Dressed for the occasion

30Sep08

While shopping with my wife last weekend, I thought about some of the high-tech enhancements that people have proposed for dressing rooms. For example, at least one company has designed an interactive mirror that shows how different outfits might look. But then I realized that the most valuable enhancements are probably much simpler than that.

In particular, two changes would make a big difference in the dressing room experience. First, there should be seating near the dressing room so that a friend or spouse can wait close by, rather than having to wander elsewhere in the store. Second, there should be a simple control inside the dressing room to help summon the person who is waiting. I’m thinking of a light that the first person can turn on when they’re ready to show off an outfit. This would function like the taxi light outside a hotel, though I realize that’s a rather crude comparison.

The benefits of this approach are quite obvious. The person trying on the clothes would have a much easier time showing them to their shopping companion. Meanwhile, the latter person would be able to relax in comfortable seating and only venture over to the dressing room itself when their input is needed. By implementing these simple changes, the retailer would sell more products, while reducing the number of returns that occur when someone’s husband, wife, or best friend decides they don’t like the items purchased.



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