Britain’s newest unicorn start-up is poised to take the fight for workout apparel supremacy to global giants Adidas and Nike after investment from US-based private equity firm General Atlantic (GA) valued the firm at $1.45B.
Started in a midlands garage in 2012 by then teenage fitness enthusiast Ben Francis, the D2C (direct to consumer) eCommerce brand has enjoyed dramatic growth – partly owing to a successful and sustained digital marketing campaign which involved community-building, influencers and video content creation across social media channels. This enabled it to rapidly build a loyal base of over 3 million, mostly millennial, fitness and body conditioning customers and followers across 178 countries.
Here at Deltabase, we recently assessed Gymshark’s digital transformation (Dx) capabilities using our proprietary digital maturity framework that covers 1,000 points of assessment across the six critical factors of:
- Business model
- Customer engagement
- People & culture
Scoring Gymshark’s Digital Maturity
Our assessment was completed using some 23,000 evidence sources in publicly and commercially available datasets covering customer reviews, employee sentiment, leadership team bios, technology products, people profiles, skills, social media content, financial performance, investments and press coverage.
Our assessment found that Gymshark benefits from having:
- Retained the agility of a start-up with light-touch governance, rapid decision-making and rapid iterative product development cycles, despite now being a £176m turnover business.
- Embedded innovation throughout its values, culture, capabilities and investments.
- Placed data at the heart of its business with a Chief Data Officer recently appointed to the executive team.
- Implemented, unhindered by legacy IT, an integrated suite of modern cloud-hosted systems covering eCommerce, order fulfilment & distribution, finance and HR.
Further to its stratospheric top line growth to-date, there is a clear role for digital transformation, data and technology to play in helping to accelerate plans for overseas expansion, leading to further sustainable and even more profitable growth.
The prime opportunities that our assessment identified include:
- Introduction of experienced technology and data advisors to form part of a non-executive board to increase the chance of successful ROI from investments made in digital transformation.
- Deployment of robotic process automation (RPA) software across back office processes, allowing operations to scale alongside international expansion without requiring a corresponding increase in headcount.
- Further enhancement of in-house data and analytics capabilities to include data science & AI capable of delivering business value across the whole Gymshark business model, starting with personalisation to drive increased sales.
- Enhancement of the firm’s cyber security capabilities across people, processes and systems in order to protect its growing data assets.
The opportunity that GA saw when they decided to invest in Gymshark for the next stage of its growth is clear to see when assessing Gymshark in detail.
GA and the Gymshark management team will need to thoughtfully scale and increase the maturity of the Gymshark business model without compromising the characteristics of agility, innovation and pace that make Gymshark the incredible business that it is today.
If it can succeed in this, the likes of Adidas and Nike should be afraid. Very afraid.
For a copy of our full Dx Intelligence Report on Gymshark including detailed scoring, intelligence, data analysis and opportunities; or to benchmark the digital capabilities of any company, please get in touch at email@example.com
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