Tasting success in the fashion e-commerce is not a simple feat given that Amazon controls 20% of this market, but Kate Hudson’s Fabletics has managed to grow its $250 million business in just three years. Fabletics, a part of the ‘activewear’ growing movement, is using a subscription mechanic to deliver clothing to customers. The line is premised on a simple idea where customers like aspirational brands that push them abit, mixed with membership and convenience to create a powerful combination.
Shift in Economics
Brands of a higher value have from the past relied on being defined on the basis of quality of products or services and price. However, there has been a shift in the economics which renders this combination null as it does not guarantee success or remain competitive. There are new determinants to what constitutes high-value to the modern consumers. These are brand recognition, customer experience, last-mile service, gamification elements and exclusive design. Fabletics has a positioning and strategy akin to that of Warby Parker and Apple, which is paying off well as the brand is set to open up more new stores. They will add to the sixteen stores that are open in places like Illinois, California, Hawaii and Florida.
What is the Secret?
Gregg Throgmartin, Fabletics’ general manager thinks their secret is the building of a re-imagined and modern version of a high-value brand from the first day. He added that their membership model allowed them to offer customers a personalized service as well as on-trend fashion at half the competitor’s prices. He summed it up by saying that it is easier for Fabletics to make their customers happy as it knows who they are and their needs.
How are Fabletics Stores Different?
Fabletics is different from its competitors as it allows “reverse showrooming” unlike its competitors who are affected by showrooming. The latter refers to when customers browse for products offline and buy them from other cheaper areas. Fabletics reversed this model when it started out and turned browsing positive instead of negative. Fabletics looked at building relationships with its customers and understand the markets well through activities and events. This resulted in 30-50% of all people entering into a Fabletics store being members and a further 25% become members inside the store.
Using Online Data as a Retail Strategy and Focusing on Culture, Accessibility and People
Fabletics knows that it should show the precise content in both physical and digital forms as a way of not destroying the brand journey of the customer. The store stocks items that match the preferences of the local members. Fabletics has its fair share of issues but as it evolves and expands to other territories, it considers lifestyle balance, customer experience and consumer education. The brand understands the “new” consumer.
Fabletics is an e-commerce site dealing with women’s accessories (athleisure) and sportswear. It offers its customers with personalized outfits that are made to match the members’ fashion and lifestyle preferences. Fabletics is a subsidiary of JustFab (TechStyle Fashion Group). It was launched in 2013 by Kate Hudson alongside JustFab’s co-CEOs Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler after identifying a gap in the activewear market.