Fitting Room Optimization Can Be a Quick Fix for Stores with Stagnant Sales

A retailer can mail out flyers, pay for ads on Google and Facebook, and have the best fashions available in store for their customers. If you have a cramped, poorly lit, and ill-planned fitting room, there is no question that you are missing out on valuable revenue.

Your fitting room is a major player in whether a customer decides to make a purchase or leaves empty handed. Not only are the aesthetics of the room important, but the level of service a customer receives while in it is just as critical.

Create the Best Fitting Room Possible

Your fitting room should be all of the following:

  • Neat
  • Inviting
  • Comfortable
  • Attractive
  • Branded

Meeting these requirements doesn’t need to be difficult, and how one retailer will answer these issues will differ from the next. Either way, the basics simply must be covered—the room should be large enough for the customer, their belongings, and potential purchases. There should be enough hooks or shelves for items to be hung or placed on, and one or more mirrors must be provided (self-conscious shoppers do not want to meander outside of their room).

Additionally, there should be seating available in the room, and the lighting should be carefully considered. With the right lighting placed on both sides of a mirror, you will increase the chances of your customer heading to the till with at least one product in hand.

Give Customers the Ability to Request Service at Their Convenience

The typical customer is not going to holler from the fitting room to request a new size, style, or color of product. Instead, they might carefully redress themselves to exit the room and find a replacement product themselves; or, the more likely option, they walk out because they didn’t like the product they tried on.

Customers know that they have many different options when it comes to finding the “right shirt,” the “right dress,” or “right pair of jeans.” Retailers must make sure that they are the ones who have the “right product” (because there is a good chance that you do), and that can only be done by improving customer-associate communications.

Technology is the best way to keep your customers and associates in touch with one another today, no matter where each other may be in your store. Customers can “request” help from an associate through the tap of a fitting room call button, or they can use a smartphone or tablet so that an associate can zip in and help the customer discover the perfect product for themselves. As long as help is available, a customer will stay in your store until he or she finds the “right” item.

Gather Analytical Intel on your Fitting Room

Imagine if you could delve into the minds of your customers and find out exactly what they did and didn’t like about your fitting room. Think about how easy it would be to improve the fitting room experience if you could just figure out how well your fitting rooms are performing in the first place.

As you have likely guessed, the answer to uncovering this information is technology. Technological retail solutions are able to inform retailers how well they are converting visitors with their fitting rooms and provide invaluable insights that will allow them to retain employees and make improvements.

If you’ve noticed a drop in conversions or your conversions have stagnated, you may need to take a good, hard look at your fitting rooms. The best way to do this is through technology that will deliver accurate, up-to-the-minute unbiased information on everything you need to know to make changes and drive sales.

How Much Time Do Your Customers Spend in the Fitting Room? (& Why Should You Care?)

Wouldn’t it be great if your associates could take a peek into your fitting rooms?

The try-on is crucial to the buying decision, which is one reason fitting rooms are so important to retailers’ financial health. If associates could – at a glance – see which customers need service, they could provide support when most needed in the purchase process.

And yet, for obvious customer privacy reasons, there is usually no visibility in this area of the store (although call buttons can be pretty useful in providing customer service when necessary).

Fortunately, you can gather a number of critical data points without stirring up a privacy lawsuit. For starters, you can examine statistics, such as the average length of a fitting room visit.

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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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Boost Sales with These Amazing Fitting Room Insights

As every major retailer knows, there are significant performance variations between locations. What few are able to explain, however, is exactly what factors explain the differences between low and high performing stores, and what levers they should be able to pull to increase store performance.

If you want to boost sales and delight customers, start by focusing on the basics. The following fitting room key performance indicators (KPIs) will shed light on those performance levers.

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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 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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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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