It’s hard to deny that online shopping is easy and convenient. However, brick-and-mortar stores have tools at their disposal that online retailers can’t touch.
Beyond an impressive customer experience, physical locations offer shoppers a safe space to try on merchandise before they buy it. When you order clothes online, it can be a tedious process of shipping headaches and waiting for deliveries if they don’t fit correctly. According to the Retail Doctor, 70 percent of items that are returned to online stores are done so because of how they fit. By shopping in your store rather than online, customers can test out the merchandise before buying, rather than playing the shipping and handling game.
Find out why your fitting rooms matter more than you may think and how you can turn attractive dressing rooms into profit.
“Your dressing room aesthetics should be on point.”
The importance of fitting rooms
When you really think about what happens behind dressing room doors, in regards to selling merchandise, the value of your fitting rooms becomes quite apparent.
If a customer comes to your store in search of a dress for a wedding she’s attending this summer, she’ll probably try on a few options. Assuming one of your items is exactly what she’s looking for, the moment she saw how it fit in one of your store mirrors will stick in her memory. Retail Customer Experience explained how discovering a new favorite outfit and the excitement that accompanies that unearthing can build brand loyalty and a bond between your store and the shopper.
Once patrons decide to try clothes on, they’re one step closer to making a purchase. The source cited a study that found people are twice as likely to buy products from a store if they visit the fitting rooms.
Fitting room fixtures
As we briefly mentioned, the aesthetics of your dressing rooms should be on point. If your store is well-organized and flawlessly decorated, the fitting rooms should convey the same vibe. There are a few key store fixtures that you should install in the dressing rooms to create a more rewarding experience for the customer.
- Lighting: However you choose to light your fitting rooms, the arrangement should be flattering. Overhead fluorescent lights don’t make people look their best, so it’s a good idea to steer clear of them. Consider using adjustable lights that allow shoppers to test different scenarios. For example, people trying on bathing suits might want to check themselves out in natural light while women shopping for evening gowns are looking for a low-light environment.
- Mirrors: Big, clean mirrors are essential to the fitting room experience. Each room should have its own mirror and stores often place larger mirrors on either end of the space. Opt for high-quality glass that doesn’t distort the image.
- Doors: You can go with curtains or doors for the individual fitting rooms, but make sure the curtains are secure and effective. If you have unisex dressing rooms, it’s definitely better to cover the rooms with doors rather than drapes.
- Floors: While you should vacuum or sweep your whole store regularly, clean floors are especially important in the dressing rooms. With different pairs of bare feet touching the ground throughout the day, the surface needs to be swept and disinfected diligently.
- Benches: Inside each dressing room you should have a bench or chair. This gives the customer somewhere to sit if necessary, as well as a place to put his or her bags. It’s a good idea to have seating outside the rooms as well for shopping partners to see the potential purchases.
- Hooks: The fitting rooms should have plenty of hooks or racks for patrons to hang clothes. Multiple hooks are best because they allow shoppers to sort clothes into yes, no and maybe piles. Clear fitting rooms out after each customer leaves so stray hangers aren’t taking up space on the fixtures.
Employees make a significant difference
The level of service you expect from your staff on the sales floor should extend into the fitting area. Employees can help draw shoppers into the dressing rooms to move the sale closer to completion, and workers should pay diligent attention while customers try on merchandise. When shoppers are walking around the store with clothes in their hands, associates should ask if they can start a fitting room for them. This is more convenient for the customer and creates a minor commitment to the merchandise.
Oftentimes, shoppers don’t accept assistance when sales associates knock on the fitting room door. While people trying on clothes might not need a different size or color in that moment, they may want help shortly after. It’s important for employees to be alert and attentive when they’re running the dressing rooms so customers know how to ask for help. When trying on clothes, people don’t want to put their own clothes back on to find an alternate item. You can save a sale that’s slipping away, simply by delivering a smaller size to the fitting rooms.
So your sales associates can nail down the proper timing in regards to fitting room service, there should be a firm training process. Employees who run the dressing rooms need to keep the system running smoothly and efficiently. Long lines for fitting rooms easily convince shoppers that they don’t need to buy this shirt or those pants. At the same time, this buildup puts pressure on the customer who’s trying clothes on. If they feel rushed, they might not take the time to fall in love with the outfit they’re wearing. One influential factor to consider is how many items people can bring into the fitting rooms. It’s important to find the balance between loss prevention and reasonable wait times.