Ok, maybe Fabletics isn’t really a titan in the retail world just yet, but Kate Hudson has her eye on Amazon’s 20% clothing market share. If she can make a significant dent, Fabletics may yet be reckoned a titan.
Fabletics Employs Reverse Showrooming
Throughout history, most stores began life as physical spaces where sellers displayed their offerings. From tents to five story buildings, these were showrooms. Customers had to physically visit such a place to see what was being offered.
Fabletics, through the magic of Ecommerce, introduced itself to our notice without any physical presence; it was exclusively a web store, enticing customers though images online rather than in showrooms.
Now that Fabletics has established its name somewhat, they are opening stores. The logic here is that the customer base founded online will extend their patronage to these physical entities. In this way, Fabletics has reversed the traditional showrooming concept. Turning showrooming backwards has become their method of reaching customers and they call it Reverse Showrooming.
Fabletics doubled their launch risk.
Not only did they debut as an exclusive online business, but they founded the business on subscription sales.
Many people have less than positive associations with subscriptions. Some people remember being bullied into magazine subscriptions because they were associated with another purchase. Some people have guilty feelings, remembering piles of books purchased through subscription and never read or returned.
However, Fabletics is also revising the old subscription model by taking the most egregious elements away. For example, unlike many traditional subscriptions that were almost impossible to terminate, Fabletics, while fervently hoping customers will be thrilled with their service, make ending the subscription as simple as possible.
Another aspect of subscriptions that many customers do not remember fondly is the difficulty of making returns. While Fabletics cannot visit your home, wrap up the items you want to return and carry them back to the warehouse for you, they do all they can to make returns and exchanges easy. Customers may return anything with which they are not satisfied for store credit, credit or merchandise replacement – that’s pretty easy.
Getting to Know You
As another flourish on this off-beat business approach, Fabletics subscribers, called VIP members in Fabletics lingo, are treated as true VIPs by being presented with a curated collection of clothing. By recording what is returned and what is retained by customers, supplemented by a short quiz on personal preferences, Fabletics learns each customer’s tastes. Subsequent selections are made by Fabletics stylists with those tastes and preferences guiding the selections.
This customization is a very new and remarkable twist on subscriptions and may well be the key to Fabletics success.
So, Fabletics may not yet be a titan of Ecommerce industry as Amazon is, but they may be taking the first baby steps toward that lofty title. Even Amazon did not begin as the megalith it currently is, so who knows of Fabletics unusual approach will work forever? Certainly, they are making a splash right now.