In one of the wonderfully curious groups I'm a part of on Facebook this week, a user asked the opinions of the members on the increase of technology in fitting rooms. As someone who does the majority of their shopping online these days, as so many do, it had been some time since I had given much thought to this industry shift (or experimentation, depending on your view). Though I hold a pretty strong opinion about it.
And it's all about balance. My experience with fitting room technology has been short but very effective. At Zara in London, I entered a fitting room with armfuls of garments which a touchscreen board in the room was able to recognize and line up for me. Seriously, it knew what was hanging in the room waiting for me to try on. And I LOVED it. I was able to scroll through to check prices, different styling options, request another size to be brought to me, even buy directly from the website if I didn't want to continue the in-store misery of waiting in line. It was just enough to completely enhance the experience of being in-store and blended the comfort of shopping online with being able to interact with the physical product. And a bonus to the retailer, I am confident I ended up spending much more than I would have without that helpful tool in the fitting room with me.
As we are so prone to doing when it comes to exploration, however, it's all gone a bit too far. Recently, new fitting room functionality for some brands has built upon what I experienced and are now presenting interactive mirrors. The WORST part of being in a fitting room (aside from lighting...WHY can we not figure out better lighting?!).
Try on a dress in one color and the mirror can change it to another color so you don't have to change. Record a 360 degree view of yourself for review or share it on social media/send it to a friend. Use artificial intelligence to suggest a full outfit from other items you do not have in the room with you to compliment the piece you've tried on. It's just all a bit too much. It's a bit too far when it comes to laziness (just try on the other color dress). And it's all too much feeling like there is someone in the fitting room with me. I also have no interest in knowing that a video was recorded of me in a fitting room.
I say all this likely just being at the beginning of a movement. As retail works so hard to stay relevant, these types of updates will very probably become commonplace, and I'll suddenly be a massive proponent of the new ease of in-store shopping. However, right now, a little goes a long way for me.