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Web Store Update: What's Working

We are a month into running web stores on behalf of our fitness clients. As of 4/14, here is a snapshot of the profit checks (gym names blurred out for privacy reasons). 

 

Profit checks April 14

 

As of today we have distributed $10,079.13 back to gym owners. 

After speaking with those who have received $1,000 checks...what are they doing differently? Here is what they said:

1. They post frequently. On a 7 day preorder, they are posting at least 3-5 reminders about purchasing apparel. 

2. They announce before and after each meeting. Nothing wrong with reminding everyone when you have their attention.

3. They have a shorter deadline.  This is not a 24/7/365 store. Deadlines spur action and having a tighter deadline on this will force people to make a decision quickly. In this environment, helping people prioritize purchases and support is key. 

Now is the time to follow best practices. No need to reinvent the wheel and try a crazy new strategy. Secondary income streams are more important than ever before. Simply follow our best practices and recommendations and keep it moving! 

Online Store Game Plan Updated

 Selling physical products online can be very difficult. The distractions of online ads and social media are very real. We all jump on our phones with one objective only to find ourselves down an unrelated rabbit hole- a text message that requires a response, an instagram rabbit hole, or "breaking news" that we must check out. Your clients experience the same issues once we decide to shop online.
The reason why apparel is such a foundational component of the affiliate experience is that it truly anchors members to your gym. It is one thing to say I belong to a gym. It is a different thing when you are wearing the shirt to the grocery store and it is part of your wardrobe. We find ourselves in a new environment with all gyms being forced to move online. In the past, I’ve always said I don’t like online stores because of the way most of them are set up. However, they can work if you set them up properly. Here are our steps to ensure that you maximize your online apparel sales.
  1. Lock in. The online store option is not a "set it and forget it!" tool. It is a tool that requires a herculean effort every day to generate sales. So, when you're offering an online store, your only priority should be promoting and pushing that product. Make sure your staff understand how to buy something. Make sure you've purchased an item yourself so you can get a feel for the check out process.
  2. Limit the options. You do not need 3 different tanks, 5 different tee colors, and 2 different long sleeve options. We have discussed this before. You are taking a bunch of great ideas and trying to offer too much. Most folks only have a budget for one new gym item a month. As much as clients ask for different colors and styles, if you offer too much in one offering, you won't reach anyone. Offering too many options is "paralyzing" and there are plenty of examples of this phenomenon across various industries and studies. Just google choice paralysis. If you must offer some variety, I would recommend 1 tee and tank style in 2 colors. That would be 4 options for people...and even that feels like too much.
  3. Promote it. A single facebook and instagram post is not promoting or marketing your preorder. Chances are your members did not see that post. Between the newsfeed and timeline algorithms and all of the other micro changes to social media platforms, it is becoming less and less common that business posts find their way organically into their clients social media lives. You need to advertise through all channels: email, text messages, whatever you have in your arsenal for contacting people, you need to utilize it. We came up with a system for doing the marketing for you. You need at least one social media post for every day you are leaving the preorder window open. You can check out those messages here:
    https://foreverfierce.com/blogs/news/let-us-sell-your-apparel
  4. Set a deadline. 365/24/7 store options do not work. Those items simply find their way on a wishlist. Wishlists don’t convert. They are a placeholder for “things I’d like to buy when I have time”. Deadlines spur action. It is ok to have a 7 day preorder window. The people who are most likely to buy will cycle through your messaging within 7 days and they will be aware of the store. When setting deadlines, I know it may feel counter intuitive, but shorter deadlines are better.

Ready to start your own online store? Click here!

Slam Dunks and Avoiding Stupidity

2020 is off to a fast start here at Forever Fierce and with new clients come new thoughts. After about 2 dozen calls a little over half way through January 2020, here are my thoughts on simplifying things and making the apparel process easy again:

 

Avoiding Stupidity: Many of the issues that new clients are facing pertain to the lack of structure with an order. The story goes something like this “my old vendor used to give me a vendor website and told me to pick some stuff from the website”…. This is a nightmare for anyone to sort through. 

Variety is fine. Variety is important. Finding something YOU like is important….but you are not the apparel expert. You are a gym owner. You do not want to turn the gym into an apparel business. Warren Buffet says it is “…easier to avoid stupidity than seeking brilliance”. Save your brilliance for your programming and approach to nutrition. Avoid stupidity with apparel. New styles are fine but there is a tremendous amount of education and effort that goes into trying to promote the latest and greatest crop top. How does it fit? How does it feel? How does it handle a tough workout? Will it shrink? I have a seam issue- I need a refund…these are all questions that you should not have to answer. You can have confidence knowing that our curated list of garments will limit your risk. We know what works. We what is popular. They have been tried and tested thousands of times at other gyms so we’re confident that they will hold up.

 

Slam Dunks: When we work with new clients, I encourage everyone to place a slam dunk order and get back to basics. A basic tee or tank order will get you back on track and give you confidence knowing the basics still work and provide 95% of the results you’re looking for. If you’ve worked with me in the past, you know we have a ton of variety when it comes to tees, tanks, long sleeves, and hoodies. There are very few clients who come close to exhausting all the options. Don’t be afraid of launching a slam dunk. No need to shoot from half court every time you run an apparel order.