Influenced with its effect, online retailers have also introduced virtual trial rooms now. The retail scenario of India is changing rapidly, be it the improvement in retail strategy, retail operation or retail store designing. Take the example of trial rooms, once the most ignored part of the retail store now has turned into the prominent spot of decision making for consumers. Earlier fitting rooms were made into the leftover space of the store, small in size, shabby background, absolutely unimpressive in look. But with the technological advancement and more use of consumer centric retail strategy, the trial rooms have now their own identity. In fact, they are moving from the background and coming to the forefront of the store.
Designing the trial room
Fitting rooms or trial rooms play a crucial role in buying behavior of consumers. Kamal Mohta, VP - operations, Novo Business Solutions Pvt Ltd, says, “Trial rooms are becoming increasingly important for modern retailers. This is the point where customer makes actual decision to buy the product. Now a day’s retailer provides a cluster of trial room usually at a place where it is semi private and easily accessible.”
Thus it is important for retailers to understand the importance of layout, location and accessibility of trial rooms. Also, well-crafted trial rooms enhance the entire shopping experience of the customer. The first thing which has to be taken into consideration is the size of the fitting room. The fitting rooms should not be too large or too small.
According to Mohta, an ideal fitting room should have enough space for consumer to move around and look at cloths s/he is trying on. It should be at least 3 x 4 ft in size. Other elements such as location, decor, temperature, lighting and mirrors, also need to be kept in mind in order to enhance customer experience.
Ideally trial room should be made out of light colour pre laminated MDF board. It could have some graphics and mirrors in opposite side in order to have 360 degree view. Use of alternate lightings or mood lights to check cloths under different lights will be added plus, suggests Mohta. The trial room should be located at the centre of the store so that it could be easily accessible from different parts of the store. Nowadays, trial rooms are modular which makes them portable and brings down total fit out cost.
Enhancing the experience
To improve the consumer experience inside the store, some additional features such as seating in the rooms, space for customers to keep their bags, wallets, car keys, mobile phones etc, are being introduced to the new-age fitting rooms. Not only the inside area but the outside area of the fitting rooms are creatively used to promote offers, discounts or upcoming brands or products. Retailers are also putting comfort chairs and couches outside the trial room for the accompanying customers.
We cannot ignore the fact that fitting or trials rooms are important. Indian consumers are very much concerned about their money spending, so providing a trial option before buying will encourage their purchasing expense. Today not only regular retailer but online retailers have also realised the significance of trial rooms. Most of the online consumers return their purchased items due to problem in fitting. The introduction of virtual fitting rooms in online retail has resulted in increased online sales and reduced return rates, making online retail more soothing and enjoyable for online consumers and retailers.