Ralph Lauren, a luxury men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, accessories and home furnishings provider, has opened eight RFID-enabled interactive fitting rooms to test in it’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Ralph Lauren has implemented new technologically advanced fitting rooms that include “smart mirrors” with a touchscreen and built in RFID reader to identify the RFID tag that is placed on each item that they sell. The mirrors make a memorable and unique shopping experience for customers, as they allow them to choose their lighting preference in the dressing room, choose between one of six different languages, and communicate with sales associates who may be in other areas of the store.
Since implementing the RFID technology in the New York City flagship store, Ralph Lauren has seen a higher conversion to purchase rate. With all of the assistance that the smart dressing rooms provide, customers have become more likely to purchase the items that they try on. Ralph Lauren associates and the consumers alike love the new technology and their new shopping experience.
Not only have the RFID tags been increasing sales, they also send data to Ralph Lauren head quarters. This data helps employees keep track of inventory, and also lets them know what items are most popular, and what items people tend to try on but do not purchase.
Although the smart mirrors have increased sales and are incredibly productive for the Ralph Lauren company, they do have some flaws. The RFID Journal article did not mention how much Ralph Lauren is paying for this new technology. Is their increase in sales high enough to validate spending so much on new mirrors? Or are they wasting money by implementing this new technology?
The mirrors are only being tested in a single store in New York City. This is Ralph Lauren’s largest store, and their busiest. Because this store has such a large amount of people coming in and out every day, they cannot be sure customers would have the same reaction to their smart mirrors in different areas.
With technology comes technological errors. How can Ralph Lauren make sure that the smart mirrors are picking up information from the correct dressing room, and sending the correct information out to sales associates? How do they react when something goes wrong with the mirrors?
The “smart mirrors” have appeared to be a valuable asset to Ralph Lauren’s Fifth Avenue store, but are they a valuable asset to Ralph Lauren as a whole?