In this episode of Merchant Stories, we share the story of Made 4 Fighters.
What influenced your decision to start your e-commerce store?
We actually purchased Made 4 Fighters in 2013. Before we did, its original focus was on mixed martial arts (MMA). But we realized there was an opportunity to diversify the website and widen the focus to include other combat sports disciplines such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, crossfit, wrestling, karate, etc.
Tell us about your business?
Made 4 Fighters is the only place for all styles and disciplines of martial arts supplies and clothing in the UK. It features the biggest range of premium brands sourced from various parts of the world and is usually the first place to have the latest in innovative products/brands that are launched.
Do you currently run your store full time or part time? Tell us about the experience.
Full Time. It's more than a 9-5 job. We have partners overseas that help with our marketing and a growing international business. Monitoring trends, sell through and ecommerce analytics make everyday a full but enjoyable one.
Which e-commerce platform do you use?
How did you get your first products stocked?
It has been a gradual process but we started with core products from the leading brands. We wanted to ensure we had as much choice as possible for the consumer and worked with suppliers to ensure we had a reliable stock supply.
How do you interact with your customers?
We have a customer service support team via email and phone. We have a customer review facility on the site and send out regular emails to our subscription list.
What are some of the challenges you're facing now or have faced, if any?
Challenges are probably no different from that of most companies. Ensuring on a day to day basis, we our stocked and are able to deliver what the customer is looking for. However, managing the growth in a short time period is the biggest challenge.
What apps/plugins are most useful to you?
Shipper HQ and our payment apps both offer flexibility for the customer.
Are there any personal business strategies you've developed with time?
We focus on diversification with Made 4 Fighters, through acquisition of brands or distribution. This strategy has enabled us to enter new markets and promote growth.
Any advice for upcoming e-commerce entrepreneurs?
If you’re thinking of pursuing an idea - whether it be a business or an experiment - go for it! Failure can only add to your learning.