The fitting room is a pivotal part of the sales cycle at traditional retail stores, and clinching a sale depends on delivering a high-touch and satisfying fitting room experience. A recent study found that 84 percent of customers had difficulty finding assistance while in a fitting room, and if a customer is forced to re-dress to find a garment in a new size or color, there is a 75 percent chance he or she will leave. Clothing retailers are relying on a sales journey that leaves potential customers vulnerable at its most pivotal step.
To combat this, major retailers are installing technologies in the fitting room. For example, this was covered in a recent Fortune Magazine article:
Bloomingdale’s, the upscale department store owned by Macy’s Inc., thinks technology can help solve a common problem that has cost apparel retailers dearly in sales: frustrated customers who give up and leave rather than take the time to acquire the right piece of clothing.
The solution? “Smart” fitting rooms equipped with wall-mounted tablet computers. At five of its 37 stores, Bloomingdale’s has installed Apple iPads that connect to the complex inventory-management systems it uses to keep track of tens of millions of items. With the iPads, a customer or a store associate can scan the item in question to find which colors and sizes are in stock, as well as see ratings and reviews by other customers. The tablets also recommend items that would complement the scanned original. And with a tap, a customer can summon an associate. (No neck craning necessary.)
“The problem we are trying to solve at Bloomingdale’s is age-old,” says R.B. Harrison, chief omnichannel officer at Macy’s Inc. “You’ve got a customer sitting half-naked in the fitting room and wanting to try a different size. This is technology for a common problem customers have.”
Aila’s Interactive Kiosk supports the delivery of key differentiators for the customer like convenience and experience customization, which mimic the online shopping experience that has threatened physical retail establishments. An interactive fitting room experience combines the advantages of in-person clothes shopping, like being sure a garment’s color and fit are flattering, with the power of clever tech and inventory data applications.