How Grinta revolutionized amateur football…

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Published by Aurélien CANOT, Media365, Monday, April 04, 2022 at 19:08.

Faced with equipment challenges for amateur clubs and licensees, Grinta has developed a solution that allows them to set up their online business for free. All in less than a minute. An innovation that is rapidly turning into a revolution. One of the creators, Mickaël Bardes, managing director of Grinta, explains everything to us.

Mickaël, how did the idea to create this e-commerce solution come about?
Observation comes from amateur clubs with whom we have worked for years. To bring in some cash or just to boost the club’s image, volunteers from amateur clubs buy equipment in the club’s colors and then sell it on preferential terms to licensees. They actually play the role of a small sporting goods store despite themselves. The problem is, they just don’t have the tools to do it and get the most out of their efforts. There was no e-commerce solution designed for the very specific use of amateur clubs. Volunteers suddenly find themselves collecting children’s orders and sizes on a blank sheet of paper or, at best, an Excel file. They must then collect everything with a treasurer, place an order with a distributor, manage last-minute size changes, track orders and report recurring late delivery or missing product issues. In short, it’s a tedious situation and all clubs have shared their fears with us to really develop this shop, which can often create tensions due to these bad experiences by licensees or their parents. We got to know this amateur sports market with the first solution we created four years ago. Faced with this recurring problem, we decided to create an e-commerce solution that was purely designed to make volunteers’ lives easier and better serve licensees of amateur clubs.

Click here to test and explore Grinta

Concretely, how does this translate?
Installation is very simple. You don’t need to be an e-commerce manager or digital manager to take full advantage of Grinta. With no skill required, the volunteer in charge of the equipment takes less than a minute to create the club’s e-commerce site, with a catalog of customizable products already integrated and a special stock ready to be delivered to club members in less than seven. days. For the first time, licensees and fans enjoy professional club merchandising through the club’s online store. Club leaders, on the other hand, are free from all restrictions and especially the usual frictions with licensees or their parents that delays or follow-up issues can create. In addition, every time equipment is purchased, clubs receive a 10% commission paid by equipment manufacturers.

Mayonnaise froze quickly?
After the launch on October 15, 2020, we found our first user clubs very quickly. And we’ve reached over 2,000 online stores showcasing official club products from several clubs, regardless of brand. For example, in March, more than 300 new stores were created, 45 of which have already placed their first orders.

“A mini Amazon for clubs”

Can we talk about a revolution for amateur clubs?
We did not create the concept of club shops. Whatever their means, the volunteers were already doing it for the benefit of their clubs and licensees. On the other hand, we have automated the entire process, from raising the money to managing the catalog, including getting the store online, automated order tracking, and dedicated customer service that frees volunteers from any conflicting management with their members. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the club has become a mini Amazon, in charge of ultra local, community and sports association commission mechanics. It’s all this user experience that changes the lives of clubs, and that’s where the revolution lies. In terms of usage (for licensees) and experience (for clubs), we’ve clearly changed the situation. There were solutions, but none focused on the specific workings and uses of a club.

What are you most proud of?
Hundreds of positive feedback from our users. Our entire team is passionate about the amateur world and our mission to these thousands of clubs is a truly motivating factor in the making of our product. We have set up a “Love Wall” where we take note of all the love messages we receive from our users. The word love may seem powerful, but it’s in our DNA, we love this amateur sport and are extremely proud and happy when our users give it back to us. Beyond making us proud, we are even more excited to continue to allow clubs to embrace this great e-commerce opportunity with a solution that suits them and makes them shine!

How did this project come about and what was the hardest part of making it what it is today?
It was born from the voice of thousands of volunteers. It was their difficulties in creating and operating a shop for their club that brought Grinta to life. Moreover, even before coding and developing the platform, what took the longest was sharing and collecting hundreds of discussions with volunteers in charge of the equipment. Internally, our first principle is to start with the problem. We are passionate about how our users work and the problems they face every day. This is a real effort that we have made and will continue to do. It is our daily job to understand these problems and turn them into innovative solutions using technology and design. And we’re just getting started… The second challenge was developing our own fullfilm and customization solution. This means that we have a dedicated platform for the storage, personalization and shipping of all orders placed in our user clubs’ stores. But it’s not just about physical product flows, where we rely on the expertise of a partner specializing in e-logistics. What is unique is rather the technology that accompanies it. Today, it enables us to deliver personalized product orders in less than 7 days with less than 0.5% error rate in the personalization part. It was a really big job but it deserved the effort because it is one of the 3 pillars that make us unique in the eyes of clubs and licensees today.

Why Grinta?
It is a term that appeals to us and that we adopt many things with our partners. More than just a name, it’s a mood often found in football that emphasizes a team’s desire to win, it’s that extra spirit that drives it to achieve incredible feats. . For us, sport comes from the land. It was created by volunteers of 170,000 French sports associations, bringing together more than 17 million practitioners. One million clubs in Europe train for 250 million athletes. This is the real sport in our eyes. By creating sports practice, clubs are largely at the source of the dynamism of the market for the consumption of sports equipment, but they absolutely cannot benefit from it. We create this community e-commerce model that places the club at the heart of the value chain. It is a global market with a turnover of over 500 billion dollars. We want a piece to go back to amateur clubs, to those who created the practice. In short, we want to return grinta to amateur sports.

“Clubs are hallucinating”

You must have gotten a lot of positive feedback from clubs and users?
Just take a look at our Facebook… No, really, the feedback we’re getting is incredible. Clubs often hallucinate when they discover that they can build real e-commerce sites in a short time. We’ve worked hard on the product experience: ie interface, usability, simplicity… Now the goal is to promote it a little more, to get as many clubs as possible to hear about it. exists and this is to simplify usage.

Is the goal now to work continuously to improve the product?
We will always improve. We have a team that listens to feedback from our users on a daily basis. We address and prioritize issues in a product development plan. We want to be one step ahead and even enrich it by constantly improving the product experience and many of its features; As an example, we enable automatic login for the shopping functionality on club Facebook pages. With a few clicks, the Grinta catalog is available to the entire club community on social networks, helping to improve the performance of their stores with less effort. One of our goals for the future will be to let as many people as possible know that the Grinta solution exists for their club.

How do you plan to move forward in this regard?
First of all, we have our own acquisition channels, mostly organic, but also the usual email and social media channels that we’re starting to use. Then we have partnerships with specialist distributors. Usually, they are freelancers who do a great job in the field serving the purchases of sports clubs. Today, they are increasingly looking to integrate Grinta as a store solution for their clubs, thereby bringing the Grinta experience to all club networks. Without all the human or financial constraints associated with the development of such a solution, it is a great development opportunity for them. With the simplicity of creating a Grinta store, a distributor supporting 500 clubs in France can have as many active stores overnight offering their product catalog to more than 100,000 licensees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With the games of 2024 approaching, we’re hearing a lot about legacies… Wouldn’t it be the biggest legacy to have the big sporting goods consumer market join the financing of 15,000 football clubs and 170,000 French sports federations? This is Grinta’s ambition.