STORES Magazine - April 2015 - (Page 20)

n TECHNOLOGY SELLING SATISFACTION Fitting rooms are retail's latest technological playground W e've all been there: An item of clothing catches our eye in a store. We rush to a dressing room to see how it looks on, but once there, under the harsh fluorescent lighting ... let's just say it looked better on the hanger. So we leave, thinking perhaps the money would be better spent on spin classes than jeans. While that particular shade of off-white paint continues to hang on in a few dressing rooms, retailers understand the importance of the fitting room in closing the sale. The numbers back it up, according to a new book called Fit Happens: Analog Buying in a Digital World: More than two-thirds of shoppers who use fitting rooms are likely to buy something; those who use fitting rooms are twice as likely to make a purchase as those who just browse. "The fitting room is extremely important, to shoppers and retailers alike," says Deborah Weinswig, executive director and head of global retail research and intelligence with the Fung 20 by SANDY SMITH STORES April 2015 Business Intelligence Centre. "Think about it this way: A customer decides to shop in your store, moves through the first several gateways in the shopping experience and finally commits to an item she wants to try on. "Getting her into the fitting room is the first major accomplishment. Getting her to buy is the ultimate goal," she says. "How that piece of clothing makes the customer look and feel at that moment in the dressing room is critical for both the sale and the creation of a loyal customer. The fitting room is where the magic happens." "Design-wise, the fitting room should be an extension of the sales floor," says Marge Laney, author of Fit Happens and CEO of Alert Tech. "Sometimes there's such a disconnect between that environment and the sales floor that the enthusiasm is lost and the positive buying experience is gone." Technology is certainly finding its way into the dressing room as a means to enhance service. "We don't see physical retail going away," says Healey Cypher, head of eBay Enterprise's retail innovation group. "We see it changing - perhaps fundamentally - over the coming years." At eBay Enterprise, "We look at a physical store similar to an online session," he says. In the same way e-retailers study drop-off points and how visitors navigate to and around their websites, "we think of the physical stores as identical. When you cross the threshold of that store, your retail session has begun. If there's too much friction, people don't buy." Case in point: 65 percent of shoppers won't ask for help if they can't find their size in a desired item. "That's just leaving money on the table," Cypher says. Similarly, if the checkout line is too long, they'll leave. "But if someone goes into a dressing room, there is a two-thirds chance they'll convert to a purchase. We tried to think about the fitting room critically and make that friction invisible." NRF.COM/STORES http://www.NRF.COM/STORES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2015

A Most Complex Game
It's All Connected
Retail People
Selling Satisfaction
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
Business Operations
Online Fraud

STORES Magazine - April 2015