We know that owning a small business is hard. We also know a lot of fellow Crossfit® Affiliates are not taking advantage of retail opportunities at their Box. This was us not that long ago, whether it was sitting on inventory that we couldn't move, dealing only in pre-orders or not launching new designs because of the headaches and cost that come with selling retail apparel. We were missing this opportunity to help our small business become even more successful.
As we continue to increase our retail revenue at both Dynamis and Diamond Bar CrossFit we want to pass along these 5 important tips that we have implemented directly increasing our monthly retail revenue.
1. Sell Only What You Believe In
At the end of the day, you are directly responsible for the well-being of athletes who trust you. Every product you sell comes with an endorsement from you in the eyes of your athletes. Our own rule of thumb at our Affiliates' is to sell only what we believe in. A great way to jumpstart sales is to be seen using the product your selling.
Remember, you can only truly believe in so many products before you start to lose credibility, so keep your portfolio of brands limited to one to three if you’re just starting out, and no more than five to ten if you own a large gym with a diverse membership base.
Also, don't forget to screen brands by their nutrition labels and their customer support. Make sure the brand will help you be successful selling their product at your gym.
For example, our Coaches coach in our apparel, we wear our apparel, hence our members buy our apparel.
2. Spread The Word
Let’s talk about the easiest thing you can do to successfully start selling a new product: talk it up! We all know how to talk about products we love (see tip number 1), so be creative and have fun with it. Just remember, you must do your part to spread the word if you’re going to be successful in retail.
For example, link your customer Affiliate Marketplace URL on your website and share it regularly on your social media accounts.
3. Sample The Product for Free
Think Costco! It's the single most effective way to sell products for any new brand you bring into the gym. For food/beverage/supplement products, it may make sense to sample before or after a class, so use your discretion. But either way, taste is one of the largest purchase influencers, and people want to try before they buy.
Our experience with two products. First the good, our members now love F-Bomb, when we first introduced it we had members sample it and it has taken off. It's Keto, tastes great and provides a filling snack when you need it most.
The bad, we tried a brand of grips, we had our members try them...they fell apart after 5-10 pull ups. If we would have sold these with out any testing we would have had a bunch of unhappy members.
Having members try before they buy at the beginning is a sure way to find the right products that will actually sell!
4. Make It Visible
Product placement is key to retail sales. People need to be able to see something to consider purchasing it. Sounds easy right? However, this has proven to be a challenge for a lot of CrossFit Affiliates due to space limitations. You must be consistent if you intend to boost your retail sales: make them visible!
Here is our recently remodeled retail wall located at Dynamis CrossFit in Carlsbad, CA. This was built for approximately $200 in materials with help from a crafty Coach.
5. Make It Easy To Purchase
The easier you make it for your athletes to purchase stuff from you, the more you will sell. Simplify the payment process as much as possible and let your athletes know how they can purchase from you. This next tip is really crucial: develop a system that doesn’t require cash. Don’t limit purchases of products at your gym to the small subset of the population that still uses cash.
At our Box's we don't even require a credit card. After a lot of research we've come up with a traditional but professional sign to purchase sheet where our members can make unmanned purchases of their favorite products. We inventory once a week (easier than you think) and charge any purchases every other day to improve cash flow. Also, be sure that every time you charge the purchase sheet you replace it with a new one keeping a professional and clean look to your retail area.
Now, start selling retail and increase your monthly revenue!
Photo provided @BoxesByAMP