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Dressing Rooms, Lighting and Skinny Mirrors

January 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM
I spoke with a friend last week who is starting a new business.  We got to talking about all the details that go in to opening a new business.  Knocking out walls, permits, town meetings, roof pitch, merchandise.. and then we landed on dressing rooms.  


Think back to a recent time when you have tried something on in a dressing room.  The color tones, the lighting, mirrors, a little bench perhaps, a door or a curtain.  How did you look?  Did you look like hell from the lights shining down from above?  Were you worried about someone walking in while you were stuck in some blouse pulled half way over your head because you didn't want to unbutton it?  Or were you looking hot, dancing in your secure little dressing room in the mirror with those hot new jeans that make you look 10 years younger?  Maybe some new earrings are in order, you are looking good!  


If your experience was more like the second scenario, you probably were in a store that considered the smaller details of your shopping experience like lighting in the right places, a secure 3/4 door, and skinny mirrors.  


Yes, skinny mirrors.  Oh, don't be so dramatic with your gasping.  Skinny mirrors use curved glass to make you look 10 pounds lighter.  Sneaky, you say? Tricky?  Perhaps.  


I'd like to focus on a deeper lesson at play, however; thinking of your business from the customer's prospective.  When you turn the tables and put yourself in your customer's shoes, you see things a little differently.  How does the store look when I walk up to it.  Are there signs everywhere saying "No Strollers", "No Dogs", "Under Surveillance"?  How do you FEEL as you walk up to and into the store?  Browse around a little.  Try things on.  How's the line area? Is it a mass of people and no way to get through it to the other side of the store?  Did someone smile and say hi to you?  How long was your wait at the counter?  Did the cashier chat with you or just look down, ring through your items, and tell you "$25.95" before they looked up at you?  Did someone say "thanks for coming in, check back in two weeks when we get our new shipment of ____"?  


When you put yourself in your customers shoes through the entire experience, you can determine what changes you can make to meet their needs.  It's hard enough to get new customers into the store.  Once they are in, make them so comfortable that they can't wait to come back and treat themselves again.  


The same thing can be said for websites.  Go to your website.  Is it nice to look at?  Is it easy to navigate?  Look at it from your cell phone and from your tablet.  Is it easy to read from other devices?  How long does it take you to find what you want?  Are there other things like that object that are near it when you are checking out?  Think UPSELL.  If the customer likes this, they will probably like that.  Offer the similar or matching item on the shopping cart page.  How long does it take to check out?  Was it easy to find where to enter your coupon code that you saw on the Facebook post?  Do you get a thank you screen that makes it clear you just made a purchase and will receive a confirmation email with shipping details shortly?  


Once you can put yourself in your customers shoes, all of the details become more clear and provide a better overall experience.  


While skinny mirrors may seem a little sneaky, I'm still ordering two for my house.  

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