My goal in year 1 for all clients is to help them develop a game plan for running apparel orders. There is a formula to this process. Every gym is a little different. While we have a framework for success, there are some details and factors specific to each community that we need to discover to make this a success.
Here are experiments and tweaks worth your time:
Incentives: Tweak and tinker with your incentives. Is it cheaper if someone preorders apparel?
Deadlines: Does your gym do best with shorter or longer deadlines?
Social proof: What social proof ideas can you come up with to encourage people to buy?
Designs: Try classic logo designs, try unique and different designs. Which sell best?
Marketing: Which marketing messages got the best response? Text? Announcement before and after class? This is much easier to track than you think.
Here are a list of experiments NOT worth your time:
Offering more designs- More designs=less sales. There are a handful of gyms that defy this rule. I can count them on one hand. Do not waste your time offering multiple designs in one order. It rarely works out.
Print on demand online stores- These stores are a waste of time. There is nothing compelling about something available 24/7/365. Those stores suffer from a variety of issues but the main issues are lack of originality with designs, long lead times, and poor quality.
Creating your own designs- Thinking fiverr or your GM on canva designing something is not going to fix your sales problem. Paying your staff to do apparel designs is a waste of your money. If your vendor has the capabilities to do artwork, there is no reason to pay your staff to do this. Similarly, going on a freelance site and paying someone to do artwork also falls in the same category. Most of the time, the artwork is not print friendly and needs a complete overhaul prior to printing.
So in summary: Work with your vendor to formulate your game plan. If your vendor does not offer this or is not helpful in this area, find a new vendor.