For a while now, fashion retail has been divided into two worlds: online and offline, but H&M want to change all that and have taken steps to bring them closer together. If shoppers find an item of clothing they like but their size isn’t in stock, they tend to slip through the net and cost the retailer a sale. Although the option to ask a member of staff whether they have the item available to be delivered is an option, a number of customers don’t say anything and just simply head for the exit.

That’s why H&M has decided to trial a new feature called ‘scan and buy’ which is available on the store’s mobile app. The company stated that they wanted to ‘seamlessly knit together’ the online and offline shopping worlds with the feature and will be hoping that the convenience of the feature ends up capturing customers that perhaps would have ended up going elsewhere.

The feature works simply by allowing shoppers to see whether or not an item is available online. They can then purchase it and have it sent to their home address if the store doesn’t have it in stock. They can even check if the item is available in a different colour. Designed to be as easy as possible to use, all shoppers have to do is scan the barcode of the item in store, once they’ve done that they can see whether or not it’s available and, if so, order it for home delivery.

Linking online and offline shopping seems to be a growing trend, with a number of schemes being rolled out in order to give customers added convenience. Features such as click-and-collect have become popular with a number of brands and H&M are looking to integrate online and offline shopping further by allowing returns for purchases made online in store along with next day delivery.

It marks a positive start to the year for the group which saw its sales (inclusive of VAT) grow by approximately 8% in January when compared to January 2016. It also launched over 400 stores worldwide in the 12-month period, taking its total to 4,380. Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson has already stated that they plan on launching two all-new brands this year, with the first one arriving in the next quarter. Persson will be hoping that the additional brands give H&M more opportunities to grow, with the target being growth of 10 to 15% within the next five years.

H&M HandM Clothing Store by JeepersMedia licensed under Creative commons 4