I just read an article in Forbes about new experiences that stores are designing into their dressing rooms. Here are some of the items discussed in the article:
- Mitsukoshi, a Japanese department store chain, is experimenting with an “intelligent fitting room” that gives customers the opportunity to check available sizes and styles of the items they are trying from inside the fitting room.
- Bloomingdales’ New York flagship store’s dressing room registers the items shoppers take in to try on and produces video and images of the merchandise. A touch screen gives shoppers the option to invite friends. By clicking on a url and logging on to a Web site, the friends can see the items being tried on and make comments. The shopper can then click on one of the recommendations, and make it appear in the mirror superimposed over his image, as though he were trying on the garment
- Prada’s SoHo and Beverly Hills stores have tried responsive mirrors that allow shoppers to simultaneously see pictures of themselves in all the items they try on to help them decide which they want to purchase
My take: It’s nice to see really innovative approaches to an under-served experience like dressing rooms. There are a few key things that other firms can learn from these efforts:
- There are many underserved experiences. Every company can find a number of “key moments” for customers that currently don’t meet those customers’ needs.
- Technology can really help. Over the last decade, consumers have been trained to use digital technologies — from cell phones to Internet browsers. So there’s more of an opportunity than ever to enhance experiences with technology.
- Let customers drive your innovation. It is easy to throw technology at experiences and end up with nothing more than additional costs. That’s why companies need to focus innovations on the needs of customers.
The bottom line: Find places where technology can wow your customers.