In today’s digital age, consumers have access to a variety of browsing and purchasing options. There have been several recent in-store technological advancements that have led to a more engaging customer experience. While online shopping offers a quick convenient checkout, retail stores still have an ace up their sleeve: the tangible experience specifically, fitting rooms. The ability to try on clothes is still an appealing draw for many shoppers – and retailers are taking this luxury one step further.
Macy’s “Chutes” for a Better Customer Experience
Imagine a fitting room that utilizes digital technology to help you find your favorite styles. Recently, Macy’s launched a pilot program that allowed shoppers to scan their favorite items via their mobile device while shopping in order to have the items ready and waiting for them in a fitting room when they were ready to try them on. Fitting rooms are also equipped with tablets, where the shopper can request additional items or exchange sizes, using the chute to return or receive items without leaving the dressing room.
Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus Are Getting “Smarter”
Many retailers are experimenting with the possibilities of in-store touch screen technology. Smart Mirrors are a new technology concept that embraces virtual dressing rooms, style profiles as well as a manufacturer-specific variety of additional functions.
Several upscale retailers have adopted this technology, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Nordstrom’s smart mirror pilot designed by Ebay features functions to browse products while in store, including sizes and colors, with the ability to send outfits to fitting rooms. Once the shopper is in the fitting room, he or she can control the lighting in the room using a function on the digital touchscreen to create a different “environment”.
Neiman Marcus’s pilot testing of their smart mirror by MemoMi includes a 7-second video feature which allows the shopper to record themselves wearing a garment and compare it side-by-side to another garment. "When I saw the technology for the first time, it was love at first sight," says Scott Emmons, an enterprise architect at Neiman Marcus and leader of their innovation lab. "I knew this was an experience our customers would love."
What’s Next for Retail?
As technology continues to evolve, retailers will be able to gain additional insight into the customer experience and therefore provide even higher levels of service. We plan to stay up-to-date on this changing landscape and will keep you informed on the latest happenings in the retail world.