Mill City Running was admittedly late to the party
when it comes to e-commerce, but with good reason - they’ve spent the last eight years building a
nationally-recognized brand and a Race Team of over 500 loyal customers - all because of the thoughtful and
expert approach that they bring to their in-store experience.
Then came the pandemic and like the rest of the world, their business was forced to quickly adapt. Initially, they approached their e-commerce business with the occasional footwear sale in mind, “We would have been happy with a few sales a week” quipped Andy Leach, E-commerce Manager; however, they quickly realized how to best leverage their 24/7 online presence in a way that will continue to bring incremental revenue for them well after customers fully return to shopping in-store.
While footwear is king, Mill City has another weapon at their
disposal: custom products. The percentage of Mill City’s online business in 2020 hovered in the low single
digits until they added custom branded apparel and accessories about midway through the year. By the end of the
year, online sales made up over 15% of their total business, including an eye-popping 31% during the week of
Black Friday. To date in 2021, it’s over 21% - mostly thanks to an increase in units per transaction (UPT) in
the form of winter apparel and custom product sales to customers throughout the US.
Another unforeseen benefit to their Fitted turnkey e-commerce platform has been the integration of Race Team sign ups. By moving their race team registration page from a 3rd party site to their own website, they are capturing add-on sales from race team members who are taking advantage of a discount code and filling up their cart with merchandise along with the Race Team membership.
With a second location in nearby Saint Paul - aptly named Saint City
Running - recently-opened, owners Jeff and Bekah Metzdorff are doubling down on brick-and-mortar. Yet, they plan
to continue to leverage their Fitted-powered e-commerce site as a powerful supplementary tool.
After all, their conversion rate with virtual fitting has increased to over 75%, and the UPT of online sales has risen from 1.2 to 1.7 - an impressive number given the industry average of 1.1 - and both attributed to their access to Fitted’s endless inventory from key vendor partners.
While there’s always room for improvement, Mill City Running continues to challenge the status quo. Expect them to continue to find additional creative ways to bring the in-store experience online. Check it out for yourself at millcityrunning.com.