Retail Innovation Review #3: The intelligent changing room

Renaissance or breakthrough?

Textile manufacturers and IT service providers have waited a long time. Now, retailers are testing the smart locker cabin in their stores. The idea of an intelligent changing room is not new. It was implemented years ago in the METRO Future Store Initiative and then by individual, high-priced model sheets in its own stores.

Intelligent dressing rooms at the Adler fashion-shops

The Adler fashion chain started with a new RFID-based customer service at its Erfurt branch: the intelligent changing room. Via RFID sensors (radio frequency identification) and electronic displays, the customer is informed interactively about the selected product as well as other offers.

The basis is the article labels attached to the garments with integrated RFID transponders. With the spread of low-cost transponders in the penny area, the marketing instruments can be used economically.

How does a smart changing room work?

To get an idea of how it works, here is a vivid video of SAP:

One of the first intelligent changing rooms at Kaufhof?

Online POS

Another “intelligent” locker room solution detects the garments that are brought in for a try-on using an RFID reader or a barcode scanner installed in the cabin. The touchscreen monitor then indicates which other sizes and colours are available. Appropriate supplements are also proposed. The customer is informed whether articles are in stock and can be procured through another store. An online order via your own mobile phone is also possible. To ensure that customers do not have to enter their private data on external hardware, they can scan the QR code displayed on the touchscreen with their smartphone. The online shop opens immediately and the selected item is in the shopping cart.

Mobile Mirror

Other solutions are based on a digital mirror in the sales room. Here customers can look at them from every angle. This allows up to ten seconds of time-delayed image playback on the 42-inch touch-screen monitor. The application processes a continuous live stream of the camera in full-HD and controls the playback of this stream. Photos and videos are also generated, which consumers can directly share via social media channels or send by e-mail so that friends and family can be included in the purchase decision.

 Pay in the dressing room

A variety of procedures are now available for checkout. From the cash payment at the cash desk via EC and credit card payments up to mobile payment. You may have to wait in a queue before checkout. Why not pay in the smart changing room? Tofugear shows a sneak peak of its solution in the video. There is an intelligent locker room and a “bring-function”, which allows the customer to bring in items that are in stock into the cabin. On the screen in the dressing room, the customer can also view the website and order articles there. Then the articles, which he has in the locker room and wants to buy, can be paid instantly in the intelligent locker room.

Very promising approaches that have evolved since the first intelligent dressing room of the METRO Future Store Initiative. In the future, however, addressing and communication in RFID / NFC-supported Omni-Channel marketing will continue to develop.

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