Recently, the General Manager of one of the most innovative fashion brands, Fabletics, suggested that fashion retailers cannot compete in the fashion business without thinking about the challenges posed by Amazon. As Amazon has captured nearly 20 percent of the market share in the industry, it is important for growing brands like Fabletics to think outside the box. Interestingly, Fabletics has just done that by providing a unique model of reverse showrooming.
Traditionally, Amazon prompted the customer to buy products online without visiting the brick and mortar store. In fact, the advent of technology and mobile phones also supported the Amazon model because more customers are inclined to buy online. The concept of reverse showroom technique originated in response to the competition of online stores such as Amazon. For instance, Fabletics challenged the norm by offering online catalog subscription of its fashion products. Accordingly, the subscriber would get a lot of deals and discount, which are tailor-made for subscribers.
As deals from Fabletics online catalog are exclusive to its members, anyone can easily visit the physical store to redeem the deal and try clothing in the store. The integration of online and offline model makes sense because customers of fashion clothing not only like online deals, but they prefer to visit the physical store to try their clothing before buying them. The reverse showroom technique used by Fabletics encourage customers to visit the physical storefronts where they not only get to try cloths, but also get highly personalized service from the customer service representatives.
In fact, Fabletics is not the only store that is working on reverse showroom technique. There are others who have joined the party. As such, innovation is one the rise as robots deliver clothes inside the changing room so that you don’t have to get out to try the new cloth. Just pick up a few clothes that you like and let the robots deliver it in the changing room.
By using innovative techniques, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is successfully competing with Amazon for fashionable clothing and related products. Already the company has increased its revenue by $250 Million in just three years. In fact, the company will open 75 stores to 100 stores in the next three to five years. The success of Fabletics can be credited to its focus on understanding the need of its customers. Accordingly, the subscription catalog model allows the management to understand and offer products that attract the customer.
The success of the model is evident by the high percentage of walk-in customers who are already a member of the Fabletics subscription service. It is estimated that nearly 25 to 50 percent of walk-in customers are former members. Therefore, it is easier for the customer representative to serve these customers as they can anticipate the need of their clients. To increase awareness of the brand, the company also offers on-the-spot membership to customers who walk in their stores. Whenever a customer tries or buys a new cloth, it automatically shows on the online portal of the customer, which allows the company to offer similar clothing and future deals matching the shopping history of the customer.