With a passion for fitness and a vision to create a facility that would bring health and wellness to the community of Thunder Bay, Gina Huneau founded Synergee Fitness. Gina’s son Joey Huneau continues her mission as the owner of Synergee Fitness and manages the daily operations of the fitness club. Members can sip on a delicious smoothie from an onsite juice bar, generate revolutions per minute (RPMs) in the only spin theatre in Thunder Bay with a 180” TV screen and challenge themselves on any one of many Synergee-brand workout products.
“To help encourage a regular physical fitness routine no matter where you live, we began selling home fitness equipment online in 2013,” said Joey Huneau. “We’re not just selling products, we’re using them. Every day in the club, the staff works out together using our branded equipment. We can really stand behind our products because we’re actively using them.”
Huneau faced a Herculean task of balancing the management of a thriving local fitness club and selling online. In 2014, he turned to Solid Commerce to help sell Synergee’s fitness products on marketplaces. “Every day I faced one problem after another,” remarked Huneau. “Overall my experience with Solid Commerce was poor. We ran into a number of reporting errors and I was rarely logging into the platform because I was so frustrated. When I would reach out to Solid Commerce, I wouldn’t get a response for at least seven days. I would call a number and it would just go to one person, sometimes they’d answer the call…sometimes they wouldn’t.”
Huneau chose Solid Commerce because it was an inexpensive option, but he soon found out he received service that reflected what he was spending. “It was such a headache. You get what you pay for and I didn’t want to pay anymore for a broken service,” continued Huneau.
A ChannelAdvisor sales account executive had been in contact with Huneau throughout his time using Solid Commerce. Huneau laughingly recalls that the account executive was persistent, but at the time he didn’t have the money to make the switch. After his negative experience with Solid Commerce Huneau was open to options. “I looked at other options but nothing compares to ChannelAdvisor. I wanted to find a solution that knows what they’re doing, and ChannelAdvisor is the leader in the space.”
“When I signed on with ChannelAdvisor, an onboarding call helped teach me everything I needed to know and helped map our listings.” After making the switch, Huneau remarked that listing products is a breeze, reporting is easy to understand, the import/export feature and reporting capabilities are “amazing.” “With Solid Commerce it felt like we were driving an inexpensive, compact car; with all the additional features we get with ChannelAdvisor it feels like we’re racing in a high-performance race car.”
From its office in Thunder Bay, Synergee is now able to sell globally. “When we were using Solid Commerce we were only selling on Amazon and eBay; now, with ChannelAdvisor, we pretty much sell on every marketplace across the United States, Canada and Europe.”
Thanks to assistance from the company’s ChannelAdvisor account executive, Synergee was able to launch on Overstock and Walmart. “ChannelAdvisor has connections to many marketplaces. We were able to launch on these marketplaces within a couple of weeks. Overstock and Walmart alone have accounted for over $90,000 (USD) in sales for us. Without ChannelAdvisor it would have been difficult to forge relationships with those marketplaces. Thanks to the guidance of the ChannelAdvisor team we were able to launch within a couple of weeks,” said Huneau.
“Prior to ChannelAdvisor we were just doing ‘okay’ with our marketplace sales. Now, on average, we’re seeing over $270,000 (USD) a month in sales and on average a 133% increase in sales per month year over year,” states Huneau. Not only has Synergee experienced an increase in sales during the time it’s worked with ChannelAdvisor, Huneau and team report having more time to dedicate to growing other aspects of the business, including expanding into their own private label.
“Software should manage the ‘daily stuff’ so I can manage the strategic direction of the company. We’re not wasting time on day-to-day marketplace management. This is the only way we can have a three-person company and generate over $2.6 million (USD) in sales,” notes Huneau.
When asked if he made the right decision to engage with ChannelAdvisor, “Let’s just say, I sent my ChannelAdvisor account executive chocolates. His persistence helped me make the right decision and I haven’t looked back,” said Huneau.