The Amazon effect is putting a lot of brick and mortar retailers in a difficult position. Retailers have come to rely on foot traffic as a good indication of business, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. Foot traffic does not mean a good customer anymore, and a lot of customers are using the “showroom technique” to do their shopping using the store more as a showroom than walking in with an actual intent to purchase there. Consumers are using retail locations as a place to scope out a product, as a place to touch it, feel it, and try it on only to walk out with the intention of finding it online at the best price. Fabletics is a company that is reversing this technique on the customer, beating them at their own game.
Fabletics offers a custom VIP membership service on their website, asking customers to commit to their product by requiring a monthly purchase, and keeping them satisfied by giving them a valuable service and a great product at an unbeatable price. The athletic woman in today’s world is trying to squeeze fitness into her every day life and schedule, leaving her less time to shop. Shopping online is always an option, but unless it’s built into a service it is hard to generate a return customer simply because there is so much choice out there on the internet. Fabletics brings her a hand picked shopping cart every month, choosing styles that would befit her based on her style preferences and workout activities. From there it is easy for the Fabletics VIP member to choose several pieces that her $50 monthly commitment allows her. $50 on Fabletics buys a lot of workout gear!
The physical locations Fabletics is opening are frequented by guests who are already committed to the brand. The customers who love the brand are anxious to see what this branch of the brand will offer them. By using data science pulled from the website Fabletics is able to offer tailor fit options that meet the likes and needs of the customer in that particular location. The store in New Jersey carries different merchandise than the Honolulu store based on preferences. When the customers walk into the store, they are already VIP members looking for more and are likely to find what they want, or they are new customers who have the chance to learn all about the brand when they walk through the doors with the option of signing up as VIP members in store.
In this careful mode of business operation Fabletics is guaranteeing themselves a sale by catering to the tastes of their current customers or they are very likely to sign a new guest up for a VIP membership by offering possibly hesitant online shoppers a taste of their brand on a physical plane enticing them to sign up for the membership. Fabletics is truly turning the tables on the “showrooming technique” and is satisfying customers and creating new ones daily.