Most consumers avoid fitting rooms: study

A bad fitting room experience is driving consumers to abandon their purchases, resulting in lost sales, according to a new study by Indyme, a customer engagement and loss prevention specialist.

The study revealed that on average, half of all consumers who try on apparel in store go on to purchase nearly three or more items than those who don’t use fitting rooms.

However, with new evidence that reveals only 7% of consumers enjoy the fitting room experience – it appears many retailers could be overlooking what should be a quintessential focal point in the path to purchase, often with significant financial consequences.

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While two thirds of consumers try garments on in store, a third of consumers prefer to try their new purchases on at home. Seventy-two percent do so because they find the fitting room uncomfortable and the overall experience too stressful.

Consumers also cited the lack of in-fitting room help, messy and locked fitting rooms as reasons to avoid trying on items before making a purchase.

This represents a missed opportunity for retailers as these consumers often have a significantly higher return rate than users of in-store fitting rooms.

For example, with over half of all consumers returning up to 50% of goods purchased, retailers are frequently losing quality stock with women taking on average 3.5 days to return items to store, compared to men who will wait just 2.6 days, according to the study.

Indyme managing director Joe Budano said: “Industry research has proven that fitting rooms are one of the most important points for sales conversions in the customer’s path to purchase and can impact sales and satisfaction in a variety of ways. For example, previous research has revealed the conversion rate for apparel shoppers who use fitting rooms is 70%, compared to just 10% for those who don’t.

“Fitting rooms are routinely mentioned in customer surveys as the most influential factor in determining overall satisfaction and have a significant impact on the reputation or perception of a brand. Yet this is an area of a store, up until now, that retailers have had little understanding or influence over.”

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