Have you ever gone into a store in order to try something on, knowing that you will later purchase the item online for a better deal? If so, you are not alone. Many retailers struggle with this “show-room” phenomenon, which makes brick and mortar stores a place for customers to browse, but not to shop.
Kate Hudson’s athletic wear brand, Fabletics, has found success by using the reverse showroom technique. The brand is based on e-commerce, and leverages customers’ desired to try things on physically bey using a membership model for the business. With this model, many people who enter the store are already members, or can join the brands membership club while in the store. The store-front functions as a place to make contact and build relationships, and also collect data on shopping preferences. Whenever a customer in a brick and mortar Fabletics store tries something on, the item is simultaneously placed into their online shopping cart. The system has led to incredible growth for the Fabletics company, and has taken the shoppers natural tendency of wanting to try clothes on first, and leveraged it. Because it is built with the new kind of shopper in mind, Fabletics is finding success where other retailers find incredible challenge.
In the clothing industry, companies used to be able to put a quality product out there and find success based on price point, marketing, and availability. But with the changing economy and the addition of e-commerce sites like Amazon, clothing companies are finding it harder and harder to succeed. Consumers expect more from their product, at lower prices. They find relationship to brand important, and even compare what services will be offered in the “last-mile” of the item that they purchase. Increased competition leads to innovation, and Fabletics rose to the challenge.
Fabletics products are focused towards female athletes who want comfortable, attractive, and affordable athletic wear. The style is contemporary and chick, with many modern cuts and artistic details. The fabrics are aimed at functionality, and use sweat-wicking, breathable fabrics so that the wearer can compete and train with comfort.
A great aspect of the brand is that they include visually pleasing prints in many fun varieties. The outfits come in all sizes, showing that the brand is for athletes of all body shapes and sizes, and all levels of ability. The membership site is simple to use, and once you become a member you can cancel at anytime, so it is low risk to get involved.