Digital technology is making it easier for today’s shoppers to test the wares—and retailers are getting smarter about where to invest to improve the customer experience.
In the fitting room
The fitting room can be a source of frustration and anxiety for shoppers. Some retailers are responding by making improvements such as adding new lighting and rethinking room design. Leading-edge retailers are truly renovating the fitting room by infusing technology in the experience. Connected fitting rooms combine digital, cloud and analytics capabilities to deliver highly engaging experiences that tap into customer preferences.
Picture this: Sabrina enters a connected fitting room to try on a pair of jeans and a blouse. An RFID reader automatically recognizes the items’ tags and displays the garments on a touchscreen on the wall in the fitting room. Using the touchscreen, Sabrina submits a request to try the jeans in a different size and the blouse in a different color. Her request is sent to the smartphone of a store associate, who brings the requested items to Sabrina within minutes. While she’s waiting, the touchscreen displays accessories and other items for Sabrina to consider. She tags a few of these choices indicating that she would like to buy them. Ultimately, Sabrina walks out with the jeans, four blouses, a necklace and a bracelet—considerably more than what she had initially planned to buy.
Meanwhile, the digital system is collecting analytics on Sabrina’s experience, such as the length of time in the fitting room, purchase details, associate response times and more. The store manager accesses these analytic insights and is able to make more informed merchandising decisions.
On the showroom floor
In addition to the fitting room, connected technology is hitting the store floor. Lowe’s is enhancing its customer experience through the Lowe’s Holoroom. Customers can bring their home improvement ideas to life in a virtual room that uses 3-D modeling to show how products would fit and function in the user’s home. Shoppers can enter their home’s dimensions and even move around products—like sinks and tubs—until they are satisfied. Users can take a printout home from the store, or upload their 3-D layout with an iOS or Android app.1
Connected fitting rooms and stores bring the best of the online and in-store experience to seamless shoppers. What’s more, retailers get valuable business intelligence that tells them exactly what worked—and didn’t work—for their customers, so they can work on delivering a better fit the next time.
1Howland, Daphne; Retail Dive; “Lowe's brings 'holoroom' to select stores;” June 12, 2014.