10 Subtle Details in Fitting Rooms That Make Sure We Don’t Leave Empty-Handed
For many of us, walking around stores is a way to relieve stress and relax. It’s so nice to walk around the store, choose clothes, and then look at yourself in new outfits in the fitting room. However, when you go to try these clothes on, do you ever think about how much work marketers have done to ensure you buy as many pieces as possible?
We at Bright Side got really interested in this and decided to learn more about the importance of fitting rooms in stores. One of our writers decided to test which fitting room features affect us the most and make us buy more. To do this, she visited many stores and dozens of fitting rooms.
My name is Julia and, like many people, I sometimes make unplanned purchases. And when I get home, I look at what I bought and try to figure out what made me buy this shapeless bag in a color I can’t even name! I wanted to find out more about this.
It turns out, when we shop online, 1 in every 5 things is returned back to the seller, but when we buy something offline, it happens 2 times less often. Refunds are always an additional cost for sellers so they try to minimize the amount. And stores try to cut down their spending by making the most of their fitting rooms.
Shoppers that use fitting rooms buy things 7 times more often than those who don’t use fitting rooms. That means that 70% of all the purchase decisions are made in fitting rooms. More than that, if a seller helps a client, chances are they’ll buy 3 times more. So it’s not surprising that chain stores are really serious about the details we don’t even think about. And here are some of the tricks stores use to make you buy their products.
Obviously, a mirror should be big enough for the shopper to see themselves in. But the stores that know how to sell a lot of stuff use special mirrors that make the image a bit longer. In such mirrors, people see slimmer versions of themselves. This makes the clothes look more flattering on them.
I’ve checked and found that some fitting room mirrors really made me look slimmer than I am in my mirror at home. And it actually makes you feel better: your mood improves and you want to try more things on.
In good stores, there are carpets on the floor. Walking on something soft is far more pleasant, which makes clients hang around there for a longer time. This way, they notice more goods, which increases the likelihood of them buying something.
Stores that don’t have carpets in the fitting rooms still try to make their clients feel more comfortable: they put at least some kind of cover on the floor. Standing on a warm floor is way better than standing on cold tiles — the place feels cozier and you don’t want to leave it as quickly.
Hooks and hangers
Clients aren’t supposed to think about where they put the clothes they want to try on along with the stuff that they came in wearing. You’d probably agree that it’s really irritating to have to spend time organizing all the stuff you have on with just 2 small hooks. If I do, I get annoyed, and it makes me want to leave.
When I saw this trash on the floor, I wanted to leave without even trying anything on. Am I supposed to take my clothes off and step on a cold, dirty floor with my bare feet? Do I really need this pair of pants?
It’s hard to relax if the only thing you can think about is not stepping on trash on the floor. A good store is very attentive to how clean their fitting rooms are. And if there’s dirt around, how good are their clothes anyway?
Curtains or doors
In mass-market stores, fitting rooms are usually separated from the corridor with curtains, not doors. And there’s a good reason for this. It’s much easier for the staff to clean them up, and curtains make clients a bit anxious — they don’t feel completely safe, so they’ll rush to leave this area. A room with a door makes you feel safe, so you won’t rush as much. Stores with medium prices want their clients to make decisions fast and leave the fitting room to make space for the next client.
I’ve checked this myself. Yes, behind a door, you feel way more comfortable and confident. You’re not scared that someone will peek in. I’ve also noticed that behind doors, I didn’t undress quite as fast and took a longer time looking at myself in the mirror.
Fitting rooms without mirrors
The “find-a-mirror-in-a-store” puzzle
The absence of a mirror in a fitting room is not a mistake. Usually, this is something you’ll see in expensive boutiques. But there’s a reason for it: a client is supposed to leave the comfortable space of the fitting room to look into the big mirror in the main space where the seller is going to tell them how good the dress looks on them and how easy it is to combine with other clothes. Remember how we mentioned that when sellers help clients, they end up buying more?
Additionally, have you noticed that there are usually very few mirrors in the stores? You usually have to look for them. I was looking for a good mirror in the store but then lost my patience and went to the fitting room. This is exactly what the store wants you to do.
No line of people waiting to get into the fitting room
The more fitting rooms there are, the more likely a person will buy something.
The longer the line of people, the more clients will leave the store without buying anything. Experts have calculated that if there are up to 4 people in line to the fitting room, 3.6% of clients aren’t going to wait to try clothes on. And if there are more than 10 people in line, 19% of clients will postpone buying something. This is why the more fitting rooms there are, the better.
In big stores with lots of fitting rooms, only about 70% of them are used during peak hours. This means that not all fitting rooms will be used at the same time. And the store doesn’t want that to happen: this large number of fitting rooms gives employees enough time to remove the unnecessary items from the space and help clients.
I have to say that I’m a person who doesn’t want to wait in line. I feel like it’s humiliating to wait in line to get into a fitting room. Of course, I don’t like this feeling, so I’ll leave the store without buying anything at all.
This might be the most important detail about fitting rooms, and it seems weird that not all stores have the right light. Good fitting rooms should have lights that are bright enough while still being soft and warm. If the fluorescent lamps with great color accuracy are high up on the ceiling, the client will see all the imperfections of their bodies that they wouldn’t see in other circumstances. It’s so discouraging that the last thing you think about is buying something new. Why do I have these terrible wrinkles on my face?
But fitting rooms with lamps in front of you are very different. There won’t be any extra shadows on the clients’ faces, so they can easily focus on the clothes.
The location of the fitting room
Fitting rooms are never located near the store entrance because they’re the hot areas — or places that make you want to buy something right as you walk in. This is where the most attractive products are shown, like the new items, products from commercials, and social offers.
It’s smarter to put the fitting rooms at the end of the store where the cold areas are located. This allows clients to see as many products as possible. On your way to the fitting room, you’ll have already seen most of the things the store has to offer.
A call button
It’s not a very common thing for mass-market stores, but more high-end stores have this. If I’m wrong with the size, I have to put all my clothes back on, go into the store, find the right size, and go back to the fitting room to undress again. There are very few people that are willing to do this: you have to really like something to be up to the task. What I usually do in such situations is leave.
This is why a call button is great for stores: customers can just ask employees to bring a different size without them having to leave the fitting room. This also increases the chance that you’ll buy something.
Have you ever made an unplanned purchase after visiting a fitting room? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!