One of the most adverse effects of the traditional economy versus one that is based more and more on online and digital formats is the phenomenon of showrooming. Showrooming by definition is when consumers find an item that they would like to purchase on online formats, but when they would like to experience the product before buying, they flock to traditional brick and mortar stores. The problem for the traditional formats is that these people then purchase the products elsewhere. Most commonly, they return to the much cheaper online format to acquire the desired product like Amazon.
Showrooming has experienced only moderate effective push back from the traditional business entities for many reasons, but often because these store do not have an appropriate response for something so overwhelming and unpredictable to traditional business like the internet has become. One of the most significant drivers that sends these customers into this type of shopping is that today’s customers value an experience with the product much more than traditional customers, but with the lack of the need to purchase products right away. Traditional companies have to maintain the same overhead without reaping the benefits of the traffic in their stores.
One of the most adversely affected sectors is the fashion industry. However, there are many other forces at play in the fashion industry beyond showrooming including that consumers are simply changing from the traditional consumer model. In spite of the current trend, some companies are innovating the fashion industry, not only by the innovations themselves, but they are embracing the current business condition by reversing the showroom trend in their favor. They are also cross branding like the latest iteration of this current trend athleisure. This combination was spawned when women found flaws in wearing their active wear for everyday activities.
The sportswear did not transition well into daily activities of the active people that often include a workout as a part of their daily activities. In response, brands like Kate Hudson’s Fabletics were born, but instead of using the flawed and troubled traditional brick and mortar approach, Fabletics was founded as the original athleisure space and instead of an online or traditional only model, Fabletics utilized a combination model of business that combined the best marketing techniques of both traditional and online marketing. They even have a lifestyle quiz that allows its subscribers derived from a subscription based sales technique to pre-determine which Fabletics gear suits them best.