Photo via Retail Concepts
Shopping at a boutique is special and the fitting rooms are an important part of the experience. In fact, most shoppers will spend about one-third of their time in the fitting rooms. Make shoppers feel comfortable so they are more likely to make a purchase and return for repeat visits.
Make shoppers feel at home
Your fitting room area should feel warm and inviting. Most people shop in groups, so there should be ample space outside the rooms with seating available for friends and family. Inside the rooms, there should be enough space for the shopper to move around and change their clothing with ease. Don’t make your fitting room area feel like a cold afterthought. It should flow with the rest of your boutique. The entire fitting room area should be decorated with the same attention to detail as the rest of your store.
Form and function
Spend some time researching other stores’ fitting rooms from a shopper’s perspective. Take note of what you like and don’t like about the experience. If you can build your fitting rooms with form and function in mind, it will improve both the shopping experience and the general maintenance for your staff. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Don’t hide them – Shoppers should be able to find the fitting room area easily. If you notice people having a hard time finding them, consider hanging a sign to help.
- Mirrors and lighting – The entire area should be well lit with large mirrors that aren’t sitting at an angle. Shoppers will feel deceived if they cannot properly see what they are trying on.
- A place for everything – There should be multiple hooks for hanging merchandise and plenty of flat surfaces for laying items and personal possessions like purses. The rooms should also be big enough to cater to wheelchairs and baby strollers.
- Proper air flow – Make sure there is an opening at the top or bottom of each room so they don’t get hot and stuffy while shoppers are trying on clothing.
- Keep it clean – Floors should be cleaned regularly and you should check every corner to make sure personal belongings haven’t been left behind.
Be available to help
An employee should be readily available in the fitting room area. Shoppers choose boutiques for the superior customer service and the fitting room experience is a crucial component to this. By staffing your fitting room area, you’re providing a “personal assistant” who can grab different sizes or add complementary outfit pieces and offer style advice.
Having an employee present also helps prevent theft. However, remember not to “police” the area. Simply being present, friendly, and fully aware of what merchandise is in the rooms will suffice. You will run into a much bigger problem if your innocent customers feel they are being accused of stealing.
Going the extra mile
Looking to improve the fitting room experience even more? Here are a few ideas:
- When you place a shopper in the fitting room, introduce yourself by name. They will appreciate knowing who to call when they need help.
- Offer your shoppers champagne, coffee, or a sweet treat. (This is especially a great idea during special events.)
- Place books, magazines, and toys in the seating area so friends and family have something to do while waiting.
- Frame encouraging quotes inside each room. Trying on clothes can sometimes be frustrating and uncomfortable. This is a great way to silently remind shoppers how fabulous they are.
- Find more inspiration on our Pinterest board!
Do you have any advice on building beautiful fitting rooms? Share with us in the comments!