Most of us by now have seen the Fabletics advertising. They rely heavily on images of Kate Hudson’s beautifully sculpted form attired in fetching, interesting, unique fitness wear. Though a joy to admire and an ideal model for this line of athletic attire, Ms Hudson is more than a pretty face and figure; she’s an intimately interested party in the Fablectics revolution as part owner of the entire establishment.
Kate Hudson and her crew have an uphill battle ahead of them. Their plan is to take on the gigantic retailer, Amazon. Currently, Amazon commands 20% of the eCommerce market in clothing. More and more of us are shopping electronically and much of that business goes to Amazon, as this figure shows.
Fabletics, however, is too smart to try to fight Amazon at their own game. Instead, they have percolated an interesting plan for assaulting the giant from an unusual quarter. Yes, it’s still eCommerce, but it’s eCommerce with a twist: subscription clothing sales.
Fabletics’ vision is based on building a loyal customer base through subscriptions supported by dedicated, determined, customer service. The subscription part of the plan is easy to understand. They offer a great deal, such as a complete exercise outfit for $20 with membership or two pair of exciting stretch pants, to enroll customers in the program. To keep customers, they offer excellent, fashionable fitness wear shipped to their door each month for around $50.
The target audience is people who exercise regularly and want to do so in cutting-edge clothing as opposed to the satanic black worn by much of the exercising population.
Beyond simply shipping clothing to people every month, Fabletics takes an additional design step that personalizes the experience. When customers register for the VIP program, they complete a short survey that informs Fabletics of their size, color, sport and fitness environment preferences. This forms the kernel of a curated, fitness wardrobe for each customer.
This is not your grandmother’s book club that sent each member the same book. This is subscription retailing on steroids. Each month members may accept all or part of the order shipped to them. Fabletics adds to the customer database by tracking what is returned and the reason for the return; this teaches Fabletics they style and preferences of their customers. The subsequent months tailor their offerings to each customer’s tastes.
Don’t want to be pigeon-holed? No worries! Not only does Fabletics send new clothing each month, but customers can select different or additional outfits from the Fabletics offerings. This way, Fabletics knows when a customer’s tastes are changing and can accommodate them as needed.
Fabletics supports sales though excellent customer service, dedicated to maintaining a positive relationship with customers. This includes cheerful exchanges, store credit and refunds without difficulties and maintaining a high standard of clothing.
With this level of personalization and service, the Kate Hudson “David” may succeed in her battle with the Amazon Goliath, though there does seem to be enough business to keep both competitors satisfied both now and in the future.