It was the start of the holiday shopping season. The music had switched to Christmas carols, Santa was setting up shop in the center court, and parties were being planned for the first snowfall in the mall.
This was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for Joe, a manager at a large retail store, it was far from delightful.
Sales for the year were miserable. He was going to close out the year down 9% from last year, which for him was unacceptable. His boss was upset, of course, but even worse was that he had just found out that his friend Shannon across the mall was having the opposite experience in her store. They’d always been friendly rivals, but he usually ended up having a better year than her.
What was she doing differently?
How Fitting Room Tech Can Improve Sales
Joe had reached his boiling point. He whipped out his phone and sent her a text.
“Can I buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain for about an hour over lunch?” he asked.
She quickly wrote back, “Sure! As long as you include one of the new holiday cookies they just released at the Kwik Kafe!”
A few hours later they were huddled over their warm cups of Joe, chatting about the year. Shannon was all smiles, which made Joe even more eager for her help. She had to have a secret for him.
He began by talking to her about his troubles. Yes sales were down, but there was more. Last week, his daughter alerted him to a Facebook post she saw by one of her friends who went to his store to get a dress for her first date and was so frustrated about it, she posted about it online. His reputation was taking a beating.
Yesterday, he had one of his best sales associates quit right after lunch for seemingly no reason at all. In the middle of the busiest time of year, this was trouble.
That morning, a new associate (who really wasn’t good, and who he’d plan to fire… right after the holiday craziness) walked in on someone in the fitting room! Luckily the person was dressed and was able to laugh it off, but think of how much of a disaster it could have been! And could he blame the associate? Even his long time employees had a hard time knowing if a fitting room is occupied.
Things were getting bad. The usual lines for the fitting room were worse than usual, especially with the holiday shoppers, and that whole walk in incident was causing associates to tiptoe around even more. No one wanted to be yelled at – by a customer, or by their boss. His employees were feeling the stress.
How could he create a stellar customer experience with frazzled employees and disappointed customers?
Shannon stopped smiling at that point. She’d heard enough. The first problem Joe had was a lack of support from upper management. In her store, upper management had seen the importance of fitting rooms. They knew that this was the highest converting part of the store!
So her store did their research.
Why Competitive Retailers Must Make Over Their Fitting Rooms
At first, they didn’t think their customers were the type of people to use a call button, but boy were they wrong! The buttons had been a big hit! Shannon’s store was even using it to attach a specific fitting room to a specific customer and to a specific sales person. Talk about personalized customer service!
Her store had also given her fitting rooms a makeover. New mirrors flattered their shoppers instead of making them feel uncomfortable about how they looked. The rooms were welcoming and enjoyable, so buyers weren’t running for the hills after stepping foot inside.
By just giving a quick facelift and adding in the fitting room technology, Shannon was having her record year. Joe knew he could have the same success, but he didn’t have much time to waste; he’d have to get his boss on board right away.
It was in that moment he set his store’s New Year’s resolution – to get more sales by improving their fitting room technology.
He was determined to beat Shannon next year!
How Do Your Fitting Rooms Stack Up?
If you want to learn how the latest fitting room tech tools can make your retail clothing store more competitive, download our guide below.