March 14, 2024

The Guide to a Solid and Profitable Studio Retail Strategy

Diversifying your revenue streams, getting inventive with what you sell, understanding inventory data, and creating an experience is just the start.

The Guide to a Solid and Profitable Studio Retail Strategy

Curating and selling products at your fitness studio can offer numerous advantages contributing to your overall success, profitability, and sustainability. Retail can be a strategic move to diversify your revenue streams and enhance the overall client experience—making your studio more competitive and helping you bring in revenue outside of plan purchases, drop-ins, late cancel fees, etc. Whether or not you’re selling retail out of one or all of your studio locations, with financial reward also comes risk. One risk that comes with retail involves inventory management. Too much, too little. Balancing supply and demand plus seasonality. Plus, you find yourself discounting leftover items that never move. 

The best way to mitigate risk and reap the lucrative rewards of retail comes down to, yes, the relevant products you are selling, but also eliminating time spent by staff on inventory and admin work and understanding product performance. That’s where Walla’s updated Inventory Management plus Retail Report are integral to retail success. By enabling you to confidently understand what’s selling, what your money makers are (and what needs to go), and allowing you to instantly add and track items from boxes to studio location shelves, we’re helping you confidently achieve retail success. 

A profitable, solid retail plan at your studio requires a strategy—from staying competitive to encouraging purchases and creating an experience shopping setup. So, let’s delve deeper into each of these aspects to set you up for product and purchasing revenue-generating prosperity (or are ready to rethink how, what, and why you’re currently selling). 

Why have a retail strategy?

1. Diversified revenue stream

Retail sales at your studio provide an additional source of income beyond membership fees and class packages. This diversification can help stabilize your studio's revenue and mitigate the impact of seasonal fluctuations or economic downturns.

2. A better client experience

Retail offerings enhance the overall client experience by providing convenient access to fitness- and wellness-related products within the studio environment. And they want to help support your business. By empowering clients to save time and eliminate effort while shopping within their community, you’re removing the need to go elsewhere and capturing their attention in the studio where they feel most connected to you and your brand. 

3. Brand engagement and loyalty
Promoting and selling branded merchandise fosters a sense of belonging among clients. When they purchase and use items featuring your studio's logo or branding, they become brand ambassadors, promoting your business to others. From sweatshirts to stickers and water bottles, the branded merchandise you decide to see should match your studio demographic. (Good retail might increase retention, too!)

4. Opportunity for upselling and cross-selling

Retail sales provide chances to upsell and cross-sell products to clients. By strategically positioning complementary items together, you can encourage clients to purchase additional products beyond their initial intent while empowering staff to make suggestions based on their favorite items. Plus, you can use products as a packaged deal for new or upgraded plans and membership purchases made at your studio as an added incentive. 

Tips to encourage client retail purchases

1. Curate a relevant product selection

Before you purchase any items to sell in your studio (or are thinking about updating your current selection), understand your target audience and curate complimentary retail products that align with your client's needs, aesthetics, preferences, and fitness and wellness interests and goals. Consider offering a mix of essential workout gear, apparel, nutritional supplements, recovery tools, and wellness products, just to name a few! 

2. Quality over quantity

When selecting retail products, the key to moving retail from shelf to sale is prioritizing quality over quantity. Choose reputable brands and suppliers known for producing durable, practical, and stylish merchandise that reflects the standards of your fitness studio. Also, look into local or small vendors that deliver high-quality, unique items that attract client attention and make perfect gifts.

3. Offer exclusive and limited-edition items

Generate excitement and urgency amongst your studio community by introducing exclusive or limited-edition merchandise only available for a limited time or in limited quantities. This scarcity can motivate clients to make a purchase before the items sell out, and Walla app announcements plus your social media are the perfect way to increase interest and drive more immediate purchases. 

4. Incentivize purchases with rewards, promotions, and discounts

There’s no better way to instigate a retail purchase than by implementing rewards programs, discounts, and special promotions. Build these types of incentives into membership upgrades or referrals, for example, giving clients a little extra something as they stay engaged with your studio brand.

5. Personalize recommendations

Train your studio staff to provide personalized recommendations and assistance to clients based on their individual preferences, fitness levels, and goals. Encourage staff members to engage with clients, answer questions, and offer tailored product suggestions—and have them add notes to client profiles about what they like. That way, when an updated line of their favorite yoga pants in their size, for example, comes in, they are the first to know!

6. Integrate retail into studio events 

Incorporate your retail into studio events, challenges, and activities to drive excitement and engagement. Host trunk shows, pop-up shops, or themed, seasonal sales events to get your clients to engage and spend a little extra.

7. Ask your clients
Seek feedback from clients regarding your retail offerings and actively listen to their suggestions and preferences. Use this feedback to refine your product selection, pricing strategies, and promotional efforts. Also, see if they have any favorite brands, especially more local or smaller ones, that your studio can help support and be the exclusive retailer. 

8.  Monitor and analyze sales performance

This is where Walla’s Inventory Management and Retail Report comes into play. Regularly monitor and analyze your retail sales performance to identify trends, track inventory turnover, and assess the effectiveness of your strategies. Use this data to make informed decisions and adjustments to optimize profitability, helping you make more strategic decisions regarding wholesale.

Optimizing your retail area no matter the square footage

1. Maximize vertical space

Even if you don’t have the biggest studio space, try installing wall-mounted shelving or display racks to maximize vertical space and create additional storage capacity for retail products. Use hooks or pegboards to hang items such as resistance bands, towels, and accessories, freeing up floor and counter space.

2. Opt for multi-functional furniture

Choose furniture pieces that serve multiple purposes, such as storage ottomans or benches with built-in compartments for storing merchandise. Consider modular or stackable display units that can be easily rearranged or expanded to accommodate changing inventory levels.

3. Focus on visual merchandising

Think about what captures your attention when you walk into a boutique. Keep the retail space organized and visually appealing by using consistent branding, signage, and color schemes that reflect the aesthetic of your fitness studio. Display products in attractive arrangements, group related items together, and use props or decorative accents to enhance visual interest.

4. Prioritize key products

Focus on showcasing a curated selection of essential products most relevant to your client's needs and interests. Try rotating merchandise regularly to keep the display fresh and encourage repeat visits.

5. Create an experience

The experience is one reason why they come to your studio! Aim to create a boutique-like atmosphere within your retail space at your studio— and use lighting, music, and scent to enhance the ambiance and create a welcoming environment that encourages browsing and exploration.

6. Offer samples and testers

Provide samples or testers for select products to allow clients to try before they buy, increasing their confidence in their purchase decisions. This is especially true for scent and wellness-related products like lotion, mat cleaner, or candles. 

7. Leverage social proof

Display client and staff testimonials, reviews, or user-generated content on your social channels highlighting positive experiences with your retail products. Encourage clients and staff to share their purchases on social media and tag your fitness studio to generate buzz and awareness.

8. Incorporate seasonal and themed displays

Tailor your studio retail displays to coincide with seasonal trends, holidays, or themed promotions throughout the year while staying on brand. Create eye-catching window displays or focal points within the studio to showcase seasonal merchandise and inspire impulse purchases.

9. Emphasize convenience and accessibility

Ensure the retail space is conveniently located near high-traffic areas within your fitness studio, such as the entrance or reception area. Make it easy for your clients to access different items, and remember to keep the space manageable. Also, remind your clients about the benefits of shopping small. 

With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a commitment to providing exceptional customer experiences, selling retail at your fitness studio can be a lucrative opportunity. Continuously evaluating market trends, soliciting customer feedback, and adapting your retail strategy accordingly can help mitigate risks and maximize success in the long run—helping you create an inviting retail space within your fitness studio that maximizes available resources and enhances the overall client experience, ultimately driving sales and boosting profitability.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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Director, Content & Communications

Strategist. Storyteller.

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