Tackling the Giant: How Fabletics is Aiming at Amazon
There’s a classic showdown in the making in the world of ecommerce. Amazon is the known brand among most of the world for its online domination. After all, they own 20% of the online fashion industry alone. However, while most retailers are shrinking in size, importance, and revenue, Fabletics, represented by Kate Hudson, is growing quickly. This new kid on the block is using a variety of unique strategies to satisfy customers and secure their spot in ecommerce fashion fame. Their game is a combination of memberships and data utilization. It’s something they’re calling the reverse showroom model.
The traditional showroom model involves walking into a physical store. You might walk around for a bit, see something that interests you, then try it on. There’s a chance you might even buy it. But you probably strolled in off the street with no idea what was actually available. If you do happen to purchase something, you’ll probably use the retail store as a “showroom” and go find the item for less money somewhere else. Especially when Amazon and other stores make it so easy to do this. However, Fabletics is turning this traditional model on its head.
With the help of Kate Hudson, the brand has focused on marketing and aspirational imagery. By building fans online through social media and in-person networking, they first build up interest in specific areas. Once enough shoppers and members reside in a certain area, they form “pop-up” stores (temporary stores). This allows Fabletics to minimize their overhead while maximizing customer exposure. As an added plus, their customers have already been shopping online usually and know what to look for when they walk into the store, so more people turn into repeat buyers. About a fourth of shoppers in their stores will sign up for a subscription service allowing them to purchase certain items.
Furthermore, by utilizing data, the company can see what shoppers’ buying process is like and what their interests are. This opens up the door to follow-up sales and even stocking particular stores with specific inventory to maximize sales.
It’s no wonder the fashion brand has seen their customer base grow by triple and double digits for the last several years, recently reaching 1.2 million customers worldwide. And this is in an industry that many deemed “dead.” Athleisure typically has been overpriced, ugly, and made of low quality materials. But when founders Don Ressler and Adam Goldberg decided to found a fashion company, they wanted to improve in every aspect. That’s one of the main reasons they decided to bring on Kate Hudson.
Hudson identifies herself primarily as “an actor, through and through” although she is enjoying the success of the business. She was brought into the fold as a partner early on because of her approachability, humor, and active life she leads.
Hudson has helped the company select designs, overcome hurdles, and more. She even took to social media to defend the brand and improve customer service. It appears that Fabletics is here to stay for a while.