Time was of the essence for YBell Fitness when they realized they needed to pivot their US go-to-market strategy to focus on direct-to-consumer sales. Through close collaboration and integrated technology, BigCommerce and Ware2Go built them a low-touch ecommerce sales channel in record time.
A New Fitness Solution
YBell Fitness is an innovative fitness solution that can replace up to 4 pieces of traditional workout equipment for more streamlined workouts at home or in the gym. The idea was conceived by former professional rugby player and renowned personal trainer, Aaron Lawrence , who knew there had to be a better way to transport equipment onto Australia’s Bondi Beach for his popular fitness classes. Together with Michael Hoppe, a veteran industrial engineer, they designed the YBell as a 4-in-1 solution to simplify his classes without sacrificing variety. After 18 months of sales i n Australia and setting up distribution in multiple countries in Asia and Europe, YBell Fitness expanded into the US, bringing on fitness industry expert Mark Livingston as their VP of Worldwide Sales & Marketing.
YBell Fitness’ original US go-to-market strategy focused on large-volume gym and club sales. A direct to consumer sales approach was further down the road in their initial growth plan, but like many merchants, they found the need to pivot in response to 2020’s COVID-19 shutdowns.
Livingston knew that in order to keep revenue flowing, they had to convert their “brochure” website to an e-commerce storefront, and quickly. Mark’s past experience setting up and managing a BigCommerce web store gave him the confidence that YBell Fitness could launch a reliable online store on their expedited timeline, and the rising demand for at-home workout equipment made him confident that sales would soon start rolling in. He knew, however, that having a high-quality product and an efficient digital sales channel would amount to nothing without a fulfillment partner that could meet customer expectations for delivery while integrating with their BigCommerce shopping cart.
Thanks to his prior experience managing fulfillment for a major fitness brand, Mark knew that the sheer weight of the YBells would make in-house fulfillment unwieldy and would eat up internal resources. He understood that he needed an outsourced fulfillment partner with the technology to integrate seamlessly with the BigCommerce platform and the agility to onboard and stand up their D2C solution quickly. Knowing that gym shutdowns would eventually come to an end, he also wanted a partner agile enough to accommodate B2B shipments that could be managed through the same platform.
Through his long-standing relationship with UPS, Mark was introduced to Ware2Go, whose flexible business model and technology-first approach to logistics made for an ideal partnership. Because YBell Fitness needed to act fast to open up their new sales channels, Ware2Go and BigCommerce teamed up to build their custom solution in record time. The teams’ collaboration resulted in simple and elegant integration that automated YBell Fitness’ entire process from sale to final mile delivery. In a matter of only nine weeks, YBell Fitness’ brand new BigCommerce website was fully functional and integrated with Ware2Go’s backend fulfillment technology.
YBell Fitness’ long-term strategy includes multi-channel B2B and B2C sales and distribution for major growth, and thanks to their partnership with Ware2Go and BigCommerce, they have the capability to expand simultaneously across wholesale, e-commerce, and marketplace channels. As lockdowns begin to ease, they are seeing an uptick in LTL orders and have seamlessly integrated these shipments into their order mix with Ware2Go.
Livingston is confident that this partnership will carry them through their 2021 new product launches and increased service levels across the US as they expand into new geographies and channels.
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