To understand how coveted that top spot is in the online apparel market, you need to know this is probably the most competitive of all niches. With thousands of clothing retailers all fighting for the same customer, Amazon is grabbing 20 percent of all the sales in this space. As impressive as that sounds, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is making waves of their own as they are bringing in well over $250 million in sales of women’s apparel in only three years. It appears there actually is a serious threat to the top spot in the online clothing market.
Hudson talks all about her athleisure brand and its success by explaining it all comes down to just a couple things. On the one hand you have a unique membership platform, then on the other you have a sales process known as reverse showrooming. These are not new sales practices, yet they work rather well with Fabletics. So we take a look at the Fabletics store in the mall and we see something very strange happening. There is no pressure from associates, and women are more relaxed and enjoying all the perks of being Fabletics members. These women are enhancing their benefits by taking a lifestyle quiz, window-shopping, ad trying on everything they can inside the stores.
There is a very good reason why these shoppers are trying on all the clothing in the mall. Each item that fits is then uploaded to the online store where the inventory is much bigger. When you visit the e-commerce site, now you can base your purchase on a size you know fits you perfectly, so you wind up buying more and more pieces. The convenience of knowing the size of a brand in advance eliminates doubt, and you can buy on impulse as long as you like.
In contrast, look at how this exact same sale takes place at Amazon. The customer finds a pair of yoga pants they love, they assume the size should fit, they pay for shipping, and they are too tight when they arrive. The piece is shipped back, the new size is shipped, and weeks have passed before the right piece finally can be worn to the gym. The thrill of being the first in your gym with those new arrivals is lost on the fact it took a month just to get the correct sizing.
Kate Hudson’s Fabletics customers get more in the way of benefits. Online orders are shipped for free, there is deep-discounts on apparel, and you even get your very own shopping assistant. Your assistant uses the lifestyle quiz answers to help them select a new item each month and places it in your shopping cart to consider the next time you visit the e-commerce site. Once a month you have an assistant pampering you, giving you more reasons to shop. Amazon and their top spot in the online clothing niche could be in for real trouble if Kate Hudson’s Fabletics has anything to say about it.