We’re launching a whole new set of ways to shop and interact with the HERC’s brand and we’re pretty excited to share all of these new additions. What hasn’t and won’t ever change is HERC’s commitment to being Canada’s favourite supplier of nutritional and fitness products, providing all of the tools consumers need to be their best version of themselves. We stand for inclusion, diversity and empowerment and those values are our motivation for all of the upgrades we’re introducing.
With this new launch we're enabling brands to get their products in the hands of their target consumers. At the same time, HERC’s continues to empower individuals to become successful business owners. And finally, the focus of all of our initiatives, we’re empowering customers to shop with ease, bringing immense value to our customers and allowing them access to more products and shopping options that fit into their busy lives. By leveraging technology in our niche industry we’re able to provide greater value to our customers, our store owners and the brands we carry.
By joining together the convenience of e-commerce with the power of our individual stores throughout Canada, we’re able to merge the two forces to create an unprecedented level of customer service, local business support and convenience. Learn all the new ways we’re bringing this model to Canada and the exciting innovations we’re introducing to our customers.
Making Shopping More Convenient with a Multi-Channel Approach
One of our main goals with our new launch was to optimise the shopping experience to meet the consumer wherever they are. We consistently look for innovative ways to bring value to our customers through technology, but also through our team of owners and staff, with personalised customer service. By making it easier for customers to shop and staying ahead of industry trends, we can create a more efficient and effective sales model. This includes the following features:
Mobile Optimised Layout
Our reimagined online shopping experience was designed for the way people shop. We’ve eliminated the number of clicks shoppers need to make, enhanced the browsing experience, especially focusing on the mobile shopping experience. Our mobile optimised layout allows users easier access to their shopping carts. With this new design, you never have to go away from the page that you're on to add more items or check your cart. This feature also allows you to compare products without leaving a product page.
We’ve extended this UX to sales and discount delivery. For instance, with our new HERC’s Athletics activewear line, consumers are offered a discount when buying a matching set. They can see this discount in the product description as well as get the offer at checkout, so it’s not easily missed. Current promotions are shown at checkout to make it quick and instantaneous to claim a discount before processing your order.
Today consumers want two things from their shopping experience: convenient, digital purchase options and fast delivery. Understanding this, we worked with our individual store owners and third-party delivery providers to create the most cost-effective and fastest delivery option for consumers. The result? Same-Day Shipping in all of our western Canada store regions, along with the Greater Toronto Area, Tri-Cities, British Columbia and Niagara. This is guaranteed next day and same day shipping Canada-wide, wherever we have store locations. Some restrictions apply. This has been a game changer for consumers who want the convenience of online shopping without the wait of extended shipping.
Seamless Customer Service
We examined where consumers often experience friction and sought to make these steps much more efficient. That includes upgrading our already popular return policy to include a Self Service Return Portal as well as Live Chat Order Checking. Making sure our customers always feel heard and listened to means employing top-rated customer experience tools which address common concerns and sticking points.
For years, HERC’s has been renowned for placing a high value on the in-store customer experience. Back when founder and CEO Dave Dekker opened his first store decades ago, creating a better shopping experience for everyone was his main goal. Our stores are designed to be modern, uncluttered, clean and bright and provide amazing levels of customer care. We wanted to take that same experience of being guided through your in-store purchases with the trusted team of HERC’s experts and move it into the digital realm.
To do this, we’ve introduced video shopping this year. With just a few clicks, online shoppers can get the in-store HERC’s experience from the comfort of their sofa or wherever else they might be. Led by HERC’s in-store team members and store owners, customers are guided through a complimentary shopping experience designed to help them select the products best suited to their needs and goals. Here we showcase our products in our video showroom and you can checkout right from there without having to search our catalogues online. It’s that simple. And as a bonus, we can deliver your products locally to you the same day. In a sea of nutritional support products, this level of personal customer service is often lacking in the e-commerce space.
Rewards & Incentives
Discounts are nothing new in the consumer retail space. In fact, they are ubiquitous. Rather than implement the usual seasonal sales and markdowns, we wanted to allow our discounts to do more for consumers. So we created a wide array of discount options that reward our loyal customers. These discounts include:
Earned Discounts - These consumer guided discounts put saving in the power of the shopper. For instance, first time social shares earn an 18% discount on the product they share. Other actions that initiate a discount include taking a photo of your delivered order, showing your unboxing experience, and writing a product review. These discounts incentivize participation in the shopping experience, enhance the information other consumers receive on our products and encourage a feeling of belonging.
Honouring Canada’s Heroes - First responders, military and health care providers all receive a discount as our way of showing our appreciation for what they contribute to our communities.
Rewards Program - Our Rewards Program is available both online and in stores.
Promotions - Monthly sales and nationwide contests add to excitement. For instance, a collaboration with Alani Nu encouraged people to share our social posts and subscribe to our newsletter, in exchange for chances to win a fully stocked and branded Alani Nu x Yeti cooler. We work to scatter discount opportunities throughout our shopping experience to provide consumers with rewards and incentives.
Product Bundles and Subscribe & Save Options
Nutritional supplements are a natural fit for the subscription sales model. Consumers want to take away the chore of constantly restocking their supplies of pre-workouts, protein and creatine, for instance. And we’re happy to provide a savings program that helps them maintain the consistency needed for nutrition support products to provide the most benefits and effects.
But we didn’t want to stop there. Understanding that an active lifestyle demands a variety of support products, we wanted to demystify this process and make it easier for customers to consistently get what they need, while also having the flexibility to try new flavours and products. The result is our Bundle program, which allows consumers to create customised product stacks based on their needs and our recommendations.
We’ve strategically formulated our bundle stacks, selecting the best products, our tastiest products and our new and hot products, giving customers choices to pick from every category. Our bundles allow us to get creative and show how each combination of products helps the consumer achieve specific goals. Want more energy? There’s a bundle for that. Looking to add more muscle? We’ve got a bundle. Trying to make your skin and hair glow? Yep, you got it, bundle. We outline why products are put together and make it easy for customers to acquire everything they need by marking our bundles at awesomely discounted prices.
Our Customizable Discount Bundles and Subscribe & Save options give you the ability to be entirely in control. Subscribe longer to achieve a bigger discount, with 30, 60, 90, and 120 days duration options. The best part? You can change your selections at any time, and the price never changes! You're never stuck with just one bundle, feel free to change every month if you'd like. We designed this system for you to feel like you're getting exactly what you want, conveniently and affordably.
Consumers will have the ability to customise bundles of products tailored to suit their daily routine, support goals or solve a challenge. Look for bundles like:
- Build Your Own: Protein Bar Box
- Build Your Own: Protein Drink Case
- Build Your Own: Energy Drink Case
- Daily Essentials Stack (Men & Women)
- Recovery Stack
- Stress Relief Stack
- Women's Health Stack
Our new launch also offers more ways to shop. With our new launch, you’ll be able to shop with us now on the following platforms:
- Pinterest Shop
- IG Shop
- Facebook Shop
- Shopify Shop App
By making our e-commerce store available on a wide array of platforms, we prioritise customer convenience, allowing them to shop without even switching apps.
Harnessing the Power of E-Commerce to Support Local Business Owners
Did you know that even when you are shopping online at HERC’s e-commerce shops, you are still shopping from your local HERC’s store?
There has been long standing friction between online shopping and supporting local small businesses. Because our business is organised as a system of independent store owners, it was important that any digital e-comm undertaking support their needs, rather than undercut them. Too often with other brands, an online storefront competes directly with their franchise owners. This was not an option for HERC’s. Whatever we do, we want it to be in the best interests of our consumers, our store owners and the brands we carry. So we devised a digital HQ that could process store orders and then funnel them out for fulfilment by our individual store owners.
First, our system locates where the consumer is. As an added bonus, they can video shop with their favourite store right from home or wherever. Then after checkout and payment processing, the store closest to where the customer is takes over with fulfilment. But what if that store is out of stock? you might wonder. Well, then the next closest store which has these products in stock takes on the order. It’s a seamless, automated process which perfectly blends the online capabilities of e-commerce with support for our local ownership.
As you can see, HERC’s has always been about more than moving product. From its inception, creating an inclusive space where everyone feels like they belong was a central driver of all of our actions. That passion has only grown as HERC’s has successfully expanded. Now we’re thrilled with the possibilities of reaching even more people, helping each person who interacts with our brand to feel they’ve become more equipped and empowered to reach their goals. We understand that fitness and wellness are lifelong pursuits. We don’t want to offer band-aid solutions, but instead want to be here as a long-term partner in each consumer’s success.
To create a thriving community, we take a variety of consistent steps to make sure our consumers feel valued, appreciated and included. Here’s just a few ways we accomplish this goal:
Customer appreciation events - Our customer appreciation events allow our customers the chance to meet celebrities and influencers in the fitness industry. Here they can gain expert advice and knowledge given directly from the pros. One recent event featured uber-popular Chris Bumstead explaining the benefits of his CBUM line. It’s also important to us that we provide representation and choose a diverse group of influencers for these events. We particularly enjoy spotlighting strong female athletes who traditionally may not have been given such exposure.
Interviews with Experts - From fitness coaches to entrepreneurs, we reach out to leaders in their respective fields for unique first-hand perspectives on wellness, personal development, nutrition and fitness.
Info-driven Blog Content - Our active blog is powered by two motivators: knowledge delivery and empathy. We understand that not everyone is a fitness expert and our consumers don’t need to be. Our goal is to provide sound information, using highly regarded references and delivering content which has appeal to both an athlete and a gym newbie.
Empowerment is our Core Driver
Everything we do is geared towards empowering the consumer and our team to be the best human beings they can be and in turn empower others. We do that by living and breathing our values, acting as an example of these values and in turn, hopefully, inspiring others. Everything that we put out is in line with this mission. Ensuring that we balance our Business to Consumer needs equally with our Business to Business goals requires a conscious plan to continuously support the unique needs of both.
Our B2B Approach
Our B2B interests are divided between multiple segments, each with a unique purpose, which we work to support using our innovative approach to a digital/in-store hybrid model.
Our store ownership program provides a unique opportunity for those looking to be their own boss, and own their own business but still operate with the support of an experienced team with a proven business model for success. We continue to expand and new stores are currently being opened. Our owners operate by obtaining a licence to use the HERC’s brand in their location. From there, our digital HQ provides support and guidance as they learn to grow their business within their community.
For potential new store owners, we begin the process with a questionnaire to see if they may be a good fit for this opportunity. From there, guidance is provided on store location and site selection. Since we know where orders come from, we can pinpoint great potential store locations which have yet to be tapped by a physical store location. This structure allows store owners to feel a part of a unified team, rather than like they are competing with other store owners. Our goal is to drive in-store business while growing online sales.
The Fitness Community
The Canadian fitness community is thriving! After the long and challenging years of the pandemic, the community is recovering and beginning to regain its footing. HERC’s is proud to have been a long term supporter of gym and personal trainers throughout the country. We are committed to being there to support their growth and offer exclusive discounts for fitness professionals. We also provide them with discount opportunities to help grow their followings.
Nutrition and Wellness Brands
HERC’s could not be the well-respected fitness lifestyle brand it is today without our amazing brand manufacturers. From nutrition supplements to vitamins to accessories, we work to elevate and empower well-established and emerging brands with a platform where consumers can learn about, connect with, try and buy their products. We look forward to expanding our line to include more of the best brands and continuously seek to discover new top-quality brands that use the most respected research and data collection methods to ensure our customers get the best results possible.
Our B2C Approach
Our customers continually inspire us to innovate how we operate to provide the best value possible. In these ways, we have learned to grow, adapt and change to their continuously evolving needs. From designing the first store to be approachable, friendly and welcoming to launching our new multichannel e-commerce strategy, the needs of our customers have always been our driver for change.
COMING SOON! First Party Data & AI Technology
At a time when privacy is at its most compromised in the online shopping environment, HERC’s has taken a novel approach to allow the consumer to be in control of their own data. That takes the shape of an AI quiz where consumers can share their specific goals and directly communicate what they’re looking for. This information is used by our bundle maker to cater specifically to each consumer’s unique lifestyle and goals.
With so many products and so many SKUs, it can be a challenge to select only one or two products at a time to suggest to a consumer. When we recommend a bundle, we’re not only providing more options, but we’re making it much more sustainable to purchase with value-added discounting that with the subscription discount includes totals up to 25% off individual prices. We’re leveraging AI and machine learning to bring the custom experience shoppers receive in-stores with recommendations now automated online.
Expanding Our Scope of Products with Apparel
We’re thrilled to announce the launch this year of our Premium Apparel line. Although HERC’s has offered merchandise since its founding, this expansion marks a new era in our gear options with a thoughtfully designed line that matches the trends and quality seen in some of the top athleisure stores today. Our goal is to provide athletic apparel that everybody feels amazing in.
Experience exciting new styles that match your lifestyle and needs, with fits that flatter, fabrics designed to support even the toughest workouts and designs meant to look great in the gym or on the street. It's clothing that makes your body look and feel great -- exactly what athleisure is made for.
Our sizing is inclusive and our construction is made for real world workouts. We’ve worked for months to craft a line that is worthy of the HERC’s apparel name. That included real world testing of each piece to ensure they hold up to the hardest squats, the most grueling runs and the busiest of lifestyles. We’re proud to launch and provide Canada with all of the value HERC’s is known for in pieces that are both high quality and super flattering to every body type.
Welcome to the HERC’s 2.0
Knowledge combined with empathy allows us to focus on empowering our community. Whether that is a first-time gym-goer who’s unsure of what they’re undertaking, a single mom who becomes a successful business owner by opening a HERC’s store, or an emerging brand who gains a passionate and proactive platform for their quality product, our goal is to empower everyone in our sphere.
Being in the wellness and fitness space, we understand we have an enormous responsibility to provide accurate information, body-positive insights and inspiration that truly inspires rather than leaves followers feeling less than. It’s our privilege to be that healthy lifestyle guide. And we’ll do our best to always act in kindness, respect and empathy. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.
As we enter a new phase of serving our customers, stores and manufacturers, we’re hopeful that we spread positivity, inspire Canadians to achieve their fitness and wellness goals and provide the tools everyone needs to lead their best lives. We look forward to going on this journey with you.