Fabletics is a start-up fashion Ecommerce store taking a swing at the Amazon Ecommerce behemoth, well, maybe just a swat.
Fabletics was founded as an exclusive Ecommerce business, as Amazon was. Because of its business line in clothing, Fabletics is de facto a competitor of Amazon. Of course, at this point in the history of the universe, all stores are competitors of Amazon, but in this case, Fabletics is taking particular aim at the clothing 20% market share that Amazon commands.
What Ammunition Does Fabletics have to Combat Amazon?
Both Amazon and Fabletics are Ecommerce businesses. Fabletics adds a difference in using a technique they are calling reverse showrooming, whereby they sell directly to customers, bypassing the physical showrooms of their predecessors.
By now Ecommerce is so common in our society that we can fail to see the significance of this approach. However, remember that Amazon is primarily a go-between. They are beginning to offer some of their own products now, but they were founded to enable customers to find anyone’s products anywhere.
By contract, Fabletics is selling only their own wares directly to customers. You are probably thinking that, in this scenario, Fabletics better have a very dedicated customer base if this is their concept, and you would be right. The customer base is their marketing club, VIP.
The VIP club is the most substantial weapon Fabletics has to oppose Amazon. Amazon deals in millions of orders and must necessarily let some mistakes slip into the process. The VIP club is designed to create and maintain a positive, supportive, equally fulfilling relationship with customers so that each profits from the exchange.
The VIP Club as a Subscription
Fabletics is challenging Amazon on customer service and by providing customers with a positive experience under the subscription model. For example, subscriptions have a bad reputation for being difficult to escape. Fabletics address this by ensuring that subscriptions are playgrounds rather than prisons. A customer may decline any monthly offering by notifying Fabletics before the shipping deadline. If a customer misses that deadline, Fabletics cheerfully accepts returns for any reason.
Another aspect of the subscription service that Fabletics is over-hauling is in closing it. Fabletics acknowledges that personal circumstances can intervene that can make maintaining the subscription a lower priority. Therefore, Fabletics ensures that exiting the subscription is as easy as opening it. They recognize that customers who feel burdened by the subscription will not speak well of the company and will not remember it fondly so they make the subscription as easy to end as it was to begin.
Building a Business on Service
This combination of Ecommerce, excellent customer service and providing a superior product is starting to show positive results for Fabletics. They are now opening stores to further their brand goals and integrating the VIP club into the store. VIP offers apply to store purchases, new customers may take advantage of VIP membership in stores and online and all receive the customer service that is the backbone of the subscription relationship. Amazon may have a little competition these days.
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