Step into any Starbucks or Panera. What do you see? People buzzing away at their computers, on their phones, and holding meetings in what modern day considers the new office. Working remote is more and more achievable, thanks to the advances in technology and the creative minds of many. Do we as fitness pros want to create these opportunities ourselves? Do we want to solely work 1:1 with clients, or create additional opportunities for ourselves to make money out of our gyms? Do we as established brands and businesses hope for a more collective option to be found on the internet, so our reach can expand outside of our region?
Enter Ecommerce. Ecommerce is the act of buying and selling goods/services on the internet. Ecommerce began 40 years ago as selling tangible goods online such as books, clothing, and housewares. Since then what can be sold online has expanded and even evolved into digital content and even skills and services rendered. This exact fact is why Kaleigh Moore, founder of Lumen Ventures, researcher of Ecommerce and contributor to multiple magazines including Entrepreneur.com and Forbes, states that “what’s exciting about these (growth projections) of ecommerce is there is still so much opportunity within the online marketplace.”
A few key developments have shaped the ecommerce we know today. Individual shops began joining larger marketplaces such as Amazon and Ebay to allow customers the ease of the “one-stop shop” beginning in 1995. With ease and technology allowing for people to create and share easier, people also began to think outside of the box on what they could sell. “Handmade” goods by Etsy extended even to digital products, such as fonts and typography crafted by individual sellers. Fiverr launched as a freelance marketplace for individuals to begin to sell their skills, not solely tangible products. Whether you were a social media marketer, a musician, or a writer, these new freelance marketplaces allowed you to work remote and connect with people all over the world needing your services.
An even more exciting development is the ecommerce platform dedicated to professionals networking amongst each other for quality content, a niche marketplace for a specific type of professional. This allows for excellent sharing of content and ideas, and wonderful networking opportunities for individuals within the same fields. Websites such as Teachers Pay Teachers allow teachers to sell lesson plans and other “Resources” to each other. SermonCentral.com allows preachers to access a library of sermons, visual images, and other data allowing them to preach more effectively. If the sky is the limit, fitness professionals have a way to go to join this ever-evolving market.
What can we learn from niche marketplaces that are popping up across industries?
1. We can learn from each other.
2. There is value in what we all create.
3. We are stronger together as a community.
What does not exist yet on a larger scale in the fitness industry is this concept of the large-scale selling niche platform, a marketplace for individual brands, trainers and instructors to share with each other. Until now. Going to conventions is a wonderful way to learn what is “out there” but more and more individuals are seeking ways to get inspiration and ideas for classes and sessions online and in between those yearly conventions. FitSwop designed an ecommerce marketplace for fitness professionals to be able to access each other’s content. FitSwop is a first of its kind in the world of fitness, because registered fitness professionals now have the ability to sell trademarked or non- trademarked content on a niche designated platform under their own shop name. Rather than having to go to different websites, the consumer (i.e. trainer, instructor, or other fitness/wellness professional) can find a constant ever evolving source of content in one designated place. This is a place also that ensures everyone is credentialed to be there.
“What does not exist in the fitness industry is a one stop shop where fit pros can go to get access to a variety of ideas and content for their classes and clients; that niche marketplace for individual brands, trainers, and instructors to share with each other. Until now.”Stephanie Silber, Founder of FitSwop
An ecommerce platform (like FitSwop) is a tool that allows retailers (fitness professionals with their own content, resources, brands or businesses) to build and customize their own digital storefronts. They manage their own shop, sales, and ecommerce operations under the central hub of the platform. When your shop is on a hosted ecommerce platform such as FitSwop, the host (FitSwop) manages all the website hosting responsibilities rather than requiring an individual to do so by third party options. Thus, many of the difficult aspects of online business, such as ecommerce operations, payment solutions, and website hosting are taken care of by the platform. The platform also handles updates, security and other tasks under the umbrella of ecommerce. This allows you as the shop owner, or vendor, to conduct your business on the platform in a less technical way, while also reaching a wider customer audience, because history has shown us that more traffic is driven to central marketplace websites (as evident by the success of Etsy, Amazon, Overstock, and Ebay among others).
There is so much room for diversity in fitness programming. People want variety and personalization, which can be provided when fitness professionals collaborate.
Fitness is now without borders, and those who have great content can now share easier than ever before. With technological advances and the ability for anyone to create digital content, ideas can be shared more than ever before. Check out www.fitswop.com today to learn more about how fitness is finally forming a niche marketplace of its own, where all fitness professionals are welcome to join for free. There are no subscription fees for content. Purchase content from fitness professionals like yourselves, or the brands you trust. There is a place for all on FitSwop.
Clement, J. (2019, August 19.). Retail E-Commerce Sales in the United States from 2017 to 2023. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/272391/us-retail-e-commerce-sales-forecast/.
Fit Summit. (2019, September). Community Insights. Retrieved from https://thefitsummit.com/insights/technology-in-fitness-industry.
Moore, K. n.d. Ecommerce 101+The History of Online Shopping: What the Past Says About Tomorrow’s Retail Challenges. Retrieved from https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/ecommerce/#ecommerce-timeline