Have you ever invested a bunch of time and effort into selling gym merchandise that never actually turned into revenue? Maybe the quality just wasn’t what you expected. Or perhaps your members didn’t appreciate your (obviously amazeballs) new logo design.
Or maybe the merch was so awesome that you couldn’t keep up with the demand. Every time members came to the gym, they interrupted your work time to ring up their new purchase.
Such scenarios could cause a gym owner to scrap the whole gym merchandise idea. Screw it. It’s better to stick to coaching and managing the day-to-day.
But what if there was a better way?
First, we definitely recommend selling branded merchandise, otherwise you’re leaving easy money on the table. And it is possible to sell it in less time and with less disruption than you may have experienced in the past.
With the simple steps below, it’s possible to generate a solid amount of gym merchandise revenue at your gym in a nearly hands-off way.
Five Steps To Selling Swag At Your Gym:
1. Find the Right Apparel Company.
T-shirts, tanks and hoodies are the bread and butter of the gym owner’s swag collection. Margins are pretty good—anywhere between 30 to 100 percent with the right apparel company—and it’s essentially free advertising for your gym.
There’s nothing worse than placing a big order, only to find that nothing is selling. The ones you bought don’t fit well or there’s just a lack of interest in the design.
Therefore, it’s important to find an apparel company that understands your business and your clientele. And one that offers consistently-reliable, high-quality gym merchandise.
Another bonus is design help. Let’s face it: You’re a gym owner, so there’s a good chance graphic design isn’t your jam. Find an apparel company that can give you some new design ideas or show you some tried-and-true favorites.
We recommend Forever Fierce, a company that has been working specifically with affiliates and functional fitness gyms for a decade. They know the industry well, having worked with anywhere from 500 to 1,000 gym clients each year.
Companies like Forever Fierce are also able to provide things like their best-selling designs and products. And if you have something specific in mind or want to get creative, they’re also able to design something custom for your gym.
The goal is to find an apparel company that essentially does everything for you, from start to finish. So all you have to do is decide which products you want, then put the merch in your store when it arrives.
2. Don’t Over-Stock Your Gym Merchandise.
Finding a balance in the inventory you stock is a fine art. On one hand, a higher volume of shirts decreases the price per unit. And on the other, you don’t want to overstock your store with apparel that sits for months.
The best advice is to err on the side of lower stock. But you know that one token design that always sells well? Keep a higher inventory of that one since you know there’s consistent demand.
3. Take Pre-Orders.
Taking pre-orders goes a long way in helping you avoid overstocking apparel. Especially with higher-priced gym merchandise like hoodies.
Announce that the pre-order is live and set a closing deadline for members to choose the apparel they want. Once the sale is closed, they can no longer get the apparel, unless you include a few extras in your order.
The “limited-time” offer aspect of the pre-order is generally a great way to get people to act. We suggest keeping the time frame condensed, as people will put it off and forget about it if they’re given too much time.
4. Use The Right Software.
Logistics is one of the biggest hurdles to the gym merchandise game plan. This is where the PushPress store kiosk is extremely helpful.
In short, the kiosk allows clients to pay for items in the app. This way, you never have to worry about personally collecting payment.
Further, it saves you money on credit card fees, since the kiosk closes payments once per month. So for example, if a member buys 20 bottles of water in one month, you pay just one transaction fee.
What this means for merchandise is that at the end of the month, you can look back at the revenue generated. Revenue that came from pre-ordered, pre-paid apparel that was almost completely hands-off on your part.
Pro Tip: Want to know how automation can help you promote a gym merchandise pre-sale to your entire community? Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today!
5. Plan As Far In Advance As Possible.
One of the best suggestions we can give is to plan your merchandise strategy for months - or even a year - in advance.
Simply put, everything's easier when you’re organized. Planning ahead just means you set the dates in advance for pre-orders and stick to the plan. Then you never have to scramble making last-minute decisions on products you plan to order. Accordingly, Forever Fierce offers a free planning tool for gym owners to come up with an annual plan. Their data shows that gyms with a yearly apparel plan sell 30% more than those that don’t.
In Summary: Gym Merchandise Drives Revenue
First, make the decision to build your brand and increase revenue by selling merchandise. Second, work with an apparel company to create some awesome swag that your members will be proud to rock. And finally, create an annual plan for pre-orders. Then you’ll have the peace of mind that your CrossFit Open apparel will arrive before The Open. And your summer line will be in the gym by May, and your winter hoodies in the fall. So you can sit back, relax and watch your high-quality product sell off the shelves.