Data released by the Commerce Department reveals that there is a major shift happening in consumer mind-sets – experiences (e.g., eating out, travel, gym memberships, etc.) vs. objects (items bought at brick-and-mortar stores). Rather than offer pricing discounts, some retailers are striking back with unique shopping experiences – dressing rooms 2.0.
One leading department store chain, Macy’s pared back its annual sales projection to zero after experiencing a sales decline (2.1 percent) at stores open for at least a year. In recognition that their old merchandising strategy “pile it high and watch it fly” is no longer working. They are experimenting with enhancing their in-store mobile experiences. One strategy they are testing is an app where shoppers can select (by size, color) items stocked by the store and have them delivered to a fitting room. The smart fitting room is also equipped with a tablet in case the shopper needs to request additional items.
Sales at high-end retailers have been more robust, since our economic recovery has benefited our nations’ wealthiest. One good example is Nordstrom’s. Their sales have increased nearly 5 percent while profits exceeded their forecasts, sending the company’s share price soaring. However, Neiman Marcus, one of their major competitors is experimenting with dressing room technology to further enhance their in-store shopping experience. They are testing the MemoryMirror in three locations, a dressing room equipped with a six-foot mirror and sensory camera that enables shoppers to view a realistic digital fitting (different images/viewpoints). They can dress themselves in a variety of styles and colors. The mirror also records a video the shopper can later view at home.
Mobile goes fashionable – dressing rooms 2.0.