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CASE STUDY How Swedish Fit manages international expansion with payment partner Ingenico

Swedish Fit: Fun fitness can be a growth business

Scandinavian fitness chain Swedish Fit was set up to transform the way the people of the world get fit. A tall order in itself, but one that got tougher when the company saw rapid expansion into France, then the UK, Switzerland and Belgium.

Originating in Sweden and brought to France more than twenty years ago, Swedish Fit was born out of a family passion to boost people’s health in a fun, non-competitive way. The company had one main goal: to make exercise accessible to all. As such, its founders knew it had to expand its international presence.

Ahead of the curve, Swedish Fit was one of the first companies in the wellness market to move online, allowing its customers complete flexibility to book into their chosen class anytime, anywhere, with a simple click.

This forward-thinking has enabled Swedish Fit to expand rapidly, from 1,000 clients in 2000, to 10,000 in 2010 and to 25,000 in 2019.  As it expanded from France into the UK, Switzerland and Belgium, online transaction volumes leapt from 30,000 in 2010 to 115,000 in 2019. With 95% of its revenue now generated from online sales, the fitness fans face the problem of how to handle payments flooding in in a range of currencies. A nice problem to have.

To move forward and continue to grow, the company new it needed to find a payment partner that could support its growing customer base, guaranteeing conversion, reliability and real-time monitoring across a range of cross-border markets.

The answer lay in Ingenico. Ingenico works closely with small and medium-sized businesses, drawing on its wide-ranging global payments expertise to offer support, flexibility and international payment capabilities that are suited to each market.

By partnering with Ingenico, Swedish Fit took advantage of a solution built around boosting its checkout conversion rates to ensure no customer was left disappointed with a declined transaction. A simplified reporting tool on payments performance also means that Swedish Fit’s payments are now easier to monitor in real time, reducing admin considerably.

As Swedish Fit plans to enter the German market next, Ingenico’s online payments offering also supports its continued international expansion, with the ability to tailor the customer experience to preferred payment methods in the local region.

Frédéric Coury, CEO of Swedish Fit, explains: “We’re lucky to be accompanied by a partner like Ingenico, which has the ability to adapt complete to our environment. Now we have an all-in-one payment solution with a platform that allows us to monitor all our flows daily, as well as instantly. We’re now looking forward to continuing our partnership on an international level.”

Violaine Rigaut, Head of Sales France, SMB Online at Ingenico, adds: “We’re pleased to support Swedish Fit in its growth ambitions. It is essentially a family business full of passion, and its mission to make exercise fun really resonates with us. We’re looking forward to supporting its international expansion with a solution that makes the customer payment experience as enjoyable as the classes offered.”

With long-term goals of having a Swedish Fit class taking place at any given time across the world, the brothers behind the business are next looking to offer online payments via the smartphone app. Supported by Ingenico, this would allow customers to pay for classes easily from their mobile while on the go.

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