Succeeding as an online fashion business today is becoming harder as consumers are changing their criteria of what it means to be a loyal customer. In years past it was enough to succeed as a brand and an online business if the product being offered was of superior quality and the price was right. Today, it is not just the market that is changing but more markedly, the consumer is.
Consumers now are no longer satisfied with a good price and a good quality product. There has to be a hook to bring them in, but also to keep them there. The competition is simply too numerous to keep customers around when they see there are so many other choices around them at good price points. Consumers are browsing through stores to the point where it has been given the name of “showrooming”. Instead of picking something they like and buying it on the spot, they are using physical stores to scope out the products they like and then later finding it online for a cheaper price and buying it from them. Amazon is becoming a major hub for finding great prices on fashion items and it is harder than ever for brick and mortar stores to succeed in this realm.
Fabletics has brick and mortar stores and it is succeeding because their brick and mortar stores are an extension of their VIP membership online business. They have been able to keep their VIP membership customers because they offer a stylized service for their customers at an affordable price point. Because the customers are queried on what they like, and delivered a product they actually like, Fabletics is able to deliver more of that to the customer. Getting it right doesn’t waste time, money, or resources. Listening to the customer, delivering the goods, and doing it at a good price keeps them around and wanting more because it is actually improving their lifestyle.
The brick and mortar stores Fabletics has opened and is opening are reverse showrooming the customers. Instead of hoping to harness their customers with a sale in the physical store and then keep them as customers, they are bringing in already loyal members to experience another realm of the Fabletics experience in person. Of course walk in customers can come in and buy something off the rack, but what they are really selling in the store are add ons to current customers, and memberships to prospective ones.
In the store can be found athleisure items and some of the athletic clothing items that the store has stocked based on the online sales of the customers in that specific area. The Hawaii store may not carry what the Bridgewater, New Jersey store carries because the online customers in those regions have different preferences. This is smart data science marketing and it allows the stores to be higher sales performers and to run test sales to see what might work better in their current location and in other locations.