Smart fitting rooms starting to provide data to retailers
With all the changes that are happening around us, there is still one element that is exactly the same today as it was 100 years ago – the clothing department store fitting room.
We gather several items from around the store and head to a small cubical in which there are large mirrors and overpowering lights where you try on the items to see which one looks best on you. The same ritual has been followed for years and is the same around the world.
This s a missed opportunity.
Retailers are suffering at the hands of online stores which are able to offer customers more competitive pricing as they don’t have the same running expenses of bricks and mortar stores. Therefore, one of the biggest advantages that a store has is having the customer physically there which is the opportune time to enhance the shopping experience.
Some retailers are stating to experiment with new technology.
Nordstrom stores in Seattle and in San José, are installing full length mirror in their fitting rooms which are in fact interactive screens. These are powered by eBay which developed the tech for fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff‘s two boutiques stores. The fitting rooms are equipped with RDIF scanners which detect the exact garments that are in the room. Customers who enter the fitting room are able to request the garment to be changed to different size or color and check if other items are in stock in the store:
In Hong Kong, suit tailors are using a new body scanner to measure customers in seconds. These measurements are use to make up specific suits that are individualised to their customer’s measurements:
Big Data is Big Bucks
These kind of technology integrations are the future however convincing current management that they need to invest in this technology today is not a simple task.
The secret sauce to online retail is that they are able to measure and monitor every detail. From the time the customer logs in to the items they browse, items they search for and what they purchase. They are able to mine that data and cater their marketing accordingly.
In retail stores, this is different.
Retailers want to be able to mine this type of information however unless their customers have store loyalty cards this is problematic. By installing new technology such as the smart fitting room, this data can become available.
This is where the real world and online world converge enhancing our shopping experience.
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* Headline image from Shutterstock.com