Long a staple of the retail clothing scene, the endlessly functional dressing room is the latest recipient of a technological makeover.
It’s surprising, actually, that the transformative focus has lingered so long on facilitating e-commerce and enhancing front-end technology while overlooking the critical site of decision-making that is the dressing room.
Indeed, if the makeovers being tried on in the dressing room catch hold, they’ll totally reinvent this patch of retail real estate. Technology-equipped dressing rooms can prove a valuable tool for better understanding customers’ interests. And because these places play host to what customers are trying on and not just what they eventually purchase, the view they offer into popular preferences is that much wider.
This new technology could inform designers’ decisions, influence retailers’ ordering, and track fashion trends and shopping habits.
Memory mirrors. Retailers like Neiman Marcus are experimenting with funky new mirrors that display two images — one that freezes a view of the shopper’s first glance at herself in an outfit, and another that lets her compare the look from 360 degrees.
Touch-screen mirrors. Mirrors in the dressing rooms of luxury retailer Rebecca Minkoff feature text messaging and screens that let customers talk with store associates.
Smart mirrors. At Bloomingdale’s, dressing-room-situated customers considering their options can select clothing sizes and colours, confirm that their choices are available in store and communicate with sales associates to deliver them to the door.
Future tech. Technology is already available that allows customers to see how an outfit would look in a different colour — without even trying it on.