Fitting room fatigue – What is it, and how could it be impacting your sales?

R.M Williams Chadstone

It may seem obvious to state that the space at the back of your store where customers try before they buy is extremely important for the overall customer experience, yet only 1 in 10 shoppers are satisfied with the fitting room experience. Others are experiencing what’s been coined ‘fitting room fatigue’.

Once a shopper steps into a fitting room to try an item on their purchase decision is on the line. Despite this, in the intimate space, they’re closed off from your sales representative, visual merchandising and store branding. This means the fitting room experience needs to be the element that helps to convert them.

What is fitting room fatigue?

Consumers are accustomed to visiting expertly designed and laid out retail stores that offer an exciting retail experience, but when they make it to the fitting rooms, it’s often a different story.

If you’ve had a negative fitting room experience, where the door didn’t close properly, lighting was dull, floors were dirty and clothes from the previous person were taking up precious space, you’ve probably experienced fitting room fatigue, abandoned your haul and left the store. Forgotten, messy and badly designed fitting rooms are turning away visitors at an increasing rate, heavily impacting the customer experience and brand reputation.

Fitting room fatigue is an underestimated factor that impacts customer satisfaction, leaving them abandoning their potential purchases. The frustrating experience of fitting room fatigue can force customers out of the door and deter them from your store long term. This negative association with the change rooms is a missed opportunity for many retailers to offer a different experience for their customers, one that focuses on comfort and confidence.

Utilising the fitting room

If a shopper makes it into the dressing room they are almost 7 times more likely to purchase than if they just browse. They are also less likely to return their purchase, making change rooms are an under utilised asset in brick and mortar stores.

A badly thought out dressing room can decrease in-store purchases. From harsh lighting to lack of privacy and help with sizing, it’s no wonder consumers, millennials in particular are choosing to order pieces online to try on in the comfort of their own home. If fittings rooms are such a vital aspect of your store fit out, why do so many stores underdeliver in this space?

It ultimately comes down to brands not fully understanding the impact a strategic design in this area can make. Instead of using the already installed overhead fluorescent lights, including front facing LEDs in each change room can make a massive difference. This paired with thoughtfully crafted cubicles that minimise gaps and an easy to clean space are just a few small ways to enhance the experience for your visitors.

Brands that strive for success should consider the entire customer experience within their retail store from entrance to exit and think strategically about how each element may impact purchase behaviour. While fitting rooms may not be the first thought when it comes to growing conversions, they certainly play a large role in generating a positive experience throughout brick and mortar stores.

Want to know how you can optimise the design of your store? Contact us at Storepro, we understand the in’s and out’s of retail and utilise our industry knowledge to bring a heightened customer experience to life in our clients’ retail stores.

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