In order to have any sort of battle with Amazon, you had better be raking in some serious cash as far as the online apparel niche goes. This is one of the most competitive markets, and Amazon easily rakes in one-fifth of every sale in this space. That being said, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics has been closing the gap in recent years, and over the last three years has seen impressive numbers in the $250 million range selling women’s active-wear and workout apparel. If the king of clothing sales wasn’t worried before, they may have reason to pause now.
Listening to Hudson go on about the success of her athleisure brand might actually surprise folks. The company according to Hudson is seeing huge success due in part to two key marketing components. The first, a sales process known as reverse showrooming. The second, her unique and very rewarding membership program. The combination of both of these techniques creates the foundation of a company that is poised to do some really big things in the near future. Look at the overall shopping experiences at the mall, the atmosphere is relaxed, the buyers are happy, and the customers are there in abundance.
At the Fabletics stores in the mall, you find women who are simply trying on all the clothing while on their breaks, filling out the lifestyle quiz to enhance their memberships, and window-shopping until they can buy at another time. The sales associates don’t pressure the customers, and the sales keep growing and growing each year. The big secret however is what is happening when these customers head to the Fabletics e-commerce store. Once you try something on at the mall, your membership unlocks the ability for the store to transfer those pieces to your online account for future consideration, and they definitely consider them.
When you compare the two shopping experiences at face value, the glaring difference is the time it takes to get the right merchandise in your hands. With most online clothing retailers online, you select a size you think should fit, but most manufactures have their clothing cut differently, so you may be a small at one site and a medium at another. By the time you get it shipped, ship it back, and get the right piece, weeks have passed. At Fabletics, you get the perfect size the very first time, allowing you to show off your scores more easily.
Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is all about the pampering, and you see how shoppers respond when you give them free shipping for all those online orders and even deep-discounts on the yoga pants, leggings, and tank tops. This is a buying experience that has really resonated with customers, and they are forgetting about the benefits of Amazon, paying $80 for a Prime membership, and opting for all the freebies at Kate Hudson’s Fabletics. If things stay at this pace, you could see Amazon scrambling to play catch-up in the not so distant future in the women’s clothing niche.