Fabletics: Using Reverse Showrooming to Beat Amazon

By now, you have certainly seen all the Fabletics advertising featuring oh-so-cute Kate Hudson. She’s part owner of this new brand and ready to beat Amazon, or at least pose a threat to Amazon, in their apparel line.


What can Fabletics do?

Well, Fabletics can’t instantly morph into a giant such as Amazon. However, Fabletics can use a little creative marketing to lure away customers. The first step of that process is to offer prospective customers a great deal to introduce the product and build interest. To maintain customers after that introduction, Fabletics uses their subscription service.


Many people have a bad feeling about subscriptions. Images of plies of unread books, unopened magazines and useless cosmetics fill people’s minds. Fabletics takes on that image headfirst by restructuring subscriptions.


A Fabletics subscription is a process controlled by the customer, unlike so many of the unlamented olden days subscriptions. If you don’t want a delivery this month, let Fabletics know and they won’t deliver anything nor charge you for anything. If you don’t love what you are sent, return it for it for store credit or refund. By taking the sting out of subscriptions, Fabletics is making it fun again.


How is Fabletics using Reverse Showrooming?

Not so long ago, brands introduced themselves to the public by opening brick and mortar stores. They stocked those stores with samples of their wares to attract customers into their shops.


As they did with subscriptions, Fabletics is doing with showrooming. First, Fabletics introduced themselves to the public through a substantial publicity campaign. From there, they developed a base of loyal customers through the subscription process. Now, with loyal customers eager to use their loyalty points and discounts, they are opening stores.


Even with stores, Fabletics is doing things a little differently. Rather than opening 50 stores across the country with identical stock, Fabletics is using the data collected in each locality to open a shop stocked with apparel that area will like. This is an ideal way to build on the data collected in the subscription process.


Curating Your Collection

Fabletics uses the sales data both to stock the new stores, as mentioned above, and to select clothing for your next delivery. As time passes and you keep and return some clothing, Fabletics adjusts what you are sent to more closely meet your needs and tastes. A Fabletics stylist selects your order each month. Over time, you end up with a collection custom-selected for you.


This process is profitable for customers and Fabletics. Customers receive clothing they really like and Fabletics completes successful sales and learns more about their customers each day so they can build tomorrow’s look.


Fabletics and Amazon: Let the Battle Begin

Using all of these tools, Fabletics is poised to assault, or at least take a good run, at Amazon’s %20 clothing eCommerce market share. Fabletics may never be as large as Amazon, but neither can Amazon be as small as Fabletics, offering the customized service that is building great loyalty.

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