When you go shopping for a new clothing item you’re logically looking for something that is well made, fashionable, and affordable. With the online store Amazon offering the same items as the physical stores at cheaper prices, the trend has been for people to browse the store in person, find what they like, and go home to find the same, cheaper version online and have it shipped to them. This is called showrooming, a phenomenon that is changing the way businesses competing with online stores are designing their marketing techniques. Consider it this way, if you knew you could save an average of 10 to 15 dollars by skipping the checkout line and going straight to your Amazon cart, you probably would. Kate Hudson’s Fabletics store is a great example of a business that has turned showrooming into an effective marketing strategy. Fabletics combines the in store experience with a connection to the customers’ online shopping habits to close the gap between store browsing and online buying.

The main technique used by Fabletics is that if a customer is tries on an item in the store, that same item will show up in their online membership cart with Fabletics. When customers go home to begin their online shopping they have another reminder to purchase the item. They already tried it on, know they like it and it’s conveniently waiting for them in the virtual shopping store. To encourage membership, the website offers exclusive details for members only. If you like the product, and can save a significant amount of money over time, you may as well become a member. This logic is the same as an Amazon Prime membership where a customer signs up for a year membership to get discounts, and the discounts basically pay for their membership over time. This encourages more website usage and online purchases. In Fabletics case, whether or not the sale is at the store or online does not matter because the ultimate goal is customer satisfaction and sales.

Along with using the in-store and online membership to sell items, Fabletics uses online data to stock their stores. They can research what is hot in the global fashion market and match that with customer preferences. Combine that with excellent customer service in the stores, a good feeling and attractive product that is affordable and you have a recipe for customer satisfaction. Fabletics has mastered the techniques of building relationships, making purchases convenient, and retaining customers through in-store to online membership. It’s no wonder that in three years Fabletics has kept up with Amazon and became a $250 million dollar business.

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