Maybe you already have a small retail shop at your studio, or maybe you’re thinking about giving it a try. Either way, promoting retail at your fitness business is a different ballgame than promoting your studio in general. But, it’s not as hard as you might think! If you want to sell products and goodies at your studio, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help make retail at your fitness business successful and profitable:
#1: Stock the right stuff
You may have the most genius idea for branded knee-high socks, but ask yourself this: Are your members going to buy it? Before opening up the retail side of your business (or even if it’s already up and running!), take the time to do some small-scale market research. Ask your staff and members:
- What gear would they want to wear?
- What do they forget most often when they visit your studio that would be helpful to sell, like a yoga mat or earphones?
- What types of supplements do your trainers recommend most often, and is there a certain brand you personally endorse?
Selling the right stuff is the first step to successful retailing.
#2: Create hype
If you’re planning to offer some products at your studio in the future or you just ordered some new stuff, get people excited before the products get there. Make an announcement on social media to let people know that their new favorite shirt is coming soon. Or plaster promotional posters around your studio letting members know they’ll be able to cool off after a tough workout at your new smoothie bar.
Letting people know about your products before they arrive can help bolster sales right from the get-go, rather than having your awesome new merchandise sitting around gathering dust.
#3: Update online tags and descriptions
Make sure it’s clear online that you also offer products for sale at your studio. Build out a page on your website that displays some of what you sell, a menu of the food or drink items you offer, or even an online store where people can order right from your site.
But, don’t stop there. Most social media sites, like Yelp or Facebook, allow businesses to tag their page by what services they offer. Be sure to add retail as a tag on these sites so new visitors know you offer products for sale, as well. On Facebook, for example, you can see and edit any business tags in your “About” section:
#4: Put it in the right place
Let’s face it: People probably aren’t coming to your studio just to buy the products you sell on the side. They’re coming in for a workout, class or personal training session. If they happen to buy something while they’re in, great! But don’t expect anyone to go looking for your retail items if they’re tucked at the back of the building by your office.
Set up your retail shop in a location that’s high-traffic and convenient for your members. The lobby is usually a good bet, and make sure the merchandise is close to a cashier to make purchases even easier.
#5: Use it as an incentive
If you sell products at your studio, you want people to get excited about them. And what better way to get people excited about your retail items than offering them as a prize? If you run regular competitions at your gym or participate in any sort of in-studio or charity giveaways, use your merchandise or products as awards.
Take Orangetheory, for example. Winners of their workout challenge were awarded with Orangetheory gear. So, the winners feel great about themselves, and OTF has new brand ambassadors to rep their name around town and get other people interested in the gear:
Don’t want to just give your products away? Offer discount incentives, instead! Entice new members at your studio by offering 10% off your products for their first month. Or surprise your loyal members by giving them a BOGO card after they’ve attended 10 classes. Using your products as a prize automatically makes people excited about them, and you can easily get members introduced to what you offer so they’ll get in the habit of coming back to buy more.
#6: Rep it
If you’ve got great gear with your studio’s name or logo, show it off! Get your staff or trainers to wear the latest gear you’ve got in the store rather than a standard uniform. Your members probably look up to your amazing trainers and will be more likely to buy a shirt themselves if their favorite instructor is repping it.
You can also motivate your members to show off your studio’s gear. Check out how SoulCycle inspired their members. They encourage members to share pics in SoulCycle gear with the hashtag #SOULStyle for a chance to be featured in a monthly email newsletter:
Still unsure the best way to market the retail side of your business? Or want a more in-depth analysis on the best way to market products to your members? SWETI would love to help! Schedule your free marketing review, and we can offer in-the-moment feedback and consultation to get the retail side of your business off the ground.