How to Fix Broken Fitting Rooms with In-Store Analytics

In the history of mankind, has anyone ever been inspired by the words “good enough?” When sales are meeting expectations and staff turnover rates are relatively low, it’s easy for retail managers to get comfortable.

But as we all know, there is always room for improvement!

For example, did you know that 5% of fitting room users abandon their purchase because of a poor experience at the1 moment of truth? Maybe they needed another size, and there was nobody there to help them, or perhaps the long lines to try on their apparel purchase put them off entirely.

Think about what a 5% increase in paying customers might look like during an annual performance appraisal! But how do you tap into that pool of lost sales and turn things around?

By using in-store analytics to improve the fitting room experience!

Knowing is Half the Battle

Knowing that people may decide to leave your store because of circumstances that have nothing to do with your products or staff can be alarming. However, before you start making changes to the way things are done, it’s important to take stock of the overall health of the store.

The steps to maintaining healthy retail sales aren’t entirely unlike the steps to keep people healthy. When we go see the doctor, we usually have a list of things troubling us, like achy knees or a sore back. These aches and pains are not the real problems; they are just the symptoms of whatever is going on in your body.

To get to the bottom of the problem, the doctor will run a series of diagnostic tests. Those tests are based on data points, specially designed to help gather the information needed to make a diagnosis. Then they can treat the symptoms AND the problem!

The first step to improving the fitting room experience through in-store analytics is gathering data points or information about the habits of the people who visit your store. While you might think a customer abandoning their purchases at the fitting room is a problem, it’s just a symptom of the actual problem.

Ready to get started with retail analytics?

This is one area where it helps to look to your online retail counterparts for guidance. If 5% of website users were dropping off because of a broken user experience, you can bet there would be a fevered rush to fix it right away.

Steps to Address

Many retailers underestimate the importance of fitting rooms to shoppers. If you’re one of them, consider this:

Shoppers who use a fitting room are 71% more likely to make an apparel purchase!

Now that we have your attention, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your fitting rooms and implement these three quick fixes:

  1. Analyze Traffic Patterns: Of course, sophisticated in-store analytics would ultimately be more effective. However, if that’s not in the budget right now, you can start by walking around your fitting rooms at what is typically a busy time of day in the store.

Are there long lines of people waiting to use a fitting room? Nothing galls a customer more than painstakingly selecting the perfect outfit for an outing, only to learn that ensuring the right size is going to take FOR-EV-ER.

By understanding how long customers are waiting to use a fitting room, you can make strategic decisions about staffing levels and store layout enhancements. Then you can support shoppers at the time when they are making the ultimate purchase decision.

2

  1. Make it a Pleasant Experience: From bad lighting and a dearth of mirrors to the noticeable absence of a place to hang your hat, some fitting rooms are pretty dreadful.

Take a long, hard look at your fitting rooms and ask if yourself if this is somewhere you could see yourself spending a lot of time making decisions about how you spend your money.

Hint: If you avoid the five most common fitting room mistakes, you’re off to a really good start!

  1. Don’t Let them Leave! Well, don’t let customers leave the fitting room because they need another size or a different color, anyway. How do you keep customers engaged in the fitting room while serving their needs? By ensuring they’re not alone once they’re in there!

You can accomplish this in a few different ways. Locked fitting rooms ensure that customers are always introduced to a team member when they’re getting ready to make a decision. Whether this is with a dedicated fitting room attendant or a sales associate who stays accessible, customers need to be able to get help when they need it. If neither is an option due to your store’s staffing levels, consider installing call buttons in the fitting rooms.

Where it All Comes Together

There are many tools to help today’s modern retailers compete with their online counterparts, but nothing compares to the personalized service that comes with a trip to the store. Small tweaks to the fitting room experience can add up to a big difference in the bottom line!

Ready to learn more about how to utilize in-store shopper analytics to improve the performance of your retail store? Download our free eBook now!

whitepaper download: in-store apparel retail analytics - beyond people counting