retail industry benchmarks for fitting rooms

5 Most Important Retail Industry Benchmarks for Fitting Rooms

In the retail apparel industry, there are few things more crucial to the success of your business than the fitting room. You can do all the marketing and paid advertising you want, but if your customers don’t connect with your products and associates enough to try on your clothes, you’re in serious trouble.

To get an idea of how important the fitting room is, just consider the data we’ve collected:

  • Shoppers who use fitting rooms are almost 7 TIMES more likely to buy products compared to those who simply browse the sales floor.
  • Shoppers who enter the fitting room on a regular basis are TWICE as likely to buy products from that store.
  • Shoppers who receive service in the fitting room are THREE TIMES as likely to buy products from that store.
  • If a customer does not visit the fitting room, it doubles the likelihood of that customer returning part of their purchase to the store.

Because fitting rooms are so important in the apparel business, they are worth paying attention to. They must become a part of your analytics, as much as door traffic and daily sales.

Specifically, you should be measuring these five industry benchmarks.

“What gets measured, gets managed.” -Peter Drucker

These metrics will help you better understand how your company stacks up, as well as what you can do to improve your fitting rooms. 

Retail Industry Benchmark #1: Average Time in Fitting Room 

The industry average for amount of time spent in fitting rooms is 5 minutes and 45 seconds.

Armed with that number and an accurate count of the numbers of customers that come into your store, you can estimate how many rooms you will need and the level of staffing required to ensure minimal wait times.

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When you also track how long customers are using your fitting rooms, you can gauge the level of customer experience. You should take a close look at the fitting room experience if your average times deviate much. If your times fall far above the average you need to look at potential issues with customer engagement. If they fall far below, you need to ensure that the dressing room environment is pleasant. 

Retail Industry Benchmark #2: Conversion of Door Traffic to the Fitting Room

Getting potential customers to visit your store is extremely important, but guiding those potential buyers into the fitting rooms is even more crucial to the success of your business.

If you want to make improvements in your business, you must begin by determining the percentage of shoppers that actually make it to the fitting room. Knowing and understanding this data will help your management team determine what aspects of customer service and store organization need to be improved. Since the fitting room is where shoppers become customers, learning what leads them there is critical.

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Though the retail industry average for door traffic to the fitting room is 25%, we’ve found a wide variance between individual retailers. We’ve also found that companies who included this metric on their store report cards saw a significant improvement in their conversion rate, because the entire staff becomes accountable for attracting more customers to the fitting room.

Retail Industry Benchmark #3: Fitting Room Line Walkoff Rate

If the line to each one of your fitting rooms extends out the door and into the parking lot, there is a great chance most of your customers will give up or never return again.

That is of course an extreme example, but to give you an idea of just how impatient people are, consider the following industry averages for fitting room line walk-off rates:

  • When the line consists of 1-4 people, 3.6% of people will walk away from the line
  • When the line consists of 5-9 people, 8.4% of people will walk away from the line
  • When the line consists of 10 or more people, 19% of people will walk away from the line

fitting room line walkoff rate

If you find that your fitting room lines are frequently long, you need to do something about it. Fitting room queues are just as important—if not more so—than the checkout lines. Shoppers make their purchase decision in the fitting room, so you should always be mindful of the length of those lines.

Retail Industry Benchmark #4: Conversion from Fitting Room to Register

One of the most important metrics to measure as a retail apparel company is how many customers make a purchase at the register after visiting the fitting room. Of course, this can’t be done without a tracking system in place.

Of the companies we looked at, the average conversion rate of customers who bought an item after visiting the fitting room was 67%. If your company wants to collect this specific data you must invest in RFID tagging or have employees capture the data manually.

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Retail Industry Benchmark #5: Peak Fitting Room Utilization

Your fitting rooms will never be 100% occupied, but knowing the ideal utilization level will help you optimize staffing so that associates have enough time to clean fitting rooms of unwanted items and help all customers with their requests.

When your company enjoys optimal fitting room usage your queue length and walk-off line rates will also improve, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and sales.

Industry-wide, the average peak fitting room utilization comes in at 70%. Keep in mind that this metric shows wide variance, ranging from 50-80% across retailers.

peak fitting room use

Some factors that influence peak utilization include:

  • the arrangement of fitting rooms
  • locked vs. unlocked doors, the number of fitting rooms
  • LP policies
  • store associate training
  • management priority
  • fitting room staffing
  • associate compensation model
  • use of fitting room technology

With Alert Tech call button technology, your peak utilization is expected to increase well above baseline. For our average client who started with 70% peak fitting room utilization, we find we can increase that utilization to 89%.

What’s Next? 

If you’d like to learn how your company can use retail analytics to improve customer satisfaction, enlighten employees, and generate more sales, be sure to download the eBook below.

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

    I have seining virtual trail room startups coming to market, will those help in increasing the sales ?

    • Hi Varun,

      While I think these technologies help take care of some online customers that have uncertainty around their general fit, this will never replace the try on. I don’t use the term “Never” lightly. At the end of the day, the customer doesn’t transition past the threshold of a potential return for fit/style until that garment is tried on. Whether that try on moves from the fitting room, to a mirror, to the customers house, it is still required. Until we’re dressing avatars or we have garments that auto-scale universally- the try on is the last step in apparel conversion (even after transaction now!)