Fitting rooms are no longer an afterthought or something that is thrown into whatever space is left in a retail store. Smart marketers are realizing that dressing rooms are a powerful place. Recognizing that they are a place where decisions are made, retailers are dressing up the dressing rooms.
For those who have the money to invest, the market is being flooded with high-tech gadgets for dressing rooms. Interactive mirrors that allow customers to contact friends through cellular phones and social media have been introduced in a few high-end boutiques, and kiosks that allow customers to electronically ask staff for different sizes are in the works. These are just a couple of examples of retailers capitalizing on technology in their dressing rooms.
When designing or looking to improve a fitting room, functionality should be a primary goal. Customers want plenty of hooks to place and sort their garments on, as well as seating, good lighting, lots of mirrors and space to move around.
A gathering or sitting area is a great way to get more sales from your dressing room without an enormous investment. This is especially true in women's dressing rooms. Women like to shop in groups because they value the opinions of their peers, and giving their friends a comfortable place to sit close to the fitting room makes this an easier and overall better experience.
The decor of the fitting rooms is not to be neglected. Not only should it blend well with the rest of the store, it should be comfortable and inviting. Consider carpeting the dressing room, even if the rest of the store is tiled. Don't forget the details, either. Hang pictures and artwork, place houseplants and use luxurious, soft fabrics.
When thinking about ways to improve a dressing room, it is easy to forget that clients will be stripped down to their underwear in there. Installing an additional thermostat and setting it a few degrees higher is one of those small things that can make a big difference.
- Jochen Sand/Digital Vision/Getty Images