Fitgear is an e-commerce platform that was founded by a group of fashion designers and aspiring entrepreneurs in early 2017. All of them came from different backgrounds, but were unified by a single belief—that premium quality products should not be a luxury.
In 2 years, they went to at least 11 countries and 23 cities and partnered with a manufacturer that can provide them high quality at a price they want to offer to customers.
ZiKang, one of the founders of Fitgear, shared that they had an ambitious vision to empower millions of people around the world to live better lives without the heavy costs.
Knowing it was a big step to take, they decided to put their focus in creating a business model that would downsize costs and save more.
“Before we launched Fitgear online, we spent 2 years doing R&D and had numerous market testings by partnering with 11 local fitness centres.”
They started off with a capital of RM3k out of their own pockets and managed to acquire 10,000 customers in the first 3 months of operating.
“To date, we have delivered to 22,000 customers, and many of them are repeated purchases. We have a customer retention rate of 40%.”
That effort the team put in paid off with their sales revenue in June. They successfully managed to sell 15,000 pieces in 2 months as a testament to building their customer base that share the same values they vouch for.
“We believe that our customers share the same spirit and values as our brand and that has definitely helped align ourselves with our customer base.”
With the utilisation of the power of social media, they deliver a brand slogan “premium quality, honest price” and it is how they managed to set themselves apart from the other apparel brands. They also provide a detailed breakdown of the costs involved, which seems to serve to inspire customer confidence.
By now, any e-commerce platform would be unwise NOT to use social media as promotional tools—so how else do they manage to cut down their cost?
“We do this by re-evaluating global retailer business models. Most of the time, we pay $5 for products that cost $1 for them to produce. This is because most of the money goes to middlemen, retailers, and huge marketing efforts.”
“Therefore, with this analysis we were able to take out 1 common denominator that the business is able to run without: the middlemen.”
By removing the intermediary party they were able to cut the cost by more than half. The profit margin was counted per piece, by selling it in volumes. Ultimately, this served to their benefit as they made back profit from the high volume of sales.
“The value goes back to the customer as the higher volume of sales we have, the lower our prices go.”
One of their most popular products, the Wind Series T-shirt is light, comfortable and fast-drying.
According to the team, a double-layer fabric construction designed to quicken the rate of absorbing moisture while evaporating the water molecules making it dry twice as fast than the average.
“We believe that we are providing a solution, there are no other T-shirts as good quality as ours at our price point. Instead of focusing on the product’s pattern and design, our focus is on quality and making it a sports essential.”
From their humble beginnings, they’ve had an ambitious vision to empower 100 million people globally to lead better lives without the heavy burden of cost.
However, it remains their biggest obstacle to expand globally because of the different cultures and shopping behaviours that exist all over the world.
To cater to all would mean sourcing for better quality products and engaging more manufacturers to deliver their products to different parts of the world with different designs and fabric each.
While they have made that their goal, they still keep one foot on the ground to more realistic aspirations—branching out from just one industry.
“Our long term goal is to become a lifestyle brand. This is because we have a unique business model that can be applicable to other items rather than just apparel at a lower price.”
It’ll be interesting to keep a watchful eye on Fitgear’s growth, to see if they can make that shift and grow into what they want to be.
Feature Image Credit: Fitgear