Smart fitting rooms: the perfect complement for the digital transformation of fashion retail
However, physical spaces have to do much more, especially in the post-coronavirus era, if they do not want to be swallowed up by the ecommerce world.
In this context, there are those who seek to create a unique shopping experience with options such as, for example, smart fitting rooms. From CAAD we want to talk to you today about this innovative way to attract customers to physical establishments and boost sales and interaction with the consumer.
The digital transformation of a company has become a constant and long-term process. As new technologies change and appear, there are always developments that help the retail sector to continue evolving and adapting to today’s society and to the needs and demands of the consumer. We have seen it in recent months with the coronavirus, which is driving omnichannel strategies and new trends in window dressing and visual merchandising.
Taking into account that online commerce grows day by day and only in the second quarter of 2019 it had a turnover of more than 12,000 million, it is up to physical establishments to renovate or die. In the online world it is possible to analyze the behavior of customers and their decision-making, something that for years has also been worked on in physical stores through, for example, heat maps. However, if traditional commerce does not want to be swallowed up by online stores, it has to go far beyond data analysis and create a unique shopping experience that allows it to connect with the customer.
In the retail sector, digital transformation is an opportunity for innovation focused on the consumer in order to improve their shopping experience and, consequently, increase business sales. An innovative way to ensure that the customer has an authentic experience is smart fitting rooms.
How do smart fitting rooms work?
A smart fitting room can take many forms and purposes. However, it all started about a decade ago with RFID tags that allow the entire stock to be managed digitally, among other functionalities.
These self-adhesive labels that incorporate radio frequency technology facilitate the function of smart fitting rooms. When the customer is in the fitting room, the mirror, thanks to RFID tags, recognizes all the garments that the consumer wants to try on. Thus, through the screen you can search for other sizes, colors or also discover suggested accessories to combine with that garment. In case the fitting room is not in use, the screen works as a mirror or can display videos and photos.
There are different types of smart fitting rooms on the market. Thus, we can speak, for example, of virtual clothing fitting rooms that use 3D technology and augmented reality:
- They detect the contour of the person thanks to a software with a scanner.
- They allow you to wear the selected virtual garments to see how they look and even take a photo to save or share.
- Add the garments to the shopping cart, make an online purchase and complete the purchase process with a QR code.
Other functionalities among smart fitting rooms are, for example, the ability to translate content into different languages. By the way, no smart fitting rooms has cameras. Therefore, clients can rest assured that their privacy is protected.
One of the smart fitting rooms, or smart mirrors, available on the market has been developed by SAP. It is a tool that guarantees an innovative, magical shopping experience and, most importantly, totally personalized according to the customer’s tastes.
Once inside the smart fitting room and after having identified ourselves, it is possible to see the store’s catalog, receive recommendations based on the type of garments we like the most, retrieve the searches we have made in the online store from home, and add to the basket purchase the garments that we have tried on in the physical establishment.
Another added value for the shopping experience with these digital fitting rooms is the possibility, for example, to order another size or color without having to leave the fitting room. When we make the request, the employees, who have a smartwatch, receive a notice with the request to be able to take the new requested garment to the fitting room.
“When the customer decides on a specific item of clothing, they can make the purchase directly from inside the changing room, paying with total security and choosing the option of picking up the items at the counter or receiving it at their home in less than 48 hours.
It is undoubtedly a much more unique and comfortable shopping experience for the customer, but also for the establishment that can collect a lot of information about consumer preferences and what is happening in the physical space. In fact, at the end of the purchase, the mirror shows a satisfaction survey and all this data is saved in order to continue offering a personalized and increasingly satisfactory shopping experience.
Advantages of using smart fitting rooms in physical stores
Throughout this article, the most positive aspects of smart fitting rooms have been discussed, especially for the consumer. From the point of view of the brand or physical store the advantages are the following:
- It allows you to offer a unique and personalized shopping experience that differentiates you from the competition.
- Facilitates customer service in store.
- Offers extensive knowledge about the garments that the customer chooses, the fabrics and colors that they like the most and what items they decide to buy. Also, for example, it allows to calculate the time that the buyer stays in the store.
By obtaining all this data, the physical channel manages to catch up with e-commerce in terms of big data. Thanks to this analysis of this data, it is later possible to strengthen the relationship with the consumer by offering, for example, personalized recommendations. All this in order to increase sales from the physical space and compete with ecommerce since this type of shopping experience combines the best of the digital world and of buying in person with a super exclusive service.
It is such an innovative tool that smart mirrors are also being incorporated outside of the fitting room so that customers can virtually try on clothes.
Brands with smart fitting rooms
Some brands have been incorporating this innovative technology in their physical stores for years. For example, Rebecca Minkoff is a brand dedicated to complements and accessories. However, when they installed the smart fitting rooms, they realized that their customers were looking for clothes to match their accessories. Therefore, they spend more time looking at the product catalog and buy more calmly and happier.
The Spanish fashion brand Mango, with the support of the technology company Vodafone, developed in 2018 a mirror in the fitting rooms that works as a tablet. The mirror works as a scanner, detects the garments that have been introduced in the fitting room and allows you to order sizes or colors. The same kind of fitting room was made by Zara years before, in 2015.
These are just some examples of how smart fitting rooms or smart mirrors are another step in the digital transformation of companies. Without any doubt, the physical spaces will remain with us for a long time, developing innovative tools to get us to approach the store to buy, with the expectation of living a much more unique, comfortable and personalized experience than buying online. Will traditional commerce win the battle with electronic commerce or at least balance the sales between physical establishments and e-commerce?