Virtual races help attract new customers to local running stores!

Having a training program helps local running stores beat out online retailers, explains top-grossing FleetFeet franchise owner, Ed Griffin:

“You’re not just running a shop; you’re building a community. Selling shoes and gear is a start, but it is more about helping people feel better about themselves.”

A training program is a great way to draw new customers since it’s a way for runners to make running more exciting and rewarding. As store customers share their training success with others, they help attract new people to the running community… and into your store! Happy runners encouraging others = more runners, more togetherness, more sharing.

Here are five ways a month-long virtual challenge powered by Racery will pull more customers into your store’s training program:

#1: newbies feel welcome!

New runners often fear being judged or laughed at. By focusing on distance completed over the course of a month instead of momentary speed, virtual races are a perfect on-ramp for less confident runners. They’ll also get to know other runners in your store’s community and build the relationships that make it physical runs less intimidating.

#2: easy to join

Your training group is no longer limited to people whose schedules match the fixed meet-up time! Since miles can be completed at anytime, anywhere — anyone can join a virtual race. Plus, there’s almost no effort on your part! Signing up is as easy as 1-2-click: runners only need to submit an e-mail address and pick a nickname to join a group.

#3: motivation

Keeping runners excited and engaged has never been easier! The software automatically prompts daily mile submissions and encourages runners to support and motivate each other. However, if one of your staff wants to join the run and cheer — even better!

#4: 24/7 virtual community

Customers who run together shop together. Your virtual race builds customer loyalty and retention! Racers are more likely to come out to your store events if they feel like they know other people who are going to be there.

#5: BONUS: branding!

Your store branding appears throughout the race page, on emails and on digital placards. Not only are these seen repeatedly by runners but many get shared on social media, amplifying your training program’s impact. Who doesn’t want free marketing?

[Curious to see how a virtual race would work for your store? Send us a quick note and one of our event specialists will be in touch to help brainstorm a customized solution.