NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters partnered with Aila Technologies to showcase interactive fitting room technology at the 2019 National Retail Federation conference.
Shoppers use touch-screens installed in each dressing room to scan items, look up product information, request additional sizes, see in-store inventory, calculate costs and email themselves product information. Sales associates receive notifications via mobile when a product is requested and can indicate when it has been fulfilled, thereby streamlining in-store logistics.
The technology is currently being tested in American Eagle locations in San Francisco, Boston and Las Vegas, according to a spokesperson from Aila.
American Eagle's new dressing room tech doesn't dismantle the familiar experience of trying on clothes. Instead, the advancements are used as a way to supplement and enhance the encounter, with proprietary technology acting as a liaison between the shopper, the sales associates and the product. Consumers are given quick answers to questions regarding style, size and fit without having to run around to check on product availability.
The fitting room experience is rife with pain points. Yet, the space is a critical area where shoppers can transform into brand loyalists if it is leveraged correctly.
Other retailers have moved toward advancing fitting room technology. TopShop and Uniqlo have worked with AR-enabled mirrors so shoppers can switch out the color of the apparel they are trying on. Alibaba partnered with Guess on a "FashionAI" concept store that included smart mirrors, and Nordstrom's Reformation brand has tested a "magic wardrobe" that includes touchscreens where shoppers can digitally browse items.
The expansion of in-store technology comes at a time when American Eagle is experiencing growth. In August 2018 the brand announced it was opening 50 to 80 new stores of its Aerie brand. It also revealed an investment in the college dorm and small-space retailer Dormify.