Many retailers today are struggling, and it is all boiling down to not being able to provide a customer experience that is relevant enough to today’s market. For today’s customer everything is all about value. They want the best value that they can get, no matter what. “Showrooming” is killing a lot of business. The value conscious customer will use a store’s physical location to check out a product in person, trying on the product to see how it looks, feels and fits. Once they have put the product through a thorough evaluation, they will surf online to see where they can find the product for the cheapest price.
Many fashion retailers are suffering loss of business through showrooming customers and the businesses who are surviving are catering to that customer, providing an online shop that gives them everything they need with a retail space that acts as a supplemental shop and an introduction to their online experience. One company who is doing this extraordinarily well is Fabletics. Fabletics started as an online retailer and gives their customer all the things the “new” customer looks for. Attractive memberships that ease the process of shopping, up to date and on trend options, affordable pricing that beats out other competitors draw in the online customer and keep them there each month.
The new showrooms that have opened in lieu of online success are localized shops that cater to the customer based on accumulated web data. Stores are stocked with merchandise that can be tracked to the likes and dislikes of the most local customers, ensuring customer satisfaction based on real time data. With a focus on customer satisfaction, there are new offerings made available and small test runs and tweaks always in process to see how to best satisfy the customer. Fabletics is about being a lifestyle brand and they like to deliver their customers a more complete lifestyle experience by streamlining what the customers want, encouraging their online members to try the activewear in stores, and giving them a way to sign up for the online membership in stores.
Fabletics is winning the Amazon in many ways including their reverse showrooming technique, but they start at square one by offering their customers a lower priced array of activewear that customers would truly have to shop around for to beat. Being a member lowers the customer’s price for the clothes, encouraging a monthly purchase. The fashion survey that VIP members take at the beginning of their membership queries their style preference and what kind of workouts they do. This allows the site to pull custom picks for them, and to design newer product for online and in the store that would already appeal to them based on their previous preferences. This is truly a “stylist” service that is coming very close to custom wear. The customers don’t have to think twice about shopping for their fitness wardrobe, as their custom picks are delivered right to their door, making more time for workouts.