Business environments are always changing, but most of this change occurs incrementally, so businesses can adjust even if they are unaware they are changing, or who are not in control of any of the change occurring beyond mimicking trends. However, when the change is swift and transcendent, many businesses that have been otherwise successful can fail due to what can basically be called business atrophy. In these times, only innovative companies will roll with the changes and become the new giants of industry. Even more, it will require innovation of the most forward business acumen to start new businesses in this environment and succeed. This is occurring currently because of the digital revolution and its effects on consumer attitudes toward shopping.
Online shopping has affected shopper’s attitudes in many ways, but the fashion industry has identified a particularly negative trend called showrooming. Showrooming reflects a change in shoppers attitudes because online shopping has caused customers to seek a positive customer experience with a product because they are unable to physically test and try on products obviously because they are shopping online. These shoppers go into stores for this customer experience but with no intention of buying the product in store most often because they can receive a cheaper price for the product online beyond the other multiple benefits of shopping online. However, the stores are feeling the pinch of servicing these often high-end customers in store to only lose the business to an online store with exponentially less overhead.
So effectively, these stores function as showrooms for products without the benefit of the necessary revenue that was provided by traditional customers who once purchased in store because the store was the only quick source for procuring the products. Because Amazon is the largest American based online store, their efforts to resist showrooming has become known as the war on Amazon by adversely affected businesses. This ire is misplaced in many ways because it nullifies the lack of innovation, flexibility and adaptability in the business structure and personnel of these businesses. Conversely, businesses with the acumen to approach this trend positively will reap the benefits in spades. Additionally, these companies are often start ups with business leadership that are products of the online generation.
One innovative start up company has experienced 5,000 percent growth in this arena and in only three years since its founding. Fabletics was founded and is headed by none other than actress and mom Kate Hudson. Fabletics is a combination of an athletic brand and a brand suitable for active women of all ages but especially moms like Kate. They have a subscription based business model that welcomes showroomers in a business technique called reverse showrooming. Because most customers are converted through subscriptions, the prices are the same in their brick and mortars as on their online stores. Additionally for subscription holders, the prices are the low-end price commonly found online, so it does not matter if shoppers purchase their products in their physical stores or online.