Retailers are overlooking a quintessential focal point in the path to purchase, and underutilising a pool of untapped data on offer. According to new research by Indyme, a customer engagement and loss prevention specialist, consumers who use the fitting room are three times more likely to purchase than those who don’t.
As such a crucial location in the path to purchase, it is surprising that retailers are not taking advantage of the rich data stream that fitting rooms can provide. By installing a fitting room management system, retailers can now detect presence in the fitting room, allow customers to request assistance, log theft events, calculate store traffic conversion to fitting room utilisation as well as the time spent in the fitting room and much, much more.
Bricks and mortar stores offer consumers the ability to ‘experience’ products before they buy – a key differentiator with the growth of online shoppers. With 82% of shoppers preferring to try clothes on before making a purchasing decision, implementing policies and training that drives consumers to the fitting room significantly increases the probability of a purchase. In addition, the ability to measure traffic conversion to the fitting room enables retailers to measure the effectiveness of these policies.
Armed with this rich data stream, and by analysing and making sense of it, retailers can achieve greater awareness of occupancy, improve inspection compliance as well as transform the experience for the consumer through more timely engagement.
For example, retailers who know when a fitting room is in use can ensure store personnel are readily available to assist the customer. With nearly half of all consumers unwilling to wait at a locked fitting room, enabling shoppers to request assistance ensures customers have access to the fitting room when they want to try merchandise on, helps to secure two of the golden aims of a retailer; extending customer’s time in store and increasing sales opportunities.
Even when fitting rooms are open and accessible, time-pressed consumers increasingly require assistance with over 40 percent stating that they would request help from shop assistants when using a fitting room, to change the size or colour of an item. By understanding the frequency in which fitting rooms are used, retailers can not only plan staffing schedules more effectively but accommodate increased fitting room traffic by ensuring that assistance is always available.
Occupancy data can also be used a powerful tool to aid loss prevention activities in store by monitoring unusual consumer activity, for example, the time spent in a fitting room. In addition, prompt fitting room inspections when a fitting room is empty encourages the rapid detection of removed tags, increases the opportunity for security personnel to identify suspects in store and promotes tidy, shopper-friendly facilities.
Joe Budano, CEO of Indyme, said: “It is clear to see that fitting rooms are one, if not the most important location for sales conversions in the customer’s path to purchase. Retailers can take advantage of this widely untapped resource by acting more proactively than reactively. By instrumenting the fitting room, retailers can for the first time, better leverage their staff and monitor this essential location in store resulting in increased conversion and more satisfied customers.
“We’ve already seen a significant increase in the use of retail technology to provide the sector with greater awareness for consumer demands and reactions in store. Given that the fitting room is where a large proportion of consumers make their purchasing decisions, retailers must ensure that consumers have a positive fitting room experience. Real time, accurate data provides retailers with a rich data stream that can be used to foster positive in-store customer engagement strategies and give the fitting room the attention it so rightly deserves.”
Indyme has worked closely with apparel retailers to create its new SmartFit fitting room management system. This enables retailers to link fitting room activity with traffic data to help retailers understand and improve utilisation, resulting in increased conversion and sales. Armed with this data, retailers can make intelligent policy decisions including whether to lock or unlock fitting rooms and even alert security or in-store personnel on unusual dwell activity. In addition, it enables customers to request different sizes or colours from within the fitting room which drives positive satisfaction scores and increased unit purchases and average ticket values.