Showrooming is a simple activity that is negatively impacting the clothing industry all around the nation. As online purchases on Amazon become even bigger and more profitable, brick-and-mortar shops are suffering.
Fortunately, a new trend is emerging, known at reverse showrooming, that looks to break the iron grip that Amazon has on the online industry.
Reverse Showrooming Is A Unique Concept
Showrooming is a problematic concept for many real-life clothing shops because it is taking business from them and putting it in the pocket of online shops, particularly Amazon. The way it works is simple: a potential buyer comes into a shop, finds an outfit they like, try it out to see how it looks, and then goes home to order it online.
The impact here is obvious. Instead of buying locally and supporting their nearby businesses, these buyers are electing to save a little money. While not a major problem if done by a handful of people, it is becoming a more serious concern because an increasing number of people are electing to neglect their hometown shops to save a few bucks.
Reverse showrooming eliminates this problem by changing up the process. It requires a company to create a unique set of clothing that only one person can access. This clothing is not available anywhere else but from that company’s online shop or in one of their nearby stores. The brick-and-mortar shops offer discounts to entice their customers to stop in and buy their clothes there.
How This Helps Protect Brick-And-Mortar Shops
Reverse showrooming protects in-person shops by making them once again integral to the clothing purchase process. Instead of simply using them as a way to try out new clothes, customers can go to them to get real savings. As a result, these shops can protect themselves from Amazon and stay open.
This concept is primarily being pursued by one company, but others in the industry are already taking a look at its potentialities. The idea could spread to more established companies, such as JC Penny and Macy’s, and become an industry-leading concept. The nice thing about this is that it doesn’t actually destroy the world of online shopping: just tips the balance back towards real-life shops.
Who Is Pursuing This New Concept?
The originator of this unique concept is Fabletics, an active wear company that is the brainchild of Hollywood actress Kate Hudson. She was interested in finding a way to create personal active wear for women that was unique to their needs and which could adapt to them quickly and easily. She created a subscription-based company that allowed customers access to their own wardrobes.
Their new reverse showrooming concept was designed as a way to get people to visit their shops in real life and to help break Amazon’s hold over the clothing industry. While it’s not likely to completely break that grip, it’s already making some good inroads.