To get a better understanding as to how far a lead Amazon has over the competition in the online clothing market, you just need to know that over one thousand retailers are fighting for the same dollar, and Amazon gets 20 percent of it. That is a huge advantage that allows the giant retailer to relax knowing even the closest competitor could be far off in the distance. Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is hoping to put a little pressure on that retail giant, and pulling in well over $250 million in sales over the last three years is a great start.
When you listen to the way Hudson describes the success of her athleisure brand, it basically comes down to two sales practices that may surprise many. At the core of Fabletics success is a rewarding membership program and reverse showrooming. To understand these two in layman’s terms, let us take a trip to the mall and go into the Fabletics retail stores. This is not your average shopping experience by any stretch of the imagination. Shoppers are applying for membership, enhancing the membership taking a Lifestyle Quiz, window-shopping, and trying on everything they want without pressure from Fabletics sales associates.
With the relaxed atmosphere, you might thing this is where the majority of sales are taking place. In fact, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is making the majority of their revenue from online sales. Here is where membership perks really kick into gear. Since these women were at the mall trying on the latest in active-wear, they log into their account online and all those leggings, tank tops, and yoga pants, are uploaded to the inline profile for consideration. Knowing that the clothing fit perfectly in the mall, customers are able to focus on surfing the expansive inventory and not worry about getting a piece and returning it until they get the right size.
Compare that to what happens when you buy from Amazon. In the hopes the clothing fits, you buy one pair of leggings and pay for your shipping and wait. When the clothing finally arrives, you discover it does not fit and you send it back. Now once your account is credited for the return, you try to buy the right size and wait. If you got lucky this time, only a few weeks has passed since you placed the initial order and most of the excitement about ordering has certainly disappeared by now as a result.
Membership benefits at Kate Hudson’s Fabletics don’t end there. Customers enjoy discounts on workout apparel throughout the site, free shipping for online orders, and even their own shopping assistant. Your shopping assistant uses your quiz answers as a guide for picking one new arrival each month for your consideration. No pressure at any step of the way, you will find shopping at Kate Hudson’s Fabletics in the mall or online is all about catering to the needs of women shoppers who are looking to be pampered rather than treated like a number.
Fabletics has international appeal. This is what gives Kate Hudson the confidence that she needs to successfully compete with other companies like Amazon. This is a company that started in America, but the appeal was so great that people in Australia and Canada would soon pick up on this phenomenon. It certainly is interesting to see how Kate Hudson has transitioned from an actress too a very important entrepreneur in the business world.
One of the interesting things that she does to gain attention from new customers is advertise great deals on things like leggings. This is definitely the way that many people have come to desire her clothing during the holidays.
Usually there is a great deal for VIP members that are interested in signing up. Typically, when people connect to the website and browse around for a little bit they will get access to a pop up that may show a sale for something like leggings at a real deal for 2 for $24. The retail value of something like this may actually be close to $100. This is great advertising for Kate and the Fabletics brand. It gets people to take the style quiz and get started with the possibility of a subscription service.
It is interesting to see how Fabletics stacks up against the competition, but so far people are not really worried about what the competition is doing. Amazon has the ability to attract a lot of people, but Kate Hudson knows exactly what she is doing. She knows that she has to be personable and order to connect with customers, and this is what she does. She has no desire to leave her business in a place where customers do not recognize her face. She wants to be able to give her customers the ability to actually see her in these clothes. She has the desire to actually model the clothing and connect with the customers.
Jeff Bezos definitely has more money to burn with Amazon, but this is not the way that he is going to compete with Fabletics. Jeff knows that Kate has already mastered this art of selling gym gear to females. He knows that there is a lot that he can learn just from watching what she is doing. That is why he is simply going to sit back and see what her strategy is, and he will simply work from that angle. That is typically what owners of huge companies do when they are competing with other companies. They don’t waste a lot of time trying to develop marketing strategies. They simply wait to see what the marketing strategy is going to be for their adversaries. When this happens they will simply utilize the strategies that their opponents are using. When this doesn’t work they may take the interest in trying to buy out the competition.
It is unfortunate for Jeff Bezos that Fabletics is already part of a bigger clothing chain. It is a sister company to JustFab.
One thing that can be said for Fabletics is that it offers enviable fashion for people. People that have not been able to take advantage of the subscription services that others are enjoying have found themselves being envious of those who are able to wear the styles. Fortunately, Fabletics has expanded to a market that allows people to participate in the subscription service. One thing that Fabletics does that differentiates it from other companies is that it focuses all of its efforts on getting to know the customer. The customer that is interested in the service is given a survey.
After the customer completes the survey, then she is taken to a listing of products that are available. This gives her a chance to choose the products that she wants from the list. Afterwards, she just has to wait until she receives it. This is a satisfactory experience for a customer when she finally receives it. There are plenty of other advantages that the customer gets to enjoy. One thing that could be said for the company is that it takes less than a week for the package to arrive at the home of the customer.
The products that Fabletics sell are made from some really good material such as prima cotton. There are different lengths and styles that the customer could choose from. This is one of the advantages of Fabletics, it has different styles and size options for women to take advantage of. This is a huge step up from athletic clothing stores which just sell generic clothing. The boxy fits of regular athletic clothes are replaced with the more shapely styles of Fabletics clothing.
Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg have made good on the markets they have taken on. They also keep expanding into other markets. They do understand that not every customer is going to want to order clothes from the internet. Being able to be up close and personal with the clothes before one buys it is an advantage that can only be offered by physical stores. Fabletics allows people to experience an improvement to their style and their overall self esteem.