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Technology

Fitting room checkout eases retail therapy for Japan's fashionistas

NTT Data looks to upgrade experience for customers and store clerks alike

NTT Data's self-checkout system incorporates multiple devices to let customers buy clothing without leaving the changing room.

TOKYO -- Japanese shoppers could soon skip the checkout line at the clothing store and pay directly from the fitting room with an automated system NTT Data hopes to commercialize in fiscal 2020.

The Nippon Telegraph & Telephone unit is testing the self-checkout system through Monday at a Tokyo store of apparel chain United Arrows. It hopes to improve the customer and worker experience by streamlining payment.

The system automatically scans clothing hung up inside the fitting room via radio-frequency identification technology, displaying the information on a tablet there. The customer can select what items to purchase and pay by credit card.

A receipt is delivered electronically through a QR code displayed on the tablet. Customers can also ask for different sizes or help through the system, which sends notifications to Apple Watches worn by store clerks.

The self-checkout eliminates waiting in line and makes it easy to request assistance. Clerks can focus on customers instead of cash registers.

Data is collected on not only purchases, but also items tried on but passed up. Analyzing this data could help stores with future customer visits and with online sales.

NTT Data's current trial involves multiple devices, such as RFID sensors, credit card readers and tablets. Developing a single device for all such operations ahead of the launch is also under consideration.

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