In the past, the formula for acquiring a high-end client was to provide a measure of exclusivity by having a price point that was affordable by the common shopper. The second step in this formula is to then offer this high-end client a very high quality product. Many of the most iconic brands available in fashion have instituted this policy with great effectiveness. However, this model is not holding up in the Amazon era. Aggregate shopping sites like Amazon have caused a shift in high-end customer behavior and regular shopping behavior alike.
Because many of these shoppers originate online, they often only utilize brick-and-mortar stores to test the product. These shoppers then return to online sources to find cheaper purchasing options instead of patronizing the brick-and-mortar stores in which they test the products. Therefore, these stores feel like they are becoming showrooms for online stores and aggregate sites like Amazon. Showrooming as it has become known as is becoming a real problem for brick-and-mortar stores who have to charge more on top of their high price point because of the overhead necessary to operate the traditional stores.
This overhead is compounded by showrooming because of the added manpower required to show products to the new influx of this type of internet client and to also house products without the return of the benefit from the purchase. To buck this trend, many of the more internet savvy start-up companies have integrated strategies of reverse showrooming into their marketing repertoires. Reverse showrooming utilizes the trend of showrooming in order to convert potential customers thereby making the phenomenon a huge asset in building a high-end brand in today’s internet laden business atmosphere.
Because of today’s business atmosphere, these savvy companies understand that a positive customer experience is one of the new keys needed in converting a high-end customer base. So now they can build these stores simply to provide this experience. One company that is taking on Amazon in this way is Fabletics. Fabletics was founded three years ago by Kate Hudson, and since its founding, it has grown approximately 5000 percent utilizing its twist on reverse showrooming. Gregg Throgmartin is the company’s general manager.
Fabletics utilizes a subscription model that is described as a mechanic. This mechanic allows the company to convert customers online and then provide the necessary positive customer experience to further develop their relationship with those who already possess a subscription and to convert new customers inside the brick and mortars with this positive customer experience. Because of this technique, a majority of the customers entering their stores are already subscription carriers. Another one quarter of their clientele base is converted in store.
Another benefit of their technique is that it does not matter if the customer acquires the product online or in stores because the price point is consistent along all the platforms in which they sell. To further cement their buyers, items that clients choose within a store automatically appear in their online shopping carts further facilitating purchasing ease by providing many options in which to buy.