Those who bet Fabletics would be upended by Amazon have definitely bet wrong. Fabletics has become an ambitious online enterprise, now complimented by a few physical stores. Naysayers felt the book peddler would also dominate the e-commerce fashion market, however, in just three years, activewear Fabletics has become a rocket, pulling in an impressive $250 million in revenue.
Renovating The Online Marketplace
It’s become painfully clear that Amazon is a trojan horse that pillars over retailers, to the tune of nearly $110 billion in annual sales. Millions of active customers rely on products that cover everything from electronics to fish food. It’s leader, Bezos, has become a giant that offers consumers anything and everything, but Kate Hudson’s Fabletics was not a losing proposition. Design, brand recognition, membership, and pricing are powerful combinations that chip away at Amazon’s digital gratification. Yet the ultimate weapon the company has successfully used to beat Amazon is “web rooming”.
Show rooming essentially disrupted and reinvented how consumers would shop. Comparison shopping via a smartphone then completing a sale via a traditional brick and mortar retailer became the norm, about a decade ago. Then reverse show rooming or web rooming became the new trend. Those comparison shoppers found it was easier to simply complete the sale online. Fabletics has capitalized on shoppers who browse by offering membership features that come with lower prices. Not to mention, shoppers discover designs you don’t normally find at local retailers.
Once Fabletics shoppers become a VIP member, they want to leverage that membership fee as much as possible. You discover all the selections of activewear that isn’t available at local retailers. VIP Membership was only one phase in a plan to reel in loyalty. This plan also includes local brick and mortar stores, currently in several states including Florida, California and Hawaii, and it’s redefining consumer expectations.
Since JustFab launched Fabletics, the company has made it clear they are taking over in athleisure wear. Founded in 2013, the online e-tailer has created a user-centric approach with product presentations that motivate the shopper. The trendy athletic and leisurewear costs upwards of $100 per outfit, however, VIP members get a deep discount of about 50 percent, bringing your total costs to about $49.99, which includes shipping. It’s not mandatory to become a VIP member, but it’s certainly a bargain.
The company sells accessories like recyclable water bottles, yoga mats, headbands, etc, and by using your membership fee, the items are ultimately cheaper than buying in your favorite store. Fabletics also offers its members the choice to skip their VIP fee, or cancel membership.
Overall, Fabletics has incentivized online consumers to shop more. Free shipping, deep discounts, and a personalized shopping experience has proved you can compete with Amazon.