20 Successful Sportswear and Fitness Brands on Shopify Plus

  • Design
  • December 24, 2021
  • by Freyja Wedderkop

From aerobics and yoga to mouth guards and fight gear, we round up 20 of the most successful sportswear and fitness brands on Shopify Plus. Grab a green shake and get inspired.

AARMY

AARMY is a training gear brand with a difference. More than just a retailer for workout apparel, customers are urged to ‘Join our AARMY’, where they’ll have access to hundreds of on-demand workout sessions for every level, plus monthly challenges and training programs.

Their premise is that everyone is an athlete, and it’s a case of training the mind and body, as well as pulling together as a unit, which helps to achieve excellence. AARMY’s Instagram account feeds into this community vibe too, where ‘teammates’ can rep their army by tagging pictures of themselves with #AARMYGEAR.

And speaking of gear, rollover points on lifestyle images allow shoppers to click through to any products which catch their eye. By showcasing what the products look like when worn, AARMY provide outfit inspiration and make the shopping experience quicker, easier and more engaging.

Ride 509

By creating films on snow sports, offroading and the great outdoors, Ride 509 fuels the passion for an adventurous lifestyle, which goes hand-in-hand with their products.

But of course, the outdoor adventures that customers have is influenced by what their surroundings have to offer. That’s why Ride 509’s ‘Most Popular Near You’ section is so ingenious - it provides customers with a shortcut to shop the kind of gear they’d be most likely to buy, or might inspire them to try a new activity they hadn’t considered before.

Gymshark

Workout clothing brand Gymshark is known across the globe, and with good reason. Their consistent brand aesthetic and multi-channel online presence has earned them millions of loyal customers across 131 countries. 

Another thing that helped Gymshark to scale internationally was replatforming to Shopify Plus, just 10 months after entering a relationship with Magento. One sticking point, in particular, was that it took 6-8 months to build the site on Magento, and Gymshark had already outgrown it by the time it was finished. The final nail in the coffin was when the site went down for 8 hours on Black Friday, costing Gymshark an estimated £100,000. 

By replatforming to Shopify Plus, Gymshark had peace of mind that the platform could grow with the demand, which freed them up to focus on ways to expand further. For example, by using Shopify’s POS system, Gymshark holds immersive online-offline customer experiences where customers can meet their fitness idols and make purchases at expos and special events.

The replatform to Shopify Plus helped Gymshark reach £41 million in sales during 2017 and led to them becoming one of the fastest-growing fitness apparel brands in the industry.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices adopt a similar approach to AARMY in creating a sense of community. Their philosophy is to free fitness from performance, with an emphasis on having fun and generating endorphins. 

For shoppers who are unsure of the best fitness gear for them, OV Kits is a nifty solution added to their Shopify store. Users simply select a kit based on the kind of exercise they do and are then recommended the top and bottoms that would work best. Customers can choose the size and color of the outfit and will receive a free gift to top it all off. By doing this, Outdoor Voices pair their knowledge and expertise of the fitness industry with excellent customer service and an element of fun.

No Bull

Best known for their training footwear, No Bull is a workout apparel brand “for people who work hard and don’t believe in excuses”. Their sellout midnight product launches meant that their e-commerce platform needed to live up to the mantra too. Enter Shopify Plus.

No Bull Co-Founder, Marcus Wilson, said “We launch all of our products at midnight because right now demand greatly exceeds supply. It’s a way to make sure our most loyal customers, those who are willing to show up and shop at midnight, are more likely to get what they want.” No Bull’s Shopify Plus site can now grow with the demand whilst negating website crashes and other site issues - something that’s imperative for their success.

Another way that No Bull rewards loyalty is with their rewards program, “The Chipper”. Loyalty customers receive free shipping, early access to restocks and new products and can earn points to level up and get even more rewards. This ties into No Bull’s core belief that hard work should be rewarded, and ensures that their most dedicated customers feel valued.

Kayla Itsines

After beginning her career as a gym trainer in 2008, Kayla Itsines realized that all of her female clients had the same fitness goal - slim down, without bulking up. From holding aerobics classes to giving her friends advice on nutrition and fitness, Itsines started sharing aspirational before and after pics of her clients on her Instagram account. Eventually, women all over the world were asking her for advice.

Itsines needed a platform where she could get across her expertise in an organized way so that women could find the information they were looking for without having to message her directly. She’s since distilled her all-encompassing approach into exercise training programs and recipe guides in ebook form, which can be bought on her Shopify Plus store.

SweetLegs

Multi-million dollar apparel brand, SweetLegs, took one of the biggest gambles you can take in the world of e-commerce when they replatformed their website just one month before Black Friday. Following a disastrous Black Friday in 2016, when their website crashed, SweetLegs decided they weren’t willing to risk the same thing happening again.

Chris Pafiolis, CEO of SweetLegs, says “On October 16th we picked a standard template, paid a firm to migrate our data, and were up and running by November 1st. We no longer worry about sending marketing emails in batches or crashing the site. We can truly focus on growing our business!”

And growing the business is exactly what they did. The replatforming led to SweetLegs’ most successful month to date (at the time), with $2 million in sales and over 10,000 transactions.

Splits59

Splits59 makes activewear that the modern woman can live, work, breathe and sleep in. Their clothing is designed to transcend workouts, whether worn to the gym, a meeting, or a date night. In their words, “The Splits59 girl loves a green juice and a cocktail” - it’s all about balance.

Their clothing can be shopped on their Shopify site either by collection (e.g. ‘Leggings’), by featured categories (e.g. ‘Sustainable’), or by ‘Sale’. So, whether they’re searching for something specific, want to browse things they’re interested in, or are just looking to grab a bargain, customers can shop in a way that suits them. We love that you can roll over any product image to see it from a different angle, too.

Ron Dorff

Adopting a similar approach to Splits59 is Ron Dorff. Combining Swedish functionality with French style, this menswear brand creates iconic must-haves that perform flawlessly whether worn at the gym, at home, or at work.

Shoppers can roll over product images to view on or off the model, which allows them to view products in the way they find most helpful. If they’re convinced to buy, customers can ‘quick shop’ by selecting their size and adding to the cart, all without having to click through to individual product pages. Ron Dorff’s elegant simplicity is apparent in both their clothes and their website.

DoYouEven

With a mantra of “Leave Your Mark”, DoYouEven’s mission is to empower their audience on their journey of physical wellbeing. Their fitness clothing feels as good as it looks, and their website looks as good as the clothes

Right from the get-go their e-commerce store gives customers the VIP treatment, with a prompt to sign up to their mailing list for early access to sales, stocks and new releases. Convenient shopping features such as global shipping, 24/7 support and PayPal payment reassure shoppers that DoYouEven is a trustworthy brand with great customer service.

Women’s Best

When your customer base is as varied as that of Women’s Best, producing content that appeals to each segment (without putting other segments off) can be tricky. By taking targeting to new heights, Woman’s Best has solved that problem.

Shoppers are presented with different e-commerce storefronts - in the relevant languages and currencies - depending on where they are in the world. 

But why not keep the content the same and simply set it up as multi-language? Well, it could be that an Italian customer base is most interested in nutrition. Perhaps beauty supplements sell better in France. Or maybe workout gear is the hero category in the US. By appealing to cultural nuances that can be observed across countries, Women’s Best tailor their site content to gain a more loyal following and maximize their revenue.

Women's Best US site

Women's Best French site

Xenith

Given the growing body of research into the popularity of personalization, Xenith is onto a winner with their customizable (American) football helmets. With over 40 colors and configurable helmet, hardware, facemask and chin cup options, this customization not only helps the players to look and feel their best on the field but ensures they’re as protected as possible, too. Shoppers can even email customer service to color-match their helmet to their team.

The customization buttons on the product page enable shoppers to see exactly what the helmet would look like with their selections, so they can test and adjust until they've created the perfect helmet for them.

310 Nutrition

Aside from their great products, the success of 310 Nutrition can be attributed to the way they support and empower their community in making healthy lifestyle changes, and persuade skeptics that their products really do make a difference. 

User-generated content such as stories, testimonials and before-and-after pictures across their e-commerce site helps to build trust in the brand and inspire potential customers to buy their products. This is also achieved with the help of Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing platform that allows 310 Nutrition to feature customer reviews on their products and provide customers with that all-important social proof to reassure them that the products are worth their money. 

Another clever tool in their tech stack is Searchanise. This smart search and filter app returns relevant and instant searches, allows customers to apply filters on collections to discover their ideal products and provides product recommendations to upsell, cross-sell and ultimately, increase 310 Nutrition’s average order value.

Finally, Klaviyo ensures their email marketing is super-effective by tracking shoppers’ data and preferences and using it to generate personalized emails which are sure to speak to each customer.

MMA Apparel

Europe’s number 1 fight gear and clothing store, MMA Apparel, achieved e-commerce success by predicting what shoppers might want and making it simpler for them to buy it.

Following a replatform to Shopify Plus, they were able to create a responsive mobile site which accounted for 35% of sales in one month and saw a 60% sales improvement from their last platform. Being on Shopify Plus also enabled MMA Apparel to more easily install apps to improve the customer experience. Mika Casey, Founder of MMA Apparel, said “I install 80-90% of the applications myself. It’s as easy as installing apps on an iPhone.”

Apps such as LimeSpot Personalizer can help with product recommendations (based on what the customer has been viewing or adding to their cart), which increases cross-selling and upselling and helps to give a more tailored, personalized shopping experience. In addition, customer conversions are accelerated with Shopify’s dynamic checkout.

Gym + Coffee

With brick-and-mortar stores being so integral to their brand mission and success, the lockdown periods of the Covid-19 pandemic posed a huge challenge to the athleisure brand, Gym+Coffee. But this Irish company not only survived the pandemic… they absolutely thrived. 

Referred to as ‘Clubhouses’ by their following, Gym+Coffee’s physical stores were spaces to mix with their community, meet like-minded people, learn about upcoming events and of course, shop the latest in athleisure. So, when the lockdown periods meant temporary closures of stores, Gym+Coffee had to think fast. 

Luckily, their e-commerce store was already powered by Shopify, and they were using Shopify POS, fully integrated hardware and Shopify Payments to process in-person purchases. This holistic approach meant that the transition of physical to online sales was seamless, and allowed them to maintain a consistent shopper experience despite the changing circumstances. 

All in all, this omnichannel e-commerce strategy meant that Gym+Coffee saw YoY growth of 350% in 2020. What’s more, when they were permitted to re-open their physical stores in July 2020, they saw a 62% increase in foot traffic to their Clubhouses, averaging at 20% conversion.

GuardLab

Next up is GuardLab. Customers can design their own mouth guard by adding their name or number, their own imagery and can even work with GuardLab’s design team to bring an idea to life. More importantly, the guards can be custom fit exactly to customers’ teeth, which makes breathing and speaking easier, provides better protection for the teeth and gums and reduce the risk of injury caused by impact.

This custom-fit is achieved with either a home impression kit or an in-person 3D scan at a dentist. GuardLab saves customers’ data, free of charge so that if they’d like to re-order further down the line, they don’t need to go through the fitting process again. This online-to-offline process provides a seamless shopper experience.

Altitude Sports

Being early adopters of the internet has served Altitude Sports well. This outdoor equipment and clothing brand began life as a brick-and-mortar store in Montreal in the 80s before launching their website in 1999. By joining the e-commerce revolution early, they’ve been able to stay on the front foot and grow and evolve with technology.

One cool tech feature on their current website is the search function, which returns results as customers type and displays them visually before shoppers have even pressed ‘Enter’. This clever feature does one of two things - it either helps shoppers find what they were looking for more quickly, or draws them into buying another product that they might not have otherwise considered.

Thinking of implementing a third-party search solution on your Shopify Plus store? Here are the key features to look for.

Alphalete

Born from a Youtube channel for fitness and nutrition tips in 2012, Alphalete has evolved into an activewear brand with an aspirational angle. 

Their engaging homepage layout features blocks of beautiful imagery, high-tempo workout videos, and even a section to ‘Shop the Look’. Here, browsers can click on different parts of a modeled outfit to quick-add the product to their basket. Like their products, the Alphalete website is slick, sporty, and looks great, too.

Alo Yoga

In their own words, Alo Yoga’s mission is “To bring yoga to the world”, and it seems like they’ve covered every way to do it. Whether spreading the love of yoga via their brick-and-mortar studios and sanctuaries, or bringing yoga to people in their homes via their online subscription service, Alo Moves, customers can delight in yoga, fitness, and meditation in a way that suits their lifestyle

They’ve even thought about the next generation of yoga-goers too, with Alo Gives. This nonprofit is dedicated to bringing movement and mindfulness to kids of all ages, and website visitors can get started right away with free videos and programs

And of course, participation in any of the above requires customers to have just one thing - suitable yoga wear. Whether they want to shop by bestsellers, latest releases, or be inspired by how fellow Alo Yoga fans (such as Kendall Jenner) wear their faves, there are plenty of ways for customers to shop the looks they love on their Shopify store.

Fit For Life

Fitness Empire, Fit For Life switched from Demandware to Shopify when they realized they were paying over the odds for an e-commerce platform that just wasn’t fit for purpose.

With brands such as Adidas, FILA, and Reebok in their portfolio, Fit For Life needed to be able to work on several projects across multiple sites, and be able to do so within a good timeframe. As it stood, Demandware was costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and projects moved slowly on the platform - sometimes taking as long as four months to launch a new landing page. 

Since migrating to Shopify, page launches have been reduced from months to days, online conversion rates have increased by 70%, and Fit For Life is saving over $250K annually.

Conclusion

So, what do these sportswear and fitness brands have in common

First of all, they’ve thought about what their consumers want from their products and how their website can highlight this. Gone are the days where sportswear was simply functional - now it needs to look good too. Many of these brands have implemented more visual ways to shop the looks, and customers can be inspired by interactive lifestyle images and Instagram pull-throughs. 

They’ve also thought about customers’ lifestyles. In the world of sport and fitness, mindset is half the battle. The above brands help to keep their audience feeling motivated with lifestyle content (be it recipes or yoga videos), and some offer subscriptions to unlock training programs and workout classes. 

An added benefit of this is that it gives the customer base a sense of community, and makes them feel like part of something bigger. By offering a platform where customers can pull each other up and spur each other on, these brands create discussion amongst their audience, resulting in a loyal following.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of the clever tech features, too. From search functions and personalisation apps to increase cross-selling and upselling, to dynamic checkouts which raise online conversions, these websites have all made the most of the best in technology to enhance the customer experience and boost their bottom line.

Lastly, they’re all on Shopify Plus. Thinking of replatforming? Get in touch to speak to one of our Shopify Plus experts.


Authors

Freyja Wedderkop

Freyja joined We Make Websites in 2021 and brought over two years of B2B marketing experience with her. She has an MSc in Marketing and specializes in digital marketing, social media and content marketing. She also has a passion for design, events and, outside of marketing, loves cooking up a storm.


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