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Amazon Brings the Fitting Room to You

To date, Amazon has struggled to successfully break into the apparel industry. However, “Prime Wardrobe,” may be a major game changer for the company and its competitors as it brings the fitting room to you.

The service allows Amazon Prime members to load up a box with three or more apparel items from the website. They are then shipped to the customer who can try them on and keep the items for seven days. Whatever they decide to keep they will receive up to a 20 percent discount on. The items they don’t want can be placed back in the box and picked up from their location for free.

Retailers Feel Threatened—But Should They?

This latest service has put retailers (both online and in store) on notice. Industry experts have said that for traditional brick and mortar retailers, the only place they could truly differentiate themselves was in the fitting room. With consumers potentially no longer needing to go to the store, wait in line, and step into a fitting room, Prime Wardrobe could be a major threat to retailers.

However, despite being incredibly convenient, the service is not a complete replacement of a fitting room. Unlike other similar services like Stitch Fix, Amazon does not have a stylist available to curate clothes from its massive online selection, which can be difficult to navigate and make the apparel shopping process overwhelming for some. Many consumers also prefer to try items on in a well set-up fitting room which allows them to see themselves in a piece of clothing from multiple angles and in ideal lighting.

Additionally, while free two-day shipping is fast and convenient given traditional lead-times, it still won’t satisfy the occasional need to purchase something same day. While some consumers might plan out apparel shopping for future events, almost everyone is caught with the occasional “Oh shoot, I forgot, I need ____ for this weekend!” and the Prime Wardrobe service just can’t meet the timeline most of those situations operate on.

Create the Perfect Retail Experience Through the Fitting Room

Mirrors and lighting are only part of creating the best retail experience for customers. With solutions like Alert Tech’s platform, brick and mortar stores can transform their sales associates into knowledgeable personal stylists.fitting room

Improved customer service moves from the front of the store all the way back to the fitting room where customers can call an attendant without having to shout or wait. In-store alerts and occupancy sensors also provide retailers with in-depth insight about store patterns and trends so that they can further enhance the retail experience.

Finding a Place in Traditional Retail

Traditional retail is not dead, but thriving in this changing ecosystem means retailers must use digital, physical, and complimentary service offerings to differentiate themselves from the pack. This is especially true when it comes to the in-person customer service experience.

To learn more about how Alert Tech helps retailers improve the customer experience and increase sales, visit http://alerttech.net/solutions.

Heads Up on Your In-Store Mobile Retail App

There is plenty to think about while you’re planning your brands in-store mobile retail app. If you’re like most retailers you have leadership that is pushing an IT team to move quickly to keep up with the competition.

I’ll take it a step further and let you know that I have been at the table with more than 10 retailers, all of them have answered the “What is your in-store mobile strategy?” question with varying degrees of “We’re struggling with it and we know we’re behind the industry.”

The overall tone of most retailers on the topic of mobile retail app and tablet strategies is exasperation.

Good news: You’re probably exasperated because you think you’re behind the curve; but you’re not.

So we will break ranks with the dozen or so companies that are spending a lot of money to tell you you’re behind the times on all the bright and shiny objects to do what we do best – Take it step by step and keep it in focus. Or as we like to call it: Crawl, Walk, Run.Step by Step

Regardless of Use Location Keep the Mission Top of Mind

If the mission for your in-store mobile retail app is to sell more clothes, make sure that the devices speak to that in every way. Easy to hold, easy to put down. Not interfering with the person to person touch that is going on between associates and clients.

If the mission is to distribute and implement floor sets with mobile planograms, do the same kind of thinking about the way the device is going to be used in the store. I have seen these initiatives struggle for want of a good iPad case with a kickstand!

Tablet Care is a Mission All Its Own

They are going to need their batteries charged. They need to be wiped down.  Store them in the managers office or some other accountability point. Don’t use consumer products for these tasks.

Check out some of the awesome charging modules that are out there and make sure it’s capable of containing the mess that can accompany the devices in the busy and cramped back of store.

If You’re In-Store, You’re Head’s Up

If you’re the associate and you’re spending time looking at a device, there is a trade taking place. The trade is between time spent looking down and all that could be missed and what they are getting back from that screen. If the information is properly presented and very role specific, it shouldn’t take much of that head down time.

There is a tipping point, even if there is good info coming from the device, too much is too much. Don’t overthink it. If it feels wrong it is. In-store retail is about person to person interactions. If the device enhances that connection, you’re in great shape. If it diminishes it you need to rethink your strategy.

Associate Taps Count

As previously stated, there is a huge bonus for mobile retail apps that are role specific. This is going to allow your associates to “live” in the place that is most directly going to benefit them. As we created our Room Valet iOS app we made sure that the associate who was running the fitting room had what they needed in one screen. Changing screens isn’t a good game plan.

Who Goes Into the Managers Office?

The easy answer is your manager, but we’re going to hope that it’s for an ever-narrowing list of tasks. The manager is going to be the powerhouse when they can grab useful reports and YOY data on the fly and coach to the game that is unfolding in front of them.Analytics

Keep the useful information real-time and concise. Equip the manager with the proper tools for important insights so they can effectively manage their team. If it looks like it may have come off a fax machine, you’re doing it wrong.

Find Out More About Our Room Valet Fitting Room Solution and iOS app here.

 

How to Collect Data with Fitting Room Technology

At Alert Tech, we get a number of frequently asked questions about our fitting room technology. Two of the most common questions are:

  1. What is your system used for?
  2. How can it make my retail store more effective at providing a stellar customer experience?

I’ll break down the answer to the first question into the main hardware components:

  • fitting room occupancy sensors give retailers insight into an area where you can’t install cameras
  • call buttons allow shoppers to request sales assistance when they are already in the fitting room (Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. You can read more about what kinds of customers use call buttons and why fitting room call buttons boost sales.)
  • most retailers use iOS devices to control the fitting room situation (for instance, our app can be used to reserve fitting rooms, add customer names, and store important item information)

However, our fitting room technology provides more than just a means for better customer service. Our system also collects data that can be helpful to retailers. What types of data can our system record, and how can your store benefit from it? Read on to learn more.

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How Retail Store Technology Attracted New Talent

Another day, another dollar, Shelby thought as she clocked out for lunch.

This job was starting to wear on her. She always thought retail would be so much fun! She loved shopping. She loved fashion. So why wasn’t her work helping shoppers on the sales floor and in the fitting room more exciting?
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How to Let Your Customers Keep Shopping While Waiting in Line

Even though your customers may be excited to try on a few pieces of clothing at your retail store, they will not hesitate to put their selected items back on the rack and head for the exit without making a purchase if your fitting room lines are too long.

It’s not always easy for retail companies to implement innovative technology into their customer service strategy, but in today’s world technology is being used by businesses of all types to improve the client experience, and with great results.

If you want to prevent your customers from leaving your store unhappy, you need to make it possible for them to browse the store while they wait for a fitting room to become available.

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Why You Need to Know if that Fitting Room is Occupied

There are many devices used in the world today that you don’t appreciate until you do without. Take occupancy lights, for example. Anybody who has ever used a public restroom understands that it’s difficult to know what’s going on behind a closed door. Peeking under doors or knocking feels a bit creepy, but nobody likes waiting unnecessarily.

Who knew such a complex social situation could be solved by something as simple as a lightbulb that’s triggered by the locking of a door?

In fact, retailers should give some serious consideration to the idea of occupancy indicators for fitting rooms. It’s crucial to know if a fitting room is occupied, and here are a few reasons why.

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The Best Technologies to Use in the Fitting Room

When you think of fitting room technology, does Rebecca Minkoff come to mind?

This stylist has partnered with eBay to put together one of the most jaw-dropping fitting room experiences. The rooms are complete with personalized kinetic sensors and tracking systems to get to know customers on a deeper level.

For most retailers, the idea of adding technology to a fitting room feels far-fetched. This is where most retailers are sorely mistaken.

Technology isn’t something to be afraid of in retail. It’s something to embrace.

Many retailers worry about adding technology because of the cost or extravagance. Still, some of the best technologies to use in a fitting room are simple and highly effective. They drive sales and improve customer’s experiences.

The first step, is knowing what you need and what makes the most sense for your brand.

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Will Customer Satisfaction Increase Significantly From Installing Call Buttons?

It’s good to be skeptical when reading about sales technology on the internet. For example, you may be wondering if there is any way to know if the push of a call button can affect sales. You may also wonder how we can measure the relationship between the presence of fitting room call buttons and increased sales.

As it turns out, there are many ways to measure the effectiveness of call buttons on the bottom line. Some are pretty sophisticated and require an upfront investment, but we’ll get to those in a little while. First, let’s have a look at ways to measure the “quick wins” that can come with the addition of this relatively straightforward technology to fitting rooms.

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Want More Sales? Don’t Forget About Dads!

For too long, fathers have been represented in the media as the bumbling guy who waits outside the fitting room. He holds mom’s purse while she gets down to the important business caring for the family, handling all of the back to school shopping for the kids and leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

It’s a metaphor that has seen dads portrayed as the butt of many jokes, but is it true?

When it comes to shopping, are fathers firmly planted in the passenger’s seat?

If you don’t think so, the latest research on the shopping habits of fathers from Young & Rubicam (Y&R) may surprise you.

While advertisers and retailers have been busy falling over themselves trying to entice moms, dads have been big spenders all along.

Whoops!

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Fit Happens – Free Chapter Filled With Fitting Room Data & Optimization Tips

fitting room data

Shopping may be digital, but the decision to buy is still an analog process requiring the customer to try-on before deciding to buy.

Marge Laney, CEO of Alert Tech, steps out of the boardrooms of Big Retail to talk truth about the places we take it all off.

Fit Happens illuminates the most important square footage in the store, and provides practical solutions that will transform every fitting room into the most productive square footage of every retail store.