Polo Ralph Lauren unveiled an interactive fitting room at its Fifth Avenue flagship today, joining a growing list of retailers using technology to enhance the in-store experience.
The room’s mirror can be tapped to request a different size or get assistance from a real-life sales associate. Other brands have introduced similar initiatives: In August, Macy’s enabled shoppers to request items on their smartphones from the dressing room. And Rebecca Minkoff launched its Connected Stores in New York and San Francisco last year, allowing shoppers to interact with a digital screen in the fitting rooms.
Blending technology with shopping can dramatically boost sales, according to L2’s Intelligence Report: Omnichannel Retail. By incorporating technology into stores, retailers can emerge with a more thorough image of the consumer with potential for a dramatic payoff. The study finds that synchronizing customer information across channels improves customer satisfaction by 58% and makes in-store baskets 54% larger.
But while many brands have embraced omnichannel, a world where every store incorporates technology is still a long way off. Only 6% of retailers can identify customers using their smartphones when they walk into a store, according to the L2 study.
By the time that future arrives, the term “omnichannel” might even be outdated. That’s the view taken by Healey Cypher, CEO of Oak Labs, which created Ralph Lauren’s interactive fitting room.
“Integrated commerce is truly a singular experience between the customer and the brand,” Cypher told WWD. “Instead of looking at it as a ‘mobile sales,’ ‘e-commerce sales’ or ‘brick-and-mortar’ sales — it’s just a sale.”