Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom & Other Retailers Trying Out Smart Fitting Room Mirrors

Calling your friend into the fitting to ask how an outfit looks might soon be replaced by simply asking the mirror on the wall. Retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, among others, are testing “smart” fitting room mirrors that not only suggest adding say, a statement necklace to that ensemble you’re trying on, but also get to collect information about your shopping habits much like online sites do.

For example, when a shopper is browsing for clothing on say, Amazon.com and they’ve already got a pair of jeans in their shopping cart, they might see a suggestion for something else to go along with it.

These fitting rooms could function much like that, reports the Associated Press, as well as provide side-by-side comparisons with video of the various looks you’ve tried on. Or you it could just overlay the shirt on your image so you wouldn’t even have to put it on. Other technology out there would allow customers to request or purchase directly from the mirror and have it shipped home.

Along with helping shoppers achieve their ultimate outfit, retailers could collect data like online retailers do to analyze how customers make choices and how they shop. Executives say that shoppers would be offered the choice to opt-in to the smart mirrors, and any data collected is protected, the AP says.

Neiman Marcus rolled out its MemoryMirror outside fitting rooms in three locations last year, and says it’s considering activating the “virtual dressing” feature.

The company’s president of Neiman Marcus stores and online said the mirror lets the retailer get specific information for the first time ever on who exactly is trying on a dress and buying it. Customers must first register for a unique account associated with their email address to use the mirror’s features, and any data collected on the mirror’s usage is anonymous and aggregated, he said.

Other stores are testing fitting-room technology from eBay that uses radio frequency identification that embeds data in clothing tags. Customers flip through a catalog on a touch screen and decide which items they want in the dressing room and then submits their phone number. A sales clerk texts when the fitting room is ready, and when the shoppers walks into the dressing area, the mirror recognizes the items and displays them on the screen.

At Nordstrom, which is also working with eBay, customers are equipped with bar code scanning devices so they can see what’s in stock in the dressing area, and then show those items in the mirrors.

“We will listen to the customer as they use the mirror and see what changes make sense to improve the experience,” a spokesman said.

“Smart” fitting room mirrors boost sales [Associated Press]