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Why is the Fitting Room so Important in Retail Analytics?

Relatively speaking, the fitting room is one of the smallest areas of any retail store. These unobtrusive rooms are often tucked away in the back, and as a retailer, you could easily forget all about them. That is, until you understand the importance of this small-but-mighty area of the store.

For example, did you know that fitting rooms are key to increased sales and decreased returns? Let’s look at why the fitting room is crucial to retail performance.

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How Retail Associates Can Focus on Metrics and Win Big

How motivated and engaged are your associates? If a customer walks into a random store, what are the chances they will receive excellent customer service? Will they walk away having had a positive personal experience with your brand?

How do you begin to benchmark the quality of service, and what can you do to improve?

If you identify and focus on improving customer service metrics, you’ll improve not just your revenues, but the motivation and satisfaction of your associates. Here’s how both you and your store staff can win big.

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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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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.
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How does the fitting room look in the ‘store of the future’?

A question that many different retail shop owners are asking these days (and indeed, a common question among shoppers themselves) is what the “store of the future” will resemble. Will brick and mortar stores even continue to exist? Will the entire shopping scene shift to online-based operations and purchases? Or will the “store of the future” be a hybrid between the traditional brick and mortar store setup and the more modern shopping experience offered by Amazon and other online retailers?

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How to Beat Your Annual Sales Goals with Fitting Room Technology

It was the start of the holiday shopping season. The music had switched to Christmas carols, Santa was setting up shop in the center court, and parties were being planned for the first snowfall in the mall.

This was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for Joe, a manager at a large retail store, it was far from delightful.

Sales for the year were miserable. He was going to close out the year down 9% from last year, which for him was unacceptable. His boss was upset, of course, but even worse was that he had just found out that his friend Shannon across the mall was having the opposite experience in her store. They’d always been friendly rivals, but he usually ended up having a better year than her.

What was she doing differently?

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How One Facebook Post Destroyed a Retailer’s Reputation

Ugh! Worst shopping experience ever!

The post stopped Samantha in her tracks. She and Kelly (her friend who posted the mini-rant on Facebook) were shopping buddies. For Kelly to have the “worst” experience while shopping was rare – especially when shopping for her favorite thing – clothes! This complaint wasn’t going to do much for this retail store’s reputation!

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Can’t Find Your Size? RFID Technology to the Rescue

The streets are littered with the ideas of those who thought they had developed the “next big thing” in retail technology. Consider the key lessons learned from the first forays into Mobile POS devices. While the first iterations of this new technology weren’t an immediate success, the intentions behind it are sound, and the next generation is sure to be invaluable.

Without these constant efforts to improve and innovate in retail technology, we wouldn’t have new tools to surprise and delight customers, while improving store management processes. Look at radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking, for example. With RFID tags, retailers can not only confirm that an item is in-stock, but they can also pinpoint exactly where it is located in the store.

How do these technological enhancements affect customers? With each new development that increases efficiency or lowers overall costs, customers benefit from an improved shopping experience.

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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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How Smart Mirror Technology Increases Smiles and Sales

This post has been edited since it originally appeared on VMSD.com

As online retailers continue to grow, brick and mortar clothing stores have been struggling to find ways to remain competitive against juggernauts like Amazon and eBay. These massive online retailers have access to seemingly limitless inventories of styles and colors that customers can browse at the click of a button. And, they don’t have to worry about some of the same costs such as staffing and theft. So how are top tier retail clothing stores supposed to entice shoppers to visit their stores and get the sales they need to stay in – and grow – their businesses?

The newest advance set to help reframe the retail experience is called the smart mirror.

While there are several competing models being tested across the country, a standard smart mirror functions as a combination of a mirror and video camera. The smart mirror will snap a video of a customer in an outfit and then display it as they try on different combinations letting them quickly compare looks. This lets customers decide which outfit they like best, and some smart mirrors can even let customers see how they would look in a different outfit without ever undressing.
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