Amazon Brings the Fitting Room to You

To date, Amazon has struggled to successfully break into the apparel industry. However, “Prime Wardrobe,” may be a major game changer for the company and its competitors as it brings the fitting room to you.

The service allows Amazon Prime members to load up a box with three or more apparel items from the website. They are then shipped to the customer who can try them on and keep the items for seven days. Whatever they decide to keep they will receive up to a 20 percent discount on. The items they don’t want can be placed back in the box and picked up from their location for free.

Retailers Feel Threatened—But Should They?

This latest service has put retailers (both online and in store) on notice. Industry experts have said that for traditional brick and mortar retailers, the only place they could truly differentiate themselves was in the fitting room. With consumers potentially no longer needing to go to the store, wait in line, and step into a fitting room, Prime Wardrobe could be a major threat to retailers.

However, despite being incredibly convenient, the service is not a complete replacement of a fitting room. Unlike other similar services like Stitch Fix, Amazon does not have a stylist available to curate clothes from its massive online selection, which can be difficult to navigate and make the apparel shopping process overwhelming for some. Many consumers also prefer to try items on in a well set-up fitting room which allows them to see themselves in a piece of clothing from multiple angles and in ideal lighting.

Additionally, while free two-day shipping is fast and convenient given traditional lead-times, it still won’t satisfy the occasional need to purchase something same day. While some consumers might plan out apparel shopping for future events, almost everyone is caught with the occasional “Oh shoot, I forgot, I need ____ for this weekend!” and the Prime Wardrobe service just can’t meet the timeline most of those situations operate on.

Create the Perfect Retail Experience Through the Fitting Room

Mirrors and lighting are only part of creating the best retail experience for customers. With solutions like Alert Tech’s platform, brick and mortar stores can transform their sales associates into knowledgeable personal stylists.fitting room

Improved customer service moves from the front of the store all the way back to the fitting room where customers can call an attendant without having to shout or wait. In-store alerts and occupancy sensors also provide retailers with in-depth insight about store patterns and trends so that they can further enhance the retail experience.

Finding a Place in Traditional Retail

Traditional retail is not dead, but thriving in this changing ecosystem means retailers must use digital, physical, and complimentary service offerings to differentiate themselves from the pack. This is especially true when it comes to the in-person customer service experience.

To learn more about how Alert Tech helps retailers improve the customer experience and increase sales, visit http://alerttech.net/solutions.

A Fitting Room Solution That Works

Recently, when I was speaking with a retailer about our fitting room solution, they said something along the lines of, “That’s not really something our customer base needs.

In fact, their clientele is exactly the type of customer who would benefit from this type of solution. It seems to be a common misconception that only a certain demographic appreciates call buttons, so I’d like to set the record straight on why everyone benefits from fitting room call buttons.

Fitting Room Psychology

When trying clothes on, customers feel somewhat vulnerable because they find themselves at least half naked in a public place during the process (this is especially true for female shoppers). Most fitting rooms are also not pleasant, well-designed spaces. Further, without insight into fitting room occupancy, associates often knock during the process or, heaven forbid, enter during the middle of it! These factors combine to cause customers to want to move in and out of fitting rooms as quickly as possible.

The fitting room experience seems fairly straightforward: customers bring in their selections, try them on, and make a buying decision. However, this is not always the typical customer experience. For example, as a form of loss prevention, stores will often limit the number of items allowed in the fitting room at one time. This means that the customer will have to try on clothes in “batches”, which can significantly disrupt the process. This is not only hugely inconvenient but it prolongs the process, creating longer wait times and higher walk-off rates.

The Dreaded Re-Dresstry on

During the try-on process, customers routinely find themselves in need of assistance, often without an easy way to ask for it. When there isn’t a way to easily get an associate’s help, customers find themselves faced with the decision to re-dress and leave the fitting room to serve themselves. When a shopper decides that they will leave the fitting room to get alternate clothing, the process of trying on clothes becomes even more arduous.

It’s inconvenient at best to change out of what they were wearing into something else, but it can also be awkward. Thoughts like:

Should I leave my purse? Will it be safe?”

“Is it rude to leave and come back when there is a line of people waiting?”

“Will I lose my room if I step out?”

“What about the clothes I’ve already decided I want? Should I take them with me?”

“Is the door going to lock behind me? Will I have to track someone down again to let me in?”

“How much longer is this going to take, is it even worth it? Should I just leave?”

Much of the time, shoppers will decide that it’s not worth it and once they leave the fitting room, they’ll keep walking right out of the store. (It happens all the time – you can probably think about the last time you did this yourself.)

The Problem with Door Knocking

door-knock

In order to prevent the customer from leaving the fitting room, many retailers encourage their sales associates to knock on the door and check on the customers intermittently. Unfortunately, door knocking as a fitting room service strategy is woefully ineffective because service is not being provided based off of the customers’ need-basis, but rather the associates’ best guessed timing. Caught in the middle of undressing many people will forgo asking for anything in order to avoid an awkward interaction.

An Effective Fitting Room Solution

The only way to ensure that customer assistance is available at the most effective time, is to implement a call button system that enables them to notify the associates when they are ready for help. This allows the service to be provided on the customers’ timing rather than the associates’. A customer who values their time is likely to appreciate a call button as it puts the power in their hands to reach out to an associate exactly when they want one. When assistance is needed, there are very few shoppers who won’t utilize a call button system.

Find out more about our fitting room call button solution here.

 

How to Use Technology to Surprise and Delight Your Customers

As a retailer, you’re well aware of the importance of customer service. Exceptional customer service has the ability to surprise and delight customers and improve your bottom line.

With supportive technology, you can not only surprise and delight your customers, but provide qualitative measures of customer service, so that your team can make adjustments as needed.

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How One Facebook Post Destroyed a Retailer’s Reputation

Ugh! Worst shopping experience ever!

The post stopped Samantha in her tracks. She and Kelly (her friend who posted the mini-rant on Facebook) were shopping buddies. For Kelly to have the “worst” experience while shopping was rare – especially when shopping for her favorite thing – clothes! This complaint wasn’t going to do much for this retail store’s reputation!

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Why You Need a Fitting Room Process – It’s the Star of the Show!

We’re on a mission to help you understand how to make fitting rooms better. This is the second of a three-part series intended to provide the basics of a great fitting room experience. This post focuses on the need for a defined fitting room process.

For customers, shopping for apparel should be a lot like eating a fine meal. The friendly greeting at the entrance is like a cocktail before dinner. A good layout to the sales floor is like an appetizer. To the surprise of many, the main course is actually the fitting room. It’s the star of the meal…er, shopping experience. A pleasant experience at the cashwrap is the dessert, or sherry after dinner if that’s what floats your boat.

Sure, the whole experience is important, but it’s the main course, or, in this case, the fitting room, that’s going to leave a lasting impression. Ultimately, in the retail transaction process, the fitting room is the moment where a go/no-go decision on a purchase is made.

With that in mind, it becomes clear that sales associate training and any adjustments to the store layout should be designed to direct customers to the fitting room.

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