There are two vitally important parts of the retail shopping experience. It starts with the customer finding the product and looking for or seeing an attractive product. This experience is particularly strong in clothing. For many customers, they will see a garment that stands out far above a sea of other clothes. Most customers will walk up to the garment and begin to physically inspect it. For many customers the “tactile” experience is very important as they examine the fabric of the garment. This is just one of the many steps clients take to pre-qualify clothing. Although price is a factor it isn’t as important as you would think.
Customers also use this inspection phase to visualize how the item of clothing they are inspecting will look on them. This may be a solely mental process, but also may include holding up the garment in front of themselves and looking in a mirror. If the customers like what they see they will then begin looking for their size and perhaps a size smaller or larger, depending on fit.
The second and equally important part of the retail experience takes place in the fitting room. Once the customer has decided they like an article (or sometimes several pieces) they will take them into the fitting room. The retail floor is where the interest is piqued, and the dressing room is where the decision is made.
In the dressing room customers physically try on the garment, and a few easy steps can greatly improve this process. When a customer shows up with an armful of clothes and a spouse in tow, a waiting area can go a long way. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an elaborate “living room-esce” waiting area, rather a few comfortable chairs and perhaps a T.V. can really go a long way. It is also extremely beneficial to the sale to have a dressing room attendant or salesperson near the fitting rooms. Numerous retail studies have shown that customers who visit the dressing room and speak with the attendant are almost twice as likely to make a purchase.
The dressing room layout is also very important. Most dressing rooms should include at least one room that is ADA compliant. This room is a little bigger and allows for open space when opening the door. Furthermore, ADA rooms may also have a bench as well as hand railings.