In the world of retail, you’re either with Amazon on you’re competing against Amazon. There is no if, ands or buts about it: to be successful, you have either be prepared to take on this giant behemoth or you have to wind up partnering with them, generally by selling your merchandise on their website.
Because Amazon has such a large market share – 20 percent in the case of fashion – competing against them is a giant feat. You must have a business strategy that can succeed where many others have failed. Fortunately for Fabletics, they seemed to have found the success formula.
Founded in part by the actress Kate Hudson, Fabletics is a seller of “athleisure” apparel. Hip, modern and fashionable, they have taken the women’s athletic apparel sector by storm, growing sales to $250 million in just three years with no signs of slowing down.
The company employs various methods to be successful and one of the most important ones is reverse showrooming. With reverse showrooming, the idea is to get a customer to look at your offerings online, have them decide (or close to decide) what they want and them get them to come into the store to make that final purchase. This technique has many benefits: it engages customers, gets them excited about buying something at your company and most importantly, if properly executed, it significantly increases customer retention and thereby increasing their lifetime value. This is exactly the opposite what of what Amazon tries to do and every customer that Fabletics retains in this manner is one customer that Amazon potentially loses.
Those who want to see reverse showrooming in action are encouraged to go to the Fabletics website and start by taking the Lifestyle Quiz.
If Fabletics can continue what they’re doing, they are sure to keep their success going well into the future. Kate Hudson, who has been and continues to be an instrumental piece of Fabletics’ success story, is largely to thank. Her deep, personal involvement in the company’s strategy and operations have dramatically increased its brand image and awareness amongst consumers. While she is unlikely to stop professionally acting anytime soon, her business savvy will likely keep the company going and growing well into the future.