News Feature | December 11, 2014

Nordstrom Partners With eBay For Smart Fitting Rooms

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer

Nordstrom eBay Partnership Smart Fitting Rooms

Fashion retailer Kate Spade worked with Ebay to develop 24 hour shoppable windows in 2013

and now Nordstrom has decided to use Ebay's technology to outfit their two of stores with high tech fitting rooms. Fortune recently reported the upscale department store is testing interactive mirrors that become smartscreens in the store's dressing rooms. The technology was designed by Ebay and builds upon that used by Kate Spade earlier in the year. It's not known how long the test program will last, or whether it will spread to other stores at this time. The two fitting rooms currently testing the program are located in the Westfield Southcenter Mall in Seattle, Washington and Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, California, wit the mirrors were installed prior to Black Friday.

The goal  of the smart mirrors? To help customers with their purchasing decisions both in and out of the fitting room. Now if customers try on an outfit in the fitting room, but end up wanting a different size or color, they can use the interactive element of the mirror to locate alternatives. The mirrors feature a barcode scanning ability that the consumer can use upon walking into the fitting room. Once they're done scanning, shoppers can then use the interactive mirror to browse products, and even have a store associate bring items they select on the mirror to the dressing room. The mirror also displays customer reviews and style recommendations, so customers can put together the perfect outfit.

“The way customers shop for clothes has evolved,” says Jamie Nordstrom, the head of stores and former leader of Nordstrom's Direct digital business. “How do we take all the information that’s available to customers while they’re sitting on the couch at home browsing and add that to the dressing rooms, so it’s the best of both worlds?”  The answer, it appears, is to offer the same convenience in shopping that's available at home in the store. With the smart mirrors, Nordstrom and Ebay can help consumers bridge the gap of wanting to try something on before purchasing it online.

“Nordstrom and eBay Inc. are joining forces to bring the best of ecommerce technology into the physical world,” says Nordstrom spokesman Dan Evans. “Nordstrom has long been a leader in the retail industry for technology innovation to enhance the service experience we offer our customers.”

When speaking to Fortune, Nordstrom mentioned the possibility of integrating the smart mirrors into the retailer's oultlet, Nordstrom Rack, but has yet to announce firm plans at this time. As for Ebay, this is the latest move the company has made to bring the digital store into the physical space. Earlier in the month, Ebay partnered with Simon Malls to install high definition touchscreens for directions, store sale information, hours, offers and more in a Palto Alto, California location.