Dressing rooms are an important, but often neglected part of the customer journey. Shoppers frequently make their purchase decisions in poorly lit rooms, sometimes without a mirror. And if they need another clothing size, they have to flag down a sales associate. But like other areas in retail, dressing rooms are getting a makeover. At the National Retail Federation's Big Show this week, tech vendors showed off interactive mirrors that remember the clothing you've tried on and make suggestions, among other services. EBay provided demos of the dressing room that it built for fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff.
These dressing rooms include mirrors/touch screens that allow customers to adjust the lighting and through a tracking system, can identify the customer and make clothing suggestions. The system also remembers which clothes are brought into the dressing room via RFID tags. And if customers need another size, they can tap a button to ask a sales associate to bring them the item.
When customers are done, they can scan the items on the screen and an associate will place the merchandise in a shopping bag outside the dressing room. Also, customers can enter their email address to have the dressing room send them a list of the clothing they didn't purchase in a size or color the store doesn't have so they can purchase it online. These dressing rooms are at Rebecca Minkoff's flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
Another vendor, Ipsos Retail Performance, also offers interactive dressing rooms that track clothing through RFID tags. Ipsos' mirror included an attached tablet for customers to use, which reduces the fingerprints that inevitably appear on a touch screen mirror. Other companies have also rolled out interactive mirrors. A few years ago Cisco unveiled a mirror that virtually displays outfits on top of your image, allowing shoppers to mix and match clothing while standing in the store.
It remains unclear though, if enough shoppers will consider trading their email address or phone number for a personalized dressing room experience worthwhile. Then again, shoppers already create profiles to shop online and are asked for their email addresses and zip codes at check out counters, so a mirror that asks for your email address could be just another part of today's retail experience.