In The Changing Room? Really?

Clothing retailers consider customer loyalty programs a surefire way to increase sales. But it’s tricky to get customers to part with personal information, even when the loyalty program comes with perks.

Clothing retailers know that consumers within their target demographics are shopping from many different retailers. That is why clothing retailers use direct mail targeted towards recent buyers so readily. They use these direct mail programs as loyalty programs - using regular coupons as a tool to keep customers visiting their store more regularly. This gives them an increased opportunity to capture a share of each customers spending.

Most businesses obviously choose the point of sale as the time to introduce customer loyalty programs, because this is where you capture the customers' personal information. But, as you know, especially a casual shopper is hesitant to give their personal information. In fact by this point most customers have made up their minds about what they want and just want to complete their transactions and leave the store as quickly as possible. That's no good because you need their personal information in order to be able to market to them.

Many retailers of course put signs around their sales floor as passive selling tools. This effectively increases awareness among customers, but the messages are being introduced at a time when the customer is laser focused on finding just the right item to buy.

More and more retailers are placing their messages in changing rooms because customers are at their most receptive to promotions at this point in the purchasing process.

This is a lesson we learn from the neighbor industry of clothing retail about why they choose to engage with customers about loyalty programs in a prime engagement zone like the changing room.

Customer Engagement Zones

There are several different engagement zones that customers experience as they complete their shopping experience. Understanding customers’ receptiveness at each stage can help you maximize your sales by offering what they want, when they want it.

Browsing – Will Resist Engagement

Customers who have just entered your store will typically resist engagement. They are browsers at this point and don’t want help from a sales associate. That is, not until they find something they might like to purchase.

Changing Room – Ready for Engagement

When customers find clothing they like they are ready to engage with sales people. Most of the time, they will make their way to the changing room to try the clothing on and make their buying decisions. This is the point at which they are most open to upselling and cross-selling.

Cashwrap – Disengaged

Once customers have left the changing room, they have for the most part made their decisions. They are ready to pay, leave, and move on with the rest of their day.

Discounts Help Customers Purchase More

Of course, customers make decisions in the changing room based on how well the clothing fits and how it makes them feel. But another thing they’re doing is mental math to determine whether they can afford all the selections they would like to purchase.

So it’s easy to see why this is the best time for signage about store programs like loyalty or financing - ways of increasing the customer’s purchasing power.

Suddenly, the great-fitting pants that had been demoted to the reject pile because of their price tag can be purchased – along with the top that goes with them perfectly.

Giving customers a reason to part with their personal info is the best way to get it, and the changing room is the best place to offer that reason. It’s a win-win proposition.

The Takeaway

You want your customers to see the value of shopping with you. Whatever your loyalty program looks like, you need your customers' information for it to be successful. You can't market to customers without their personal information.

Asking occasional customers at the register is only partially effective, even if you tell them they will receive discounts in the mail or in email. But if that customer had already been solf-sold on the proposition through signage they may be more forthcoming with their personal information. One of the best places for that signage is in the changing room.

How hard is your changing room working for you right now? Go take a look.

About The Author

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan is a proven marketing professional who entered the cycling industry in 1994.