Fashion sells, but when you are competing against giants such as Amazon success seems bleak. Amazon controls about 20% of the market, and the rest is largely shared by big merchants and labels. Entering into this competitive industry seems risky, but Fabletics, an emerging brand, has beaten all odds to achieve impressive success.
A Smart Approach
Fabletics has been around for only three years, but it has already grown to about $250 million in such a relatively short period. Its incredible success has been attributed to several factors. For starters, its products are not only high-quality but also affordable compared to the competition. Additionally, it has done a great job of reaching out to the market and appealing to the activewear movement. However, its main strength lies in its business model.
Like giants such as Warby Parker and Apple, Fabletics’ business model resembles a sort of movement. Unlike most fashion companies, Fabletics requires its clients to subscribe for its products rather than buy promptly. By doing so, Fabletics is assured of a consistent income flow and a growing customer base. This is referred to as reverse show-rooming, and it may well be the future business model for most fashion companies.
Defining Reverse Show-Rooming
It has always been the norm that customers browse clothes before buying; this is known as show-rooming. However, most customers take advantage of this to browse clothes on major fashion companies only to later look for cheaper alternatives elsewhere. This practice has been slowly killing many fashion companies, and it has become worse now that most customers shop online.
Fabletics has taken a different route that has proven successful: reverse show-rooming. Customers cannot simply browse the selection of sportswear and walk away; they are required to subscribe for monthly supplies, although one can always skip or return a delivery. The idea seems unfeasible at first, but it has worked out well for Fabletics as the company is now guaranteed a constant customer base that will only grow bigger if everything goes smoothly.
Reverse show-rooming has not been easy for Fabletics to harness. It has taken several smart strategies that scope price, quality, identity, and appeal. For starters, Fabletics products are high-quality and relatively affordable considering that customers receive full active-wear gear. Additionally, Fabletics has focused on active-wear, a popular emerging category of sportswear. It is especially popular with runners and people who exercise lightly, and many people have come to identify with it. Finally, it has appealed greatly to its market in all aspects including advertising and design.