For SmartWorkout, launching a mobile app wasn’t just about unlocking new revenue from a digital product. It was about creating a fitness guide for customers that was as flexible and portable as its flagship resistance bands.
SmartWorkout was started by entrepreneurs Christelle Hess and Lucas Griffon because their busy careers didn’t leave much time for serious fitness. Especially when workouts were tied to the physical location of gyms and expensive monthly memberships.
The best solution for working out anywhere, even in the half-hour gaps of a full schedule, turned out to be progressive resistance training with elastic bands.
Most of the resistance bands they tried were prone to snapping, so they created their own unbreakable resistance bands—perfect for training at home or outdoors.
Hundreds of 5-star reviews later, there was just one thing missing:
A way to extend the “workout anywhere” value proposition of resistance bands to SmartWorkout’s fitness programs too.
“Because we’re a fitness brand and want to offer a real solution for people to train at home or outside, it was very important for us to create a fitness guide too,” says Christelle.
The first version of this guide was a free pdf containing the workout programs.
The static format wasn't the most engaging way to show customers how to use the resistance bands effectively, and required linking out to video tutorials on SmartWorkout's YouTube channel.
That wasn’t ideal for obvious reasons:
“I mean, there’s advertising on YouTube.” Christelle points out. No one wants to wait for an ad to finish before they can start a new set.
The idea to launch an app actually came from resistance band reviews asking for a mobile app to accompany their workouts. But building a branded native app didn’t seem feasible at the time.
“We are still a very small team and an app is not our core business,” says Christelle. “We really saw it as an accessory for customers and we didn't want it to be too expensive for us or for them. That’s when I saw a Facebook ad about Passion.io and I thought, yeah, this is exactly what we need.”
Christelle says it was important to be in control when managing and improving the app.
“The same way we like working with Shopify for our online store, we want to be able to control, customize, and update everything in our app ourselves. It’s very important in the early stages because you’re learning what the customer wants. With Passion.io, I was able to update my content and create new content whenever I wanted. No large initial investment, no developer.”
With tons of content to repurpose from their YouTube channel, it didn’t take long at all to launch the app. Christelle wanted an MVP (minimum viable product) to quickly test the appetite for an app, something she could manage once a day until they could commit someone full-time.
But the result was better than she expected when the official SmartWorkout Pro app was ready to launch on iOS, Android, and web.
“We initially wanted to make the app free for customers. But when it was ready, we thought, ‘This is actually really nice. What if we make it €5 for lifetime access to a premium plan?’”
Christelle says her favorite features are:
Not long after launching the French version of the app, the brand launched a second English version as well. Today, there are over 25,500 users across both apps.
Connecting Passion.io with Shopify through Zapier didn’t just allow SmartWorkout to sell the app through its existing checkout.
The integration unlocked new marketing opportunities specific to growing ecommerce businesses:
Since its launch, the SmartWorkout Pro app has come up frequently in reviews with “great value for money" as a recurring theme.
Christelle says the team plans to iterate on the app to make it even better for customers who want flexible fitness programs that get results.
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