New 'Smart Dressing Rooms' Will Turn Shopping Into a Total Nightmare

We live in a world where everyone and everything is trying to be "smart," with the most intuitive technology meeting needs we didn't even know we had. But Macy's test run of a "smart" dressing room, which is an attempt to digitize the brick-and-mortar shopping experience and make the department store more competitive with online retailers like Amazon, may not be all it's cracked up to be.

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Here, five reasons we're not so thrilled about this new wave of technology.

1. Loooong waits for a dressing room. The dressing rooms are reportedly outfitted with tablets to make it easier for size exchanges or different style requests. But what if this just makes people linger in rooms longer, leaving other shoppers left outside to wait their turn? I mean, if you have the store at your fingertips, why bother browsing amongst the racks when you can just have your wants brought to you.

2. More waiting around once you're in the room. These dressing rooms are also described as having "chutes" through which merchandise will be delivered so that you don't have to physically interact with a human salesperson at all. But how long will it take workers to find the correct size and style and get it to the cute? It feels like this would involve an awful lot of unseen manpower for potentially little return.

3. Holiday shopping = OMG. Let's talk about Black Friday and other already completely insane sale days at the mall. Can you even imagine the horror stories that could result from these dressing rooms when stores are swamped and employees are already fielding a million questions, returns, and item swaps? I don't want to imagine it. It's scary.

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4. The logistics don't make sense. Where is all of the stock being kept that makes it so easy for items to be sent down a chute at the drop of a hat (or tap of a tablet)? Amazon has ginormous warehouses and a legendary system of finding their products to ship out to you post haste. But where is Macy's keeping this magical stockroom? Seems impractical.

5. It caters to our inner couch potato. Don't even get me started about how this promotes overall laziness. Does it really hurt us to, oh, I don't know, roam a store to take a physical look at all of the merchandise? It may sometimes feel like a hassle to get dressed and leave a fitting room only to find and return with another size, but that's just part of getting in our 10,000 steps a day.

So while Macy's heart and minds are in the right place, I'm just not so sure this is really a "smart" idea after all.

 

Image via ziss/iStock

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