What Does Reverse showrooming have to do with Fabletics?
Most retails of note in the United States began as brick and mortar stores, physical spaces filled with merchandise, beautifully displayed to attract the buying public. These expanses of physical shopping arenas were called showrooms – a room where retailers could display their offerings. Not long ago, it seemed impossible that any store could succeed without beginning as a physical store. However, Fabletics is based on exactly that nearly impossible concept.
Meet Reverse Showrooming
Physical spaces are always expensive. This expense is a particular burden for new establishments that have yet to develop loyal shoppers to help pay the rent every month. Fabletics decided to skip the showroom. Rather than having a physical store, Fabletics decided to take a chance and market directly to the customers electronically.
What’s the Difference?
You may argue that all retails that can afford it market directly to customers via television and radio commercials, pop-up ads on web sites and endless paper mailings. The difference is that Fabletics launched without a physical store lurking in the background. There was no mall that had Fabletics listed on their directory, no little town that could claim that they were the birthplace of Fabletics and point proudly to the first store and no busy street that gave Fabletics its initial sales. Nope, Fabletics launched and established itself as a purely electronic store.
Without a Showroom, How do People Know What Products They Carry?
Fabletics has a virtually show room. Of course, an electronic showroom is different from a physical one, but Fabletics offers another tweak to that difference: curated fashions. When customers register to be VIP members, they take a short quiz. The results of this quiz form the foundation of their personal fashion database.
With each monthly order, Fabletics adds to this database by noting what items of clothing customers accept, what they return for which reasons and what the order as replacements. This gradual exchange teaches Fabletics the tastes and styles that each customer likes so they can tailor their shipments to the expressed interests of each customer.
What Happens Once Fabletics have a Customer Base
With a foundational base of VIP customers, Fabletics expands their network through recommendations of existing customers and additional advertising. At this point, with an established foundation, they are rolling out physical stores.
However, even the Fabletics physical stores include the information learned through VIP customers. This means that a store in one city features fashions that many customers in that area enjoyed. A store in another area is designed based on the tastes of that specific area.
Everyone is a VIP
The physical stores accept the points and special offers extended to Fabletics VIP members. Additionally, the stores offer the same incentives to new customers as they did with online shoppers, making VIP membership nearly universal.
With reverse showrooming, developing a dedicated VIP customer base and extending that base into physical stores, Fabletics is poised to claim a piece of Amazon’s fashion market and may very well succeed.