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The Power of the Customer’s Journey (& How You Can Use it to Fix Your Fitting Rooms)

How intimately familiar are you with your customer’s journey? Do you know what brings your customer into your store? Do you know what happens while she’s in your store to make or break her decision to buy from you? What about after she leaves – what can you do to help ensure she doesn’t return her purchase?

An analysis of your customer’s journey can leave you with valuable insights into areas of weakness/opportunity.

At Alert Tech, we work closely with our clients to create a more satisfactory customer journey, ultimately boosting sales.

Let’s take a closer look at the average customer journey for an in-store purchase.

Stage 1: Awareness

Before a person steps foot in your store, she may be actively looking for specific clothing, or she may run across something that she wants. Her inspiration will come from a variety of sources:

  • window shopping
  • internet searches & websites
  • Pinterest boards
  • blogs
  • magazines
  • recommendations from friends
  • etc

The awareness phase is where your customer envisions herself in your clothes. She starts to visualize what she’ll look like, think about where she’ll wear them, and decide if they’re worth the trip to your store.

She may decide to make a purchase online, but since this is an average journey, and since most customers still prefer to purchase clothing in person, let’s assume your customer decides to visit your store.

Stage 2: Discovery

Once the customer is in your store, she is able to interact with your store and your associates to discover if there are any clothes that match what she’s looking for in terms of:

  • style/color
  • fit
  • price
  • experience

At this point, your inventory is set and there is little you can do to adjust style, fit, or price. However, the experience in your store and with your associates will still have a major impact on her decision to purchase (or not).

There are many factors that influence her experience here:

  • How are your clothes displayed?
  • Can she easily find what she’s looking for, either by glancing at displays or interacting with an associate?
  • How long will she have to wait for assistance on the sales floor?
  • Is she encouraged to try on items of interest?
  • Do associates offer helpful upsells or cross-sells?
  • How long will she have to wait for a fitting room?
  • Is it easy for her to try additional items on once she’s in the fitting room?
  • How long will she have to wait for assistance in the fitting room?
  • etc

Stage 3: Purchase

Overall, we find that the moment of truth – the time she makes a decision about her purchase – is the Try-On.

“No buying decision is final until the Try-On is complete.”

If she likes what she sees in the fitting room, your customer will take the next natural step – buying the clothes she just tried on.

Stage 4: Use

Returns are of course a big concern, which makes this stage as worthy of attention as the first three. Your customer must wear the items she purchased from your store to prevent her from having regret when she returns home.

If she tried on the clothes before purchase, the likelihood that she will later return the items significantly decreases.

Where Can You More Fully Support Your Customer’s Journey?

For most retailers, we find the fitting room is the area of largest opportunity. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. the fitting room has an influence in almost every stage of the customer’s journey,
  2. the fitting room is of particular importance as the customer is deciding whether or not to make a purchase, and
  3. retailers are often paying little attention to the fitting room experience.

How effectively are your fitting rooms nurturing your customers through each stage of the customer journey?

  • Awareness: Although the customer has not tried on the clothes yet, she’s already visualizing what she’ll look like in them and how they’ll feel.
  • Discovery: Your customer is touching, feeling, and trying on your clothes. She is comparing what she sees and feels to what she had visualized .
  • Purchase: If your customer had a good experience trying on items, she’s more likely to make a purchase.
  • Use: Once the customer gets home, she has to continue to feel good about the clothes she’s bought. If she didn’t try before she purchased, she is much more likely to make a return.

Managing the way your fitting rooms operate can have a dramatic impact on the discovery, purchase and use stages of the customer journey.

Customer Service Benchmarks

To understand how well you’re doing at supporting your customer in her shopping journey, take a look at your customer service benchmarks.

For instance, when we analyze fitting room performance, at a minimum we look at the following:

  • How much time is a person having to wait to get into the fitting room?
  • How much time is a person spending in the fitting room?
  • How often is a person interacting with your sales team?
  • How long does a person have to wait for help from a sales team member?

You can compare these fitting room benchmarks to industry standards, and from there decide on the next best steps for your business.

Don’t Know Your Benchmarks?

Not sure where you stand? We can help you analyze your fitting room benchmarks with an Alert Tech fitting room pilot program.

The first step we take is finding these vital benchmarks so that we can implement solutions to any red flags.

The overall goals are to improve the customer’s journey from start to finish, and to increase sales.