, according to Retail Focus.
Social Media Integration and Instant-Buy Capabilities
The boldness of the display extends to the exterior store windows, which will be empty to passersby except for a sign encouraging shoppers to download the ZARA AR app. Such a display practically begs customers to whip out their phones and try it out, ginning up buzz and a sense of curiosity. The retailer is taking advantage of the limited-time nature of the experience by rolling out fresh sequences incrementally, enticing shoppers to return again and again to see the latest “episode.”
Of course, the app facilitates frictionless shopping for customers. Every look displayed by the virtual models can be bought with a single click right from your smartphone through the app or in the store itself. Leaving no opportunity unturned, Zara built the app with social media integration that encourages users to snap and upload pictures of the ultra-realistic holograms, which instantly brings a worldwide audience into the experience. 

We’ve seen augmented reality used by retailers in the form of virtual mirrors or try-before-you-buy cosmetic makeovers, but this is taking the technology’s integration to a whole new level.

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