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Dec 22 2011

WGSN - Digital Alternatives


Getting undressed to try on clothes could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new hi-tech innovation.

By Jayne Bibby, Retail Reporter

SapientNitro, an interactive marketing and creative design service, has developed a virtual dressing room mirror, dubbed the digital fitting room of the future.

The brand's goal was to raise the bar for the fashion apps currently available in the retail industry, so SapientNitro’s creative team developed its own proprietary technology. This virtual mirror gives customers a concierge-like shopping experience, builds loyalty using a swiped loyalty card, and allows them to rate merchandise. It also gives the retailer the opportunity to up-sell, cross-sell and save the customer's history of purchases.

Alexi Smith, associate creative director of SapientNitro, told WGSN: "The concept is less a virtual mirror and more about using digital and virtual means to connect the physical experiences and processes already present in an in-store shopping experience."

With many shoppers still wanting to visit a physical store when they could just as easily order everything online SapientNitro’s main challenge was to isolate what already works about that experience and enhance it, and to change only what doesn’t.

"We don’t aim to substitute a digital experience for shoppers’ tactile need to feel, hold and sample – a virtual try-on won’t get the drape, movement, texture, or weight of the fabric quite right, but interactive dressing rooms can extend the aisle, facilitate relationships with store associates, and connect a shopper to her own shopping history and past experience as well as her social network of the moment."

The mirror is activated by a store assistant starting a dressing room for a customer, registering her chosen items on the touch enable device in the room. As the customer tries each item on they can rate it, find suggested pairings, or find suggested alternatives for items that don’t work. If the customer's account is linked through a loyalty card, she can access her history and see how this item might pair with something else in her wardrobe at home. Alternative sizes can also be discreetly requested with a simple touch.

The mirrors don’t currently connect to any social networking sites but Smith explains that this is definitely a modification SapientNitro would consider. "This is definitely within the realm of possibility, but we’d need to evaluate if it is brand appropriate. Any promotion via social networking is a great benefit, and would be the primary goal of enabling social sharing, and making that a prominent part of the experience. Depending on the brand, though, the in-store experience can be a more valuable asset, so it’s important to weigh the value of promotion vs. experience enhancement and balance the experience accordingly."

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Media Contacts

  • For Sapient and SapientNitro inquiries, please contact:

  • Stacy Simpson

    Chief Communications Officer



    For Sapient Global Markets inquries, please contact:

  • Geoff Whitehouse

    +44 (0) 207 456 6550