The need for traditional companies especially those in the fashion industry to fight against the shifting market forces that online companies like Amazon are causing is now being called taking on Amazon. The idea is that the shift in the market as related to consumer’s shifting attitudes can be reversed if companies within the fashion industry would only develop strategies to fight online stores. However, this is a type of miss-direction because the problem these companies are having can not be changed by focusing on a single online company or even the shift itself. Some ideas are so overwhelming that they simply become the reality of doing business, and the successful companies will be those that innovate. This issue is most prevalent with the high-end fashion sector, but the problem will almost certainly present itself in any sector in which old marketing strategies are utilized.
The problem as the fashion industry sees it is the process by which consumers whose habits have shifted to primarily shopping online are subject to a simple problem with online shopping which is the inability to experience a product first-hand. This has caused these often high-end shoppers to come into the stores only to experience the product and the positive customer experience that retailers have instituted within their brick and mortars. The practice is referred to as showrooming, and the positive customer experience that these online shoppers seek is a means by which prospective customers could formerly be converted into a consumer who is loyal to the brand.
This old marketing formula was effective at making customers patronize the brand consistently over a life time or even generationally throughout families and associates. However, for every company that is seeing their demise from this process, there are others innovating the digital shift, and doing so with the type of explosive success formerly only reserved for well funded and long founded businesses. Some companies are utilizing a technique referred to as reverse-showrooming. However, simply referring to this innovative marketing strategy as a simple reversal of the problem is a vast understatement of how effective some forms of so-called reverse showrooming are.
For example, the new fashion brand Fabletics has seen exponential growth exceed 4,000 percent in its first three years in existence. It employs a particular effective marketing effort that allows consumers to become brand loyal by traditional methods combined with solving the issues that make showrooming such a problem for fashion entities. Fabletics allows consumers to obtain a subscription online or in their stores. Consumers have no need to test products in stores and then seek the lower price point online because the membership enables the consumer to purchase the product at the online price point in the store also. Not only is the consumer able to buy the product in store at the normally lower online price, they can be converted in the land based stores with the positive customer experience. Fabletics and its founder Kate Hudson are reaping the benefits of pioneering the new norm.