When they’re considering installing call buttons in fitting rooms, larger retailers often ask, “Do your call buttons know how many people went into the fitting rooms in the first place?” That’s a great question! After all, some retailers may never have considered the number of fitting room visits would be an important component of developing a sound retail sales strategy.
There are at least three excellent reasons why you need to keep detailed statistics about your fitting room usage.
Reason #1: The Fitting Room Provides an Excellent Opportunity to Interact with Your Brand
The fitting room offers a fantastic opportunity for associates to interact with customers. There is no other point in the shopping journey where the consumer is so receptive to a casual conversation.
Try to have a conversation with customers on the sales floor and there’s a chance they’ll find it distracting or annoying. At the cashwrap, it’s too late. They just want to pay for the stuff and get on with the rest their day. However, a customer entering the fitting room is in the decision zone. It’s the very best time for interaction because it’s such a natural point to make an introduction.
These fitting room interactions can create a positive brand experience for customers. They know at THIS store, there is someone available to help them when they need it. If it’s done casually enough, sales associates can make helpful upsell or cross-sell suggestions to customers who are already in a buying frame of mind, without seeming pushy. At the very least, they can use the opportunity to encourage customer loyalty.
Call buttons create an additional incentive for customers to interact with your staff. You might feel too shy to stick your head outside the door to ask for help, (especially in a state of undress!) but using a call button is a much less intimidating prospect.
Reason #2: Shoppers Who Visit the Fitting Room Spend More
If the fitting room is where decisions are made, and customers who use fitting rooms spend nearly three times more than those who don’t, it’s safe to say that the fitting rooms are among the most important areas of the store. All parts of the store should be fresh and inviting to your clientele, but the utmost care should be taken to ensure that the fitting rooms are a place where customers feel comfortable.
There are many ways to make a state of the art fitting room, but if a major renovation isn’t in the cards, try starting with the basics. Make sure your fitting rooms are tidy and have:
- Comfortable seating
- Hooks for customers to hang their own stuff
- Decent lighting
- Good mirrors to let customers see how they look from all angles.
Of course, none of this will matter if customers can’t get into a fitting room in the first place. If you don’t know how many customers are visiting your fitting rooms at various times of the day, you might not know that there are times where there are long lines to try on clothes.
Long lines for a fitting room lead many customers to decide that maybe they’ll just shop somewhere else!
After working for a couple of women’s apparel retailers I can confidently say that service in the fitting rooms–and simply having enough fitting rooms–will drive in-store conversion and an increase in the average dollar sale. There’s a commitment that is made by the client when they actually put merchandise on. Not only does it drive positive initial results, but a good fitting room program will also decrease the number of returns a retailer sees. – Scott Knaul, RetailWire BrainTrust
Reason #3: Fitting Room Visits Provide Actionable Metrics
Imagine a busy store with people milling about at all hours of the day. Surely a store that’s constantly filled with people must also be busy ringing up sales, right?
Door traffic isn’t a great indicator of the overall health of the store. For starters, it doesn’t give any insight into the conversion rate of shoppers. It also doesn’t provide information about optimal staffing levels at different times of the day. One international retailer was stunned to learn that while their stores always seemed full of shoppers, sales were very low relative to the door traffic. In fact, more than half of their customers left without buying anything at all!
Once they had the kind of data that only people counting can provide, they were able to implement new policies and staffing procedures that dramatically improved performance.
The Last Word on Tracking the Number of Fitting Room Visits
We all know that what gets measured gets attention. No one measure of store performance will give enough information to increase sales and maximize efficiency. However, we firmly believe that fitting room visits are a vital piece of data. And to answer that common question from larger retailers, yes, our call buttons do track how many people went into the fitting rooms in the first place.