If brick-and-mortar stores are the new showroom and are no longer serving as a point of purchase for some customers then digital fitness wear brand Fabletics is choosing to embrace this new development rather than fight it. For retailers that are not digitally native and expect to pull in a lot of revenue from their physical stores the internet is still proving to be a disruptive force. Shoppers are often using all of the channels that are available to them in order to find the best deals that they can. This can mean that they are choosing to visit storefronts not to make purchases but to learn more about products they are interested in by seeing them in person. After they have experienced a product at a physical storefront they might make the ultimate decision to purchase the item but it is not guaranteed that they will be purchasing the item from the store they saw it in. In a move that has probably bewildered many salespeople these inquisitive customers are choosing to turn to the internet to make their purchases. There they can often find more competitive prices than they can at physical stores.
Fabletics has figured out how to make this phenomenon work for them by offering exclusive designs on their offline and digital sales channels that cannot be found at any other retailer. The brand also isn’t expecting to necessarily capture all of its customers in a physical store front. In fact up to 50 percent of its customers have already developed a strong relationship with the brand by the time they go to a Fabletics store. According to Forbes.com between 30 percent to 50 percent of Fabletics’ offline customers are also subscribers to its monthly VIP membership program. Customers that are new to the innovative monthly membership program can sign up in-store. Fabletics has chosen to see its relationship between its digital and offline portals as symbiotic and reciprocal rather than being in opposition to one another. These channels can be used to strengthen one another when they are viewed as simply being different kinds of experiences that speak to the wide variety of expectations that customers have for their shopping experiences. As Forbes.com notes the process might be called reverse showrooming where the in-store experience continues to add value because of the exclusiveness of the product and the fact that Fabletics has a strong online presence rather than being a company that started out earning all of its revenue from brick-and-mortar stores.
Even though the company was founded in 2013, a mere four years ago this year, it continues to show extraordinary growth. A corporate marketing officer for TechStyle, the company that owns Fabletics told Forbes.com that the company has grown at a speed of 35 percent each year. The growth that Fabletics has experienced has been attributed to the brand’s success at delivering clothing that doesn’t skimp on quality at an affordable price point, its creative talent and the sincere brand ambassador that it has found in its co-founder actress and fitness enthusiast Kate Hudson. Hudson has proven to be a relatable brand advocate whose lifelong appreciation for physical activity, women’s empowerment and health has connected with Fabletics largely female customer base.