The Connected Fitting Room
Retailers rely heavily on online shopping. This has many advantages to in-store shopping for both the customer and the retailer. Online shopping doesn’t allow for spontaneous purchases. But it also doesn’t permit the customer to try on a garment. Seeing how a color looks against your skin or how an item fits on your body is imperative in deciding whether or not to keep an item, and this is only possible through actually going into a fitting room.
Surprisingly, despite the significance of the fitting room in making a purchase, retailers have done little to improve the fitting room experience. With these opportunities in mind, the Connected Fitting Room was born.
The Connected Fitting Room uses RFID tags to register the items a customer brings into a fitting room, making note of the items, the specific colors, and the size. This information is displayed on a touch screen in the dressing room, and if a customer desires a different size or color, they can simply click on the changes on the screen. The system has a real time registry of the store’s inventory, and will show you all options available. Sales associates will receive a notification and can bring the additional items straight to the fitting room. In addition, the touch screen can suggest complementary or similar items, which can also be requested for retrieval. Also helpful, if you see something you like that you can’t purchase that same day, you can log into your on-line account and save the item to your wish list.
As amazing as all this sounds to shoppers, it has advantages for retailers as well. Seeing what items customers bring into the fitting room, and whether or not they purchase those items, and the suggested complementary items, can aid in deciding what items to display and keep in stock.
Created by Accenture, Microsoft, and Avanade, the Connected Fitting Room is currently in use at the department store Kohl’s, which has locations all throughout the US. In addition, talks are in process that would bring the technology to retailers in the UK as well.