How do you build a successful ecommerce brand in 2017 while giving Amazon a run for its money? You gamble big on brand and on customer experience like the fitness apparel company Fabletics. This is the ingredient for success for Fabletics which is opening new brick and mortar locations as much larger and older retail companies like Macy’s are closing their physical locations. Fabletics is a fashion company that was born online and that won over its customer base by offering something that many other players in its field were not: well-designed clothing that would not put a large dent in their customer’s pockets. The company’s founders, Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler of TechStyle Fashion Group and starlet Kate Hudson, were able to clearly envision an opportunity to become a leader in the growing ecommerce marketplace. According to analysts at Morgan Stanley the athleisure trend is more than likely here to stay and to get larger. Athleisure largely refers to fitness apparel that is versatile enough to be worn in settings outside of the gym such as to the office or out and about on the town. Athleisure wear tends to be a bit more stylish than the usual workout fare of heavy sweats and a hoodie. Athleisure is growing in markets like the United States where young people are interested in living more active lifestyles and having a wardrobe that is conducive to that. According to Morgan Stanley the athleisure wear trend is also growing in international markets in China where nearly one-third of the population works out three times each week. This represents a wealth of business opportunities that Fabletics has positioned itself to take advantage of.
Part of the reason that Fabletics has been able to be so successful is that it has allowed actress and co-founder to take the helm for its marketing. Young consumers are now more than ever enamored with the idea of authenticity and relatability and Hudson delivers this in droves. In many ways she is her target market: young, female, interested in using fitness to enhance her quality of life. Seeing Hudson in Fabletics’ clothing seems very believable and does not feel like a stretch of the imagination that often accompanies some ill-matched celebrity-brand partnerships.
Hudson told CNBC that one of the elements involved in building a strong ecommerce brand is understanding the value that big data can bring. Hudson and her colleagues look to data to help them understand which items they should be producing more of and which items are not connecting with their customers and need to be shelved as a result. They don’t play important business decisions but look to the data to them how customers are responding to their products. Fabletics success shows that this approach is paying off.
Another key to Fabletics’ success is the emphasis it places upon online reviews. Fabletics treats online reviews as a kind of qualitative market research where they can gain valuable insights about how to move forward based on the way that customers are reacting to their business. The company reportedly spends lots of time one the website Trustpilot monitoring and responding to the countless number of online reviews that customers post there. Fabletics also offers their customers the chance to take a short quiz to better understand their needs.