Fabletics Bricks and Kate Hudson Mortar: Reversing the Showrooming Phenomenon
In our digitally focused world, it is clear that shoppers seek and are driven by consumer-generated content (CGC). Often such content, mainly reviews, is sought online before a decision is made to purchase. The key is whether the purchase is then made online, or offline as an in-store purchase.
While others run scared of Amazon and the showrooming phenomenon, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics remains steadfast. Embracing the well-kept secret that physical store purchases continue to capture the majority of sales globally. Well aware of the power behind CGC which feeds the giant Amazon, Kate Hudson redirects this force to enhance their brick-and-mortar store experience.
Showrooming, generally feared by offline retailers, is the trend of consumers to comparison shop in physical stores, only to make their final purchase online. The antidote to this dreaded behavior is reverse-showrooming, aka webrooming. This more recent purchasing behavior involves researching products online but then completing the final purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. ROBO, which stands for research online – buy offline, is the same behavior as reverse-showrooming in which buyers analyze reviews and other CGC online, then purchase in a physical store.
Though Amazon may be the major destination for showroomers, Fabletics views Amazon as simply an intermediate destination of reverse-showroomers. The ROBO purchaser, after shifting through consumer-generated reviews, will ultimately buy from a brick-and-mortar store.
Kate Hudson’s magic is to use the attributes epithetical to the virtual world, to enhance the live purchase experience in the real brick-and-mortar store. With a presence in both worlds, Fabletics is in line with other e-commerce entities in becoming a fully integrated omnichannel for retail purchasing. Warby Parker, one of the world’s most valuable retailers, also started online. After becoming a successful giant in e-commerce Warby Parker began opening physical stores. Even Amazon has recognized the need for traditional brick-and-mortar as it continues to open bookstores. They understand that the future buyer will rely on multiple retail channels encompassing mobile, social, web, and physical stores.
Online or offline, showrooming or webrooming, Fabletics is determined to enhance the customer experience through high-value branding. Not only providing the historical combination of high quality and low pricing, but also taking advantage of their online data, membership strategy, and customer experience including a Life Style Quiz, to cater to each individual customer. Deep data helps personalize their consumer’s experience, from stock selection and customize service, to local fashion trends. Their use of Omnicart software drives stock selection in response to fit and appeal. They’re e-commerce membership strategy effectively builds relationships. Half of those entering physical stores are already members, and others are converted into members while in the store.
In the midst of an online world, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics increases each customers lifetime value by understanding online as well as offline, the evolving culture and changing desires of each shopper.
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