//This blog is updated in 2022//
Marketing and advertising are probably at the top of our list. Of course, you can spend all your effort and capital on those, but what if your customers cannot enjoy an anticipated try-on experience that’ll convince them to pull our their bank notes for the pieces? A well-designed changing area can actually boost your profit! Of course, we’re not gonna merely leave you there wondering what to do
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- in order to improve your fitting room design; we will also provide you tips to a successful retail business through making moves to ameliorate your customers’ try-on experience! There isn’t an absolute standard for a fitting room design, yet following tips and direction below can help you build a profit-boosting changing room and maintain an edge over your competitors.
Today, we, archiparti, are gonna look into this crucial, yet often neglected, area of a retail store — the fitting room.
First, some background knowledge
Before blindly designing your fitting room’s space, you should know the reasons behind why some fitting rooms work better than others in driving up sales. It might come as a surprise to you that fitting rooms are key in a retail business, or you might already have a few ideas on the matter. Either way, we are here to help you out. Previous studies have shown 4 ways that a well-designed, strategically-planned dressing room can significantly influence customer’s decision-making and hence your business performance:
1. Likelihood of purchase increases with try-on image
The fitting room is in fact regarded as the key ‘conversion area’, meaning very often a purchase decision happens there. You try something on and you like it, that is a confirmation that you are going to buy it. Before you try on clothes this ‘conversion’ is not secure and you might not have a firm decision on whether you would like to purchase it or not. If you don’t like your clothes when you try it on, you most likely aren’t going to get it. But just the act of trying it on makes the difference in increasing purchases. Meaning that if your customers go in the changing room it already increases the chance of them purchasing something from your store. It’s been revealed that, after trying pieces on, shoppers are 71% more likely to purchase the items compared to those who merely browsed in the store. When customers find your items attractive enough to direct them to the fitting room, this implies that they are actually giving thought to bring them home. Again, the decision’s only made when they know how the pieces look and feel on them.
2. Larger size of purchase with serviced fitting
In addition to raising the likeliness of making a deal, customers tend to buy more after they’ve tried on garments. Meaning, on top of the previously mentioned phenomenon, trying clothes on makes customers buy more than those who don’t try it on. London consultancy Envision Retail concludes in a study that retail purchaser who uses the changing room will check out about twice what the other browsing-buyer purchases. In particular, the research discloses that the size of purchase can go up by three times when customers are served while they’re in the changing room. Make sure you have your staff members trained so that they are prepared to give customers the full experience and help that they need. Remember that this drives sales up, so customers not only buy more when they try their clothes on, but they buy even more when they are offered help. Both ways, you can see that trying clothes on is an important step in your business performance; hence, the importance of a fitting room.
3. The number of return decreases given the chance to trial image
In terms of return after purchase, although retail store itself can help suppress the number by allowing buyers to see and touch the clothes before making a decision, deal from shop visitors is not a guaranteed one because it’s possible that there will be a return. On the other hand, fitting issues are less frequent and result in lower return rates when purchasers have tried the items in the store. This is because a big part of returning items are because of fitting issues after purchase. In fact, the fitting room is a substantial characteristic that makes conventional retailers with physical store able to maintain their advantage over online commerce. Giving customers the chance to try clothes on and confirm their purchase at a lower return rate. A bad fitting of clothes is the deal-breaker, and a return is most likely inevitable. So when a customer makes a decision to buy an item after trying it on, they won’t have this issue.
4. Different fitting room design can result in huge difference in a look
We all had the experience of getting ‘different’ look in the same outfit under various conditions — lighting, mirror, etc. You might try on something from a store and look good but think differently when you try it on in another environment. The different condition of lighting, mirror, etc. can make a fit look more flattering or vice versa. Several curious foreigners have conducted experiments on that by comparing how the look varies when an individual go into different dressing rooms by different retailers, wearing the same clothes. Not surprisingly, the same clothes gave different feedback. This is because of how the design of the fitting room makes the fit look different. For instance, a store can have its fitting room mirrors angled so that customers look taller. They might have a mirror that is skewed so that customers look slightly slimmer. This has given us insight that retailers are indirectly persuading customers to bring the garments home by designing a fitting room that will give them the most flattering reflection. The importance of fitting room design really stands out here as it can make or break deals.
So how can you make your fitting room design to achieve the most success?
Then, take action!
Now that we know what a fitting room is so important, make these 3 simple moves to really enhance your customers’ fitting experience and in return, get business blooming!
1. Design of dressing room essentials — Mirror, lighting, and color
When a customer feels good in what they are wearing, they would most likely get it. The fitting room is the place where they can judge that, so make sure that your design helps them look the most flattering while not overdoing it. A fitting room with good design should provide a realistic reflection that is neither unflattering nor too embellished. A high-quality mirror that is large enough for a person to get a natural, full head-to-toe look is basic yet essential. Meanwhile, lighting is another determinant to the overall look. Overhead light, especially with strong fluorescents, can cast a shadow on and spotlight unattractive features such as wrinkles and bulges. On the other hand, bright, neutral and even lighting by setting lighting panels to sides of the mirror can provide a flattering impression. In terms of color, more neutral colors such as white and light blue can be used. Alternatively, wallpaper with a simple pattern, generally, makes the fitting room a more comfortable and non-distracting experience to users so they can put their focus on the clothes. With these tips in minds, you can create a fitting room that helps enhance your customers’ experience and nudge them into spending more in your store.
2. Better personalized fitting experience with a trained associate
You have invested so much time and money into training your staff to provide the best customer service. They have understood shoppers’ need, found a suitable outfit, and finally drove the customers into the changing room, but what’s next? Unfortunately, this connection between the buyers and your staffs are lost once they enter the fitting area where customers are left alone. This suggests the necessity to extend quality service from sales floor to the fitting corner, in order to fulfill customers’ need. You need your associates to commit all the way until the customers leave the store. Nevertheless, door knocking is found to be an ineffective way that could annoy your customer and backfire. You want them to know you are there to help but not invade their privacy and personal space. You don’t want your customers to be bothered while they try on clothes. Instead, a call button that allows customers to notify your staff from their fitting room enables salespersons to associate with the fitting room users and increase the chance of a deal. It can help your customers ask for a size change or allow your associates to help them in bringing their clothes they want with ease. An interaction that is within its boundaries when the customers try their items on helps better connect customers and staff. A simple design of a bell in each stall is the perfect solution!
3. Build smart fitting rooms by implementing advanced technology
Apart from call buttons and occupancy sensors, there’s other latest technology that retailers can implement into changing rooms to provide superior fitting experience. Having the latest technology not only attract customers to try it out, but it also allows more efficient methods in the decision-making process. For instance, Topshop in the US recently adopted Magic Mirrors, which scans users’ body shape and allow them to try different clothes and in different colors virtually, providing a new, quick alternative to fitting rooms. This way customers can save so much time and still get the experience in a new fashion. Meanwhile, some other innovations help you capture information and devise strategies to drive more people to the fitting zone and more purchases. Radio-frequency identification (RFID), for example, helps to identify garments carried into the room. Along with an interactive touchscreen, users can browse suggested matching items or similar alternatives and request items from staffs. These cool advancements really help in catering to your customer’s needs. It might cost you but in the long run it is worth the penny.
With the 4 main points on why a fitting room is an important element to apparel business, any business can see that is well worth our attention. Knowing these points can help you understand your customers more and business strategies. It’s necessary for us to be alert for undesired fitting room features and meanwhile improve the conditions so to offer customers excellent, realistic fitting experience. But what can we do to improve the design of a fitting room? Now we can see that the fitting area is an influential determiner in customers’ purchase decision and thus the retailer’s business performance. To raise the fitting-to-purchase conversion rate, it is important for retail owners to devote time and effort to design a changing room that fulfills customers’ need. Have an idea to redesign your fitting rooms? Why not visit our website at archiparti.co for more inspiration as well as creative, talented designers that match perfectly with your project! You’re also welcomed to stay tuned with our more and more updating tips for your furnishing! (Of course, you can also directly contact us and start your project right away if you already have ideas in mind!) Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out more tips to boost your retail store revenue from our previous blog ‘Boost your retail store revenue by only 2 tricks in design!
Yuki, archiparti blog contributor