Apparel retailing is the second most prominent segment in organized retail after Food & Beverages. One of the most integral elements in Apparel retail is the touch, feel and trail of product. At a time when online fashion websites are attracting a large chunk of offline consumers, one major motivation which keeps the retail store’s footfall is the “trial experience”.
Earlier trial rooms used to be a left-over place which was used as a store room but now with retail industry going for a makeover the trial room has also changed their identity from a leftover place to a forefront of the store.
Based on Channelplay’s rich exposure in Apparel Mystery Audits, here are some of the best practices which are followed by prominent brands:
- Positioning of the trial room
Trial rooms should be easily accessible to the consumer at any point of the store. These can be in multiple locations depending on the size of the store however should not be directly visible to a customer.
- Size of the trial room
The size of the trial room is of utmost importance. At times, the space of the trial room is so congested that the customer feels suffocated in trying out the products and leave the store without even a single purchase.
- Interiors of trial room
Apparel brands are doing the interiors in an innovative way nowadays. Kid stores, for example have trial rooms with cartoon characters painted on walls so that kids can be kept engaged while they are made to try different clothing items. The look and feel of the trial room varies according to the theme and USP of the brand.
- Seating in trial room
Seating in the try rooms is a new addition we find in almost all apparel stores now. This gives the customer the convenience to sit down and try different clothing items. There should be enough space for customers to keep their bags etc.
Lighting is a very important element for a trial room. Some stores have equipped themselves with effective lighting which offers the day and night effect wherein a customer can view himself in a particular dress and how they would look in that dress during the day and at night. This concept of lighting is apt for those stores that sell party wear clothing and accessories.
- Space near trial room:
People generally shop in a group and hence space near a trial room also plays a vital role. While trying different clothing items, customers try to seek opinion about the apparel of which they are not sure. If the space near the trial room is not enough for the people accompanying, then the customer might end up leaving the products for which he/she isn’t completely sure and hence buying less.
To ensure the hygiene of trial room, retailers must avoid ignoring the important parameters of having a trial room. They must make sure that the value and benefits attached to a trial room is not compromised.