Successful retailers nowadays take advantage of a new trend which has been called the “power of the crowd”. This refers to online reviews of products left by other consumers. Most people now consider these as reliable as recommendations from friends and family about products and heavily rely on them to make their buying decisions. One of the online retailers that makes great use of this “power of the crowd” is the women’s activewear brand Fabletics.
In the four years of its existence, Fabletics has seen phenomenal growth, in no small part due to their member’s reviews of their products influencing other buyers. It now has over a million members and has $235 million in annual revenues. The corporate marketing officer of Fabletics, Shawn Gold, says that they make member reviews a prominent part of their website which has tremendously helped move product since other members rely on them so much. He says these reviews also help retain Fabletics members as well as improve customer loyalty to the brand.
In addition to online member reviews, another way that Fabletics helps to build brand loyalty is through their Lifestyle Quiz. When a new member makes their first purchase they are able to fill out this quiz which hones in on what types of fashion they find appealing. This helps the new member save time on latter purchases as the website learns what they like and don’t like so that what they do like is featured more prominently for them. This individualizes each member’s experience on the Fabletics website.
Online reviews are used quite frequently by customers. A recent survey showed that more than half of consumers research a company in any given month and rely heavily on reviews left by other customers. 60% of these people said that overall negative reviews will lead them to not using a business. This shows that a business’ reputation is one of the most important considerations that people take into account when deciding whether or not to use that company or not.
Fabletics is a brand that is owned by TechStyle Group. It came about when the owners of the company saw an opportunity in the women’s activewear market that wasn’t being met. While there are a number of brands in this field they are quite expensive and mostly only cater to women with select body sizes and types. They joined up with the actress Kate Hudson who also wondered why fashionable women’s activewear was so expensive.
Under Kate Hudson’s leadership, Fabletics makes clothes that can be worn by women of every body type and size. She also focuses on making clothes available that are not only fashionable and high quality but also affordably priced. This has proven to be a winning combination and they have many women who have become dedicated fans of the brand. Kate Hudson is involved in all aspects of Fabletics including giving the company its broader vision. She actively reviews budgets, for example, and has been heavily involved in choosing Fabletics social media strategy.
Fabletics has become a household name and the go-to for active wear for most people. It has grown to be worth $250 million in just three short years and that has been no small feat considering they have gone up against Amazon which controls about 20% of the fashion market.
Fabletics didn’t just happen overnight, however and they choses to grow gradually. Instead of taking the pop up method that most new companies use, they got to really know their market and mingles with the local communities in order to get to know their customer base better. That approach led to them having 30-50% of their in-store retail customers already being members and another 25% becoming members. They also were able to avoid getting “killed” by showrooming, where customers browse offline and then buy their products cheaper elsewhere.
Kate Hudson, founder of Fabletics believes that it is important to get creative with advertising and she wants to encourage people to get more active. She recently expanded her clothing sizes to span from XXS to 3X to expand her customer base and to help encourage people from every shape and size to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Hudson believes that it is important to live a live that you are passionate about so that you can truly become fearless and conquer your goals. She gets a lot of inspiration from her mom, Goldie Hawn, and she is part of the Hawn foundation, which encourages mindfulness in children.
Hudson stays on top of her business and checks her sales every week and pulls whatever isn’t selling to make room for a better selling piece of apparel. There is no set of guidelines that guarantees what will be a good seller so she relies on the information that she gathers from the Lifestyle Quizzes that new members take.
Fabletics has over 21 million followers on Twitter and it has also opened 18 retail stores. Fabletics has gotten 1.2 million members monthly in eight different countries and they are growing by about 35% every year in sales. Fabletics has grown successful for many reasons and it continues to grow because it offers a great product at a great price and is run by people who care and want to encourage healthy living. Even though there are competitors, they do not offer the unique and personalized service that Fabletics does and they aren’t as unique.
Adam Goldenberg has had much practice with Entrepreneurship. Since his teens he has been a remarkable COO in a publicly traded company. Probably his success could be attributed to his know how of combining technology and fashion. By learning this at an early age,he was able to partner with a great person and together they ventured into the online business.
It is because of his savviness in business, Adam Goldenberg appeared on CNBC.com and stated that the company JustFab was going to be re-branded to TechStyle Fashion Group. He related that the fashion that they had experience much growth in their business and for this reason it was needing a change. By doing this , their system would help to improve their service offering and their customer care.
He noted on techstyle.com that the fashion trends change rapidly and stated again that their brand achieved this great success due to the way they built their brands online. JustFab’s name change to TechStyle Fashion Group was due to the fact that Mr. Goldenberg was trying to change they way that fashion was accessed by people by delivering on-trend fashion at an incredible value. He stayed true to his vision but somewhere along the way the company became a platform for building up brands.
Adam Goldenberg stated in a release, “ Our new corporate identity captures the essence of what JustFab has become- where Fashion Avenue meets Silicon Valley – and we’re thrilled to enter into this next phase with TechStyle as our name.”
This direct quote from Adam Goldenberg sums up his reasons. He started as one company and grew it into multiple brands such as Shoedazzle, JustFab, Fabletics, and FabKids. Mr. Goldenberg also has stated that by making these changes, he also has put a complaint mechanism in place. He feels by doing this that he has made his customers happier and has noticed that complaints have tapered off.
The overall rating from his customers and shoppers for TechStyle’s brands was positive. He feels that the company on rgtadvisors.com, since the name change, is on its way to make six hundred fifty million dollars within this coming year.
Over the past few decades, the worlds of fashion and technology have seen a lot of changes. The constant is that both industries appear to be growing at the same pace. There is a mutual relationship between the two concepts in that with time, fashion becomes technologically in style. A comparison between the present and the past gives insights into what the future may be like. These words were spoken by Burch Christopher, a fashion icon.
Putting present and past side by side
One of the technological advances that were the hallmark of the 70’s was the boom box. It was popular because suddenly people had the ability to walk around with the tunes that they liked most. In the 80’s, the boom box came with the cassette deck, and it was possible to play music on one side while recording on the other. Fast forward to the 90’s and the boom box was replaced by the walkman. Then, the invention of the iPod brought an end to the trend of the walkman as the fashionable tech gadget. This is an example of how technology develops in alignment with fashion ideas.
Currently, the merging between fashion and technology is very seamless. Most fashion designers take a keen interest in design projects that are in line with tech development. Fashion can be seen as a playground where experiments of all kind are possible according to Anouk Wipprecht, a Dutch designer. It is a known fact that the deeper you dig into technology, the greater the rewards. Anouk is famous for designing the self-painting and drink—making dresses.
The designs of the future in relation to technology
Terese Alstin came up with a design of a bonnet that has an airbag. It is meant to be worn by cyclists around the neck. On impact, the airbag deploys and protects the rider from injuries to the head. Going green is another trend that has been applied a lot in fashion. Projects such as the creation of T-shirts from the inner tubes of bicycles have become possible. There has also been the invention of shoes that can create enough charge for a mobile phone when one starts walking.
There are times when great technological inventions fail to sell because they seem geeky. These are the times when fashion comes in to assist. DVF once helped Google sell their glasses simply because they seemed too geeky. Chris Burch is the CEO and also founder of Burch Creative Capital. He is also part of investments in nine other companies. He is 63 years old and is very passionate about fashion and technology. Burch creative capital is based in New York.
According to Huffington Post, Burch is a co-founder of the Luxury fashion brand. He understands the power of branding perfectly. These are the skills that he uses when performing sales and spanning his businesses. He has effected a lot of transformation when it comes to fashion and technology.