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European Sportswear Retailer Brings RFID to Smart Fitting Rooms
A system from Detego has expanded the company's existing inventory-management solution with RFID-enabled fitting rooms, touchscreens and Apple Watches worn by employees, to enable shoppers to request goods from a fitting room, based on product-specific content provided to them.
Each tagged item is already tracked from distribution center to store, and handheld readers are used to capture inventory data at the store. Each fitting room has its own wall-mounted touchscreen tablet computer connected to Detego's inventory-management software.
With the new smart fitting room function, Detego explains, RFID allows the opportunity to upsell, and to better serve customers trying on garments. As a shopper brings a tagged garment, such as a pair of golf trousers, into a fitting room, the reader captures the tag's unique ID number and transmits that information to the software, where it is linked to the item's stock-keeping unit (SKU) and other data. The software then prompts the mounted screen to display pictures and other content about that garment, and to provide a video of the clothing being worn—for example, an individual playing golf while wearing those particular pants.
Additionally, the system shows content about other garments, via a recommendations engine in Detego's software. According to Hennig, this is the type of feature that customers are used to when shopping online. "The smart fitting room helps merge online and physical shopping," he states.
If a garment's fit is not quite right, or if a customer is interested in another product displayed on the touchscreen—such as a shirt that the system indicates would go well with a pair of trousers—he or she can select a prompt on the screen to place a request with store sales representatives. Each employee wears an Apple Watch running Detego's app, which enables the watch to display the shopper's request and indicate not only in which fitting room the customer is located, but also which items he or she wants delivered to that room. The sales representative can then use the smart watch to indicate that he or she is responding to the request, and that response is displayed for the shopper on the touchscreen.
For the retailer, the system is intended not only to boost sales but also to provide analytics. Store managers can view which items are brought into fitting rooms most often, as well as what other garments most commonly accompany them, and then compare that data against actual sales. In this way, they can determine which products interest shoppers, and whether those items are purchased after being tried on. This could help the retailer to understand how products are promoted at its stores—for example, when certain garments are displayed together, or when items are offered at a sale price.
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