Shopping sure has come a long way since the days your mom would drop you and your BFF off at the mall for a listless afternoon of wandering around. Newly unveiled interactive dressing rooms at Polo Ralph Lauren's flagship store in New York City are about to majorly change the game — and the lighting.
Yes, that's right. Step inside one of eight new futuristic fitting rooms, and start the shopping experience by selecting one of three light settings — bright ("Fifth Avenue Daylight"), afternoon ("East Hampton Sunset") or dark ("Evening at The Polo Bar"). Items are instantly recognized by a quick, automatic scan of RFID chips, and through a user interface on the mirror, shoppers can interact with their selections, view additional colors and sizes, and see alternate options and recommendations.
This means, thankfully, no more awkwardly sticking a shoulder and head out of the dressing room while the pants-less bottom half of you hides behind the door. Once you place a request, a store associate is instantly notified of what you want to try on, and, perhaps most excitingly, exactly where to find it in the store. So no more "Let me check the back" moments, either!
This is the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store we're talking about here, an internationally adored brand in an internationally adored city, so there are sure to be some out-of-towners looking to shop. Luckily, according to WWD, the mirror translates Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese to English, and translates responses from a store associate back into either of the five languages. How's that for service?
The mirror's functionality is certainly fun and amazing, but it's also backed by statistics and could impact sales for the brand in a big way. WWD offers up some of the stats from Oak Labs, the tech startup that developed the fitting rooms, showing that issues like size availability and lack of attention can decrease likelihood of a sale. For example, there is a 65 per cent chance that a shopper will not ask for a size or color that isn't in front of them (i.e. when they are in the fitting room.) And, even if they do find something they want to buy, if a line is over seven minutes long, "there is a 79 percent chance that they will abandon that purchase."
Luckily, the interactive mirror takes care of many of those #shopperprobs, even when it comes time to cash out. From inside the fitting room, a customer can press the "I'm ready to check out" button on the mirror, which will summon an associate with that newfangled sight for sore eyes — and tired shoppers — known as a mobile point of sale. (Love those!)
Polo Ralph Lauren's smart mirrors are currently only in the Fifth Avenue location, but eight more will be spread around top-earning outposts soon, and if all goes well, they could be more and more common.
RL isn't the only brand to implement technology into stores to help shoppers get the most out of their experience. These brands have all redefined geek-chic.
1. Rebecca Minkoff
Rebecca Minkoff was one of the first to go techno with "magic mirrors," where shoppers can start by ordering a drink (champagne, anyone?) and continue interacting with the store, viewing sizes and colors, and requesting items to take into the fitting rooms.
2. Rigby & Peller
Rigby & Peller, formerly known as Intimacy, simplified lingerie shopping with an in-room mirror that measures your bra size for you in several of it's UK stores. It also saves snaps of everything you tried on so you can compare them side by side before purchasing.
3. Memory Mirror
#TBT to the time I craned my neck trying to check out my derriere in an outfit. Memory Mirror offers up a full-body, 360-degree view, and lets you try on clothes virtually, meaning you don't have to undress. You can also use it to checkout.
4. Kate Spade Saturday's Digital Window Shop
Although KSS is sadly no more, the spin-off label did have an early pass at the high-tech shopping experience. According to WWD, Kate Spade Saturday was the first fashion brand that Oak Labs, which made the Polo Ralph Lauren dressing rooms possible, teamed up with to turn storefronts into interactive windows that enabled shopping and checkout. The icing on the cake was one-hour delivery anywhere in NYC. You can't even really get that from a pizza shop, these days! RIP KSS.
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