A big company with the huge capital is no longer an advantage in this digital world nowadays. Fast-fashion might be one of the most typical industries that witnesses the ups and downs of the giants clearly. The collapse of big brands such as Aeropostale, Rue21, Gap and recently Forever 21 has been constant shocks to clients. Although they have built their brand in the customer’s mind successfully, it doesn’t mean that they can attract customers to the store and earn their expected profit. These famous names invested a lot of money in renting fee for luxurious offline locations, while the online channels haven’t been noticed properly or connected efficiently with other channels. If you are a start-up, don’t worry, you have lots of space to develop or to earn than lose. The successful stories of the new comers below which have grown powerfully to reach the top positions are definitely worthwhile lessons for start-ups to increase sales and expand business exponentially.

1. Gymshark – How they increase sales differently

Let’s start with GymShark which started with Dropship model. The brand name was established in 2012 and their sales increased 5 times from 2016 to 2018. The biggest lesson from this company is their marketing strategy. Following Dropship model, Gymshark started to sell supplements then they expanded to a wider niche market: gym stuffs for the young.


a. Pioneer in turning influencers to brand ambassadors

To raise awareness and target to customers, Gymshark connected with different fitness influencers and let them be the affiliates to introduce their products. One of our team members came across this brand because she was following Chloe Ting’s Youtube Channel (the name that we mentioned in Top booming retail industries during COVID-19).

b. Erasing online and offline barrier with Omnichannel System

Although online channel had made important contribution to the revenue of Gymshark, it’s inevitable that they need to connect customers via offline channels to maintain and grow the attraction to customers. One strategic focus has been to foster a sense of community, and to instill the feeling that the brand is about more than the products it sells. Gymshark has organized meet-ups and expos to let fans have a chance to meet their favorite fitness influencers. This attracted a sheer of people with queuing in long lines in front of their pop-up stores. Besides, choosing location was also one of their successes. Instead of investing a huge amount of money in luxurious locations or tradeshows, they preferred easy-to-drop-by places to serve their customers.

When organizing these kinds of events, it’s crucially important for them to track down all stocks in both online and offline channels. They mostly allow customers to buy and try on in the pop-up stores but it’s still possible to get them shipped later. Thus, their system needs to be furnished to guarantee to check the stock availability and the seamless distribution.

GymShark – Photo from PwC

c. Providing an affordable price to clients

As Gymshark uses online website as well as other online social channels for advertising, they can save cost and provide their clients with the best price. Plus, they don’t increase the price then offer the deal in the special days such as Black Friday. Instead, they constantly offer the affordable price to clients which creates their difference from the competitors in the market.

Health and fitness is among industries which is expected to develop during COVID-19. If you are running business in this industry, keep on reading another article on Retail tips: 3 things to prepare for booming sales in the pandemic.

2. Pomelo

Pomelo is another interesting and inspiring story about fashion business which was founded by David Jou — who was born in Korea — a fashion capital of Asia. He intended to build a business for a niche market as well — a brand for the young who want to pursue Korean style. Launched in 2013 as an online store, Pomelo has developed its sales dramatically and owns over 8 e-stores in Thailand now.

Pomelo's store in Korea
Pomelo’s store in Korea – Photo from Pomelo

Omnichannel – key takeaway for impressive growth

The prominent key word that we can learn from Pomelo’s story is Omnichannel Strategy and using technology as a driving force to increase sales and save the cost while enhancing client’s experience in all touch points.

Specifically, Pomelo’s stores act as a try-on place rather than just a product display space which allow customers to come and experience their products. Customers are free to view their desired items online or offline and then choose a suitable pick-up or try-out location. In this case, website and storefront need to work seamlessly. That is why Pomelo now has three types of locations for customers to try on their clothes.

  • The first is Pomelo’s standard stores, which are located in major shopping malls.
  • The second type is their pickup locations, which essentially are smaller, brick-and-mortar stores with only fitting rooms.
  • The third is Pomelo’s partner locations including cafes, gyms, and co-working space.

David Jou emphasized the importance of physical stores or pick-up locations in this industry as all customers want to touch and try out products before buying which is impossible with online channels. Plus, to reduce the returning rate of customers while buying online, it’s very efficient to allow customers go directly to stores, try on the items, or switch for others if their initial choices are not fit for them.

Pomelo's store in Singapore - Photo from Lifestyle guide-increase-sales
Pomelo’s store in Singapore – Photo from Lifestyle guide

With Omnichannel Strategy, this fashion e-commerce start-up – Pomelo has raised US$52 million (S$72 million) in fresh funding from a group of investors. It opened its first retail store in Bangkok in 2018, and now has a total of eight physical stores (pick-up locations or tangible stores) in Thailand and a new 550-square-metre flagship store in the heart of the Orchard Road – the retail district in Singapore.

In conclusion, it’s clear that Omnichannel Strategy plays a substantial role in the development of these emerging brands especially in increase sales. These start-ups cannot be compared to the big brands when it comes to the amount of money invested in locations or marketing but finally, the winners are not the long-standing companies. In this digital trend, no matter how powerful and how old your company is, if your company hasn’t paid much attention to Omnichannel operation or digital marketing, you should have a second thought now. Don’t hesitate if you want to discuss more on this topic. Let’s have a talk with our business consultants.


A tech-lover and a data-driven business consultant who deploys disruptive innovations to Magento retailers in Omnichannel Age

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