The e-commerce business is a challenge for startups as the platform is already dominated by major players such as Amazon. For instance, Amazon claims over 20% of the online fashion industry. Nevertheless, some startups such as Fabletics have made it big in the online e-commerce market. Fabletics was established in 2013 by three forward-thinking individuals: Kate Hudson, Don Ressler, and Adam Goldenberg. While the two gentlemen have experience in the fashion industry (they are the founders of TechStyle Fashion Group), Kate is famous for her exemplary acting skills.
Presently, Fabletics is scaling the heights of the e-commerce fashion industry. The brand has operations in over six countries including France, Canada, and Spain among others. Also, its presence in the US market is ever-growing with the recent addition of new stores to complement the existing ones in Hawaii, Illinois, Florida, and California. Fabletics’ revenues are approaching a quarter of a million, and pundits estimate that the company is on a path to increase its profits further. Most importantly, the company’s number of paying members is over a million; Fabletics uses an online membership platform. For a four old startup, that is quite impressive.
Fabletics’ approach to the e-commerce space is unique as it is customer-centered. Unlike its competitors that focus on quality and price, Fabletics has gone ahead to involve itself with auxiliary services such as last-mile service, customer experience, brand recognition, exclusive design, and gamification; according to Fabletics, these extra services are part of what the modern consumer considers to be high-value. Gregg Throgmartin, the Fabletics’ General Manager, attributes the company’s success to the move by Fabletics to build what users regard as high-value and its membership model.
Apart from their online e-commerce website, Fabletics.com, Fabletics has innovative physical stores. The stores are unique because the company gets to build a relationship with every consumer that walks into their store. Although, over 50% of people who walk into a Fabletics store are registered members, over 25% of non-members are willing to become members.
Fabletics’ physical stores are stocked with items that are likely to resonate well with the local consumers. To this end, the company uses online data, real-time sales activities, and input from members and social media. Although the company experiments with some items in their stores, many items are stocked as a result of global fashion trends and user preference data.
Fabletics will continue to educate its customers about its business model and products that inspire an active lifestyle. The company will also learn from venturing into new markets and territories. Fabletics is a testimony that it is possible to build a brand despite intense competition.