Product Strategy
Product Management
Product Development

When Building Brand Muscle Calls for Custom Ecommerce

Did you know that smells are one of the top reasons women cancel gym memberships? Popular fitness innovator Orangetheory does. The brand’s rabidly loyal members expect an exactingly consistent experience at every Orangetheory location — right down to the smell of the hand soap. When consistency is queen, ordering whatever’s on Amazon just doesn’t cut it. 


Orangetheory Fitness innovates exercise by giving people real-time insight into their cardiovascular performance. Unique, technology-infused workouts motivate people to push their personal best while delivering optimum benefit. With 1+ million active members, Orangetheory is one of the fastest-growing and most beloved fitness industry brands.

Altus Nova helped us define and execute an ecommerce strategy to take control of a key component of our business while allowing our own technology team to stay focused on the core fitness technology that defines us as a business.

Devin Lebrun, VP Partners & Innovations, Orangetheory


Orangetheory’s novel and effective approach to working out inspires rabid brand love. The brand is focused on providing a consistent experience — which studio-hopping Orangetheory members expect at each and every location.

But Orangetheory leadership saw that some franchisees were failing their members simply by ordering off-brand studio supplies — think products from gym wipes to hand soaps. Leadership knew inconsistencies like these posed a real risk to member retention.

From compliant studio supplies to special-event wear and premium brands for members, Orangetheory leadership saw a compelling opportunity for custom ecommerce. They hoped to:

  • Show off cool lifestyle and branded merchandise in studios.
  • Offer members an effortless online shopping option.
  • Motivate purchase decisions with easy in-studio pickup.

But even more importantly, Orangetheory leaders knew member retention hinged upon providing a 100% consistent experience at each and every OrangeTheory location. Which boils down to this key question:

How can we keep our 1,350 franchisees from panic-ordering whatever off-brand gym wipes Amazon will deliver tomorrow when they’ve run out 3x faster than usual because it’s Hell Week and these machines won’t wipe themselves?

That’s right. Despite a huge gap in ecommerce experience and infrastructure, Orangetheory leadership envisioned in-house e-commerce that would be more compelling than Amazon. Luckily, Altus Nova knew how to find the way.


While Orangetheory’s own developers stayed focused on the core technologies that infuse the brand’s workouts and studios, Altus Nova focused on the franchisees, asking, “How might custom ecommerce keep franchisees from pulling up Amazon and ordering the cheapest, fastest thing to save them from running out of key supplies?”

We found that despite documented compliance guidelines, franchisees struggled with what to buy, when to buy, and how much to buy. Too much guesswork and frequent ordering mistakes threatened the brand experience. And while top performers did better by creating ad-hoc purchase management systems — think scratch pads and spreadsheets — they were still spending too much time on purchasing.

Altus Nova aligned Orangetheory leadership around giving franchisees a 24/7 digital purchasing manager in the form of a custom storefront that advises franchisees across all studio purchasing needs — from gym wipes to merchandise, exercise equipment to wearables, print materials and more.

To win over Amazon, we’d turn every franchisee into an expert purchaser. Rather than pull up Amazon to order reactively when the gym wipes run out, a custom solution would show franchisees how to be proactive based on data. No more emergencies. Lots more compliance.

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