Innovation in customer services


To offer and maintain qualified customer services segmented by country and service

Material issues

4 Customer relations and satisfaction
7 Changes in consumption habits
8 New sales channels

The customer is at the centre of the Inditex business model. The customer's needs and desires are listened to in store and transmitted to the design team at each of the Group's brands so that these requests can be acted upon and become available as quickly as possible. As a result, focused customer service is necessary to keep the Group's business model working.

The comments and suggestions submitted by customers allow us to improve the service they receive across different platforms and sales channels. The Group provides customer service via the web sites of the different brands and their social media profiles.

The Inditex Group works to improve different aspects of customer service, in order to improve the service it provides to its customers. 2014 saw the implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which allows for more precise in store product management, in turn improving the quality of customer care. Also important in 2014 was the pilot project the Group ran in Brazil using a label which the customer could use to discover all the details of how and where each garment had been manufactured.

Inditex also maintained training programmess for all employees of the Group, with special emphasis on customer service. A specific person is named within each team to be responsible for the evolution and improvement of customer relations.

RFID technology in customer service

With the aim of providing a faster response to customer requests in store, Zara has developed radio frequency identification (RFID) technology which makes it possible to identify individual garments and track them from the logistics platform through to their sale.

With the introduction of RFID, Inditex has redesigned the entire work flow in stores, working to ensure that this technology helps to offer better service to customers. One of the most noticeable effects of this technological advance is on the localization of items, which has become much faster and more precise. When a customer is looking for a specific item, staff can consult availability of the product in real time in that store or other stores or on the online sales platform,, making the sales process easier.

The sales or return of goods also benefits from this technology as the RFID system is integrated with the tills. Data stored on the label is eliminated when the bar code is scanned to protect customer privacy.

The entire process, which begins with garments being alarmed in the logistics centre, allows unitary control of merchandise throughout the whole process, ensuring up to date information at all times on the distribution process.

Once an order has arrived in store, the system provides information on which products need to be restocked and where, cutting the time required for this task in half. Inventories and stock taking are also more efficient and 80% faster thanks to this technology. All of this helps the Zara teams offer better customer service.

At the end of 2014 all logistics centres and almost 1,000 Zara stores in 22 different countries had implemented this system. Inditex aims to fully incorporate the system in Zara in 2016 and then gradually into the remaining retail formats.

Actively and passively listening to customers' desires and concerns is not only limited to fashion. Of course, new trends are the main concern of people who shop with us regularly, but that is not their only concern. Our customers are people committed to society and to the community in which they live and this forces us to reinvent ourselves every day in order to keep up with their needs and priorities at all times. For this, team work is key as it allows us to react quickly and globally to suggestions made by customers.

Transparency and traceability: ‘Fabricado no Brasil'

As discussed in the section on Traceability of the supply chain, one of Inditex's priorities is to have control from beginning to end of the goods supply chain, from the origin of raw materials to the final product in store. This exhaustive understanding of all the processes which make up the origin of each garment is also something our customers are increasingly requesting. In response to this growing social awareness, in 2014 Inditex created a pilot project in Brazil. Fabricado no Brasil is the name of the project under which all products manufactured and sold in this market will include a QR code, allowing customers to discover the product's manufacturing details, including the manufacturer's identity. In addition to details about the manufacturer, it will also include information on the most recent control audit on its compliance with the Inditex Code of Conduct that the manufacturer has passed. The label will also include direct access via e mail, allowing the customer to send questions or comments to the CSR department in Brazil.

In this way, Inditex guarantees its customers that all the products it sells have been manufactured in adequate conditions, respecting Brazilian labour laws and the principles established in Inditex's Code of Conduct.

This new label is currently being implemented in Brazil and by the end of 2015 will be included on all products manufactured in the country.

Immediate response to requests

During 2014, an excellent example of the importance Inditex places on the opinions and concerns of its customers was the immediate removal from sale of a t-shirt from the Zara Kids 2014 Fall-Winter collection. This striped garment, with a Sheriff's star (in reference to Wild West films) was removed from sale in over 50 countries in a matter of hours after customer services teams received complaints from clients in different countries who considered the garment inappropriate. Inditex apologized immediately to all the customers and groups that felt upset and, in a few minutes, it totally withdrew from sale the t-shirt from both at its brick-and-mortar stores and online. Furthermore, the Group explained that respect is one of its guiding principles, since it is made up of people from 83 nationalities with different cultures and religions. This is one of its main assets. Those customers who contacted Inditex regarding this case received a personal response, as is always. The customer is always at the centre of our business model.

Number of messages and calls received in the different customer attention services of the Inditex Group 2014

Complaints sheets (*) Messages sales in store Messages online sales Calls sales in store Calls online sales
Zara 3,617 139,141 898,606 10,964 1,914,997
Pull&Bear 432 8,848 74,340 578 102,954
Massimo Dutti 198 6,539 61,486 6,419 203,940
Bershka 405 26,800 74,112 580 142,327
Stradivarius 404 23,382 40,257 3,611 80,553
Oysho** 364 28,447 26,904
Zara Home ** 122 97,765 68,934
Uterqüe ** 56 21,695 21,703

(*) Complaints sheet for Spain only
(**) Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe provide consolidated customer services data for in store and online sales

Affinity Card data 2014

2014 2013
Users 1,300,000 1,227,683
New users 101,178 131,993
Receipts 5,365,203 4,900,112
Newsletter 2,417,704 2,364,000
Web site visits 563,729 450,000

Presence of the Inditex Group brands on social networks 2014

FACEBOOK 22,559,155 4,836,725 937,082 7,817,611 2,521,789 1,044,504 1,173,981 143,734 41,034,581
TWITTER 766,966 201,142 49,860 289,120 128,235 52,573 67,100 13,512 1,568,508
PINTEREST 130,000 12,794 11,148 13,771 10,586 8,050 29,886 861 217,096
INSTAGRAM 3,608,000 393,.589 168,000 936,020 621,587 189,965 225,000 38,900 6,181,061
WEIBO (CHINA) 600,000 25,705 27,771 17,947 12,069 11,127 694,619
VK (RUSSIA) 182,005 12,867 56,035 12,545 263,452
TOTAL PER BRAND 27,846,126 5,482,882 1,166,090 9,140,328 3,312,689 1,307,161 1,507,094 197,007 49,959,317