Fabletics Using Review-Centric Marketing to Win Over Customers from Competitors

Fabletics, Lululemon, and Athleta are some of the companies involved in the design and marketing of activewear clothing. Although Lululemon and Athleta were founded way before Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is giving the two a run for their money. Established in 2013 by Kate, Don Ressler, and Adam Goldenberg, Fabletics is on its way to becoming a market leader. One could argue that Kate’s fame coupled with Goldenberg’s and Ressler’s experience in the fashion industry (TechStyle Group) bolstered the company’s exponential growth; while Fabletics’ resounding success can partly be attributed to the mentioned factors, especially Kate’s large social media following, review-centric marketing strategy handed Fabletics success.

The internet is partly to blame for the current consumer behavior. With the advent of e-commerce sites, a lot of transactions are done through the web unlike in the past few years when a customer would walk into a retail shop and physically examine products before purchasing or continuing with their search for a product that would perfectly fit their needs. Presently, consumers purchase products from the internet without examining them first; the chances of purchasing unworthy products are high. To save themselves from sub standard products, consumers use the internet to search for “user reviews” of a product or a service. The nature of the reviews, regardless of price, will determine whether a consumer buys a product or source for another. Positive reviews of a service or product will entice customers to order from a company. A BrightLocal study concluded that 84% of consumers are convinced that online reviews are an accurate reflection of a product or a service quality.

Fabletics, being an early adopter, has successfully used review-centric marketing to increase its sales and by extension, its growth. The presence of a website, Fabletic.Com, which consumers find products that have been positively reviewed by renowned people like Kate or promoted by sensational singers such as Demi Lovato speak to the hearts of online shoppers; many consumers readily associate with Kate or Lovato. Review-centric marketing has enabled Fabletics’ star to rise amid cutthroat competition. In 2013, Fabletics was nothing compared to the 90’s Lululemon or Athleta, but the company has grown by over 200% to the dismay of its competitors. Also, Fabletics’ revenues are going through the roof. Being a membership based retail outlet, the number of paying members subscribed to Fabletics is estimated to be over one million.

Rave reviews of a product, service, or a company not only increase sales but also have an array of benefits. Positive reviews will enable a company to be among the top companies displayed by a search engine when an online user searches a product associated with a company. Also, positive reviews increase repeat purchases and retention of consumers. 21st Century companies wishing to set themselves apart from the lot should adopt review-centric marketing.

Kate is the sensational figure associated with Fabletics. To her, a winning activewear clothing should be, stylish, high quality, and reasonably priced. To find the best Fabletics’ gear, a consumer can visit their website and take a “Lifestyle Quiz.”

Can Kate Hudson’s Fabletics Make Amazon Worried?

Amazon has been alone in the top spot of the e-commerce women’s apparel market for years, and bringing in 20 percent of the sales in that niche means they usually do not worry about the competition. Although Amazon has not see a real threat to their bottom line in years, it appears that Kate Hudson’s Fabletics may be about to give the retail giant a serious run for that money. In the prior three years, Fabletics has sold over $250 million in women’s workout apparel and active-wear. Is this something long-term or just another one-hit wonder?

 

Asking Hudson about the overall success of her athleisure brand, she talks about two key components that have had the biggest impact on the company. Hudson credits the membership program of her company and a selling process known as reverse showrooming. When consumers arrive at the Fabletics store in the mall, they are free to try on as man of the pieces of workout apparel they like, sign-up for the free membership, take the Lifestyle Quiz, and then continue window-shopping. There is no pressure put on customers by the sales associates, and leaving the story without making a purchase doesn’t concern Hudson.

 

If people are leaving without buying, how can the company sustain the $250 million in sales long-term?

 

To see the rest of the buying process in action, we watch as these same customers eventually wind up at the Fabletics website. Members will discover all the items that they tried on in the retail store are sitting in the online profile now. Since these shoppers know how the pieces of active-wear fit, the guessing part of the buying process has been eliminated. Unlike at Amazon where these same customers are hesitant to buy because they could be returning that same piece until it fits, at Fabletics the customer knows exactly what fits. These women will often purchase more pieces of workout apparel on impulse like they would if they were in a traditional shopping setting.

 

The relaxed atmosphere of buying on the web is not the only benefit for members of Kate Hudson’s Fabletics. These customers get lower pricing on goods, a personal shopping assistant, and free shipping for online orders. The personal assistant responds to the quiz answers and chooses something each month they think will interest the customer. The customer always has the last say on anything suggested, nothing will ever ship without permission.