ArmourUP Asia muscles its way into the online fitness business with simplified digital advertising

A fitness enthusiast, Hee Chai’s passion is in CrossFit training, a physical fitness regime that combines various forms of exercise to build stamina, agility and strength. However, CrossFit requires specific accessories and training equipment that Hee Chai struggled to find in Singapore. Undeterred, he took it upon himself to address the gap in the market by importing quality products from the US and Australia.

Set up in 2016, ArmourUP Asia initially sold a small selection of accessories, such as wrist wraps and knee sleeves. Hee Chai’s strong business acumen helped him tap into the pulse of his customer base and rapidly expand his product range to offer this growing community exactly what it needed. 

 “We added one product after another, and now stock ten top brands in our store. We have expanded and grown rapidly, in just two years,” says Hee Chai excitedly. 

Hee Chai is careful about offering a unique value proposition; he understands the customer’s need to examine and try out the products before buying them. Going beyond an e-commerce store, he set up a physical store in Ubi staffed with well-trained and knowledgeable salespeople.

“Customers can walk into our store, chat with experts about their needs, and get a feel for the equipment they want to purchase – a much better option than simply buying products of the Internet, and not being entirely sure if they’ve got the right equipment,” says an enthused Hee Chai. 

Punching harder with digital marketing

With an increasing interest in CrossFit,  competition is now stiffer than ever. New online retailers pop up so often and Hee Chai needs to constantly find ways to stay ahead.

Like most entrepreneurs, who do not have the deep pockets required for traditional marketing, Hee Chai believes that digital marketing is a cost-efficient way to reach his customers. He began using digital marketing to promote his business in its infancy. “Digital marketing, in my opinion, is the only platform that gives SMEs a chance to pitch against the bigger players,” asserts Hee Chai.

Hee Chai and his team have been experimenting with digital advertising for the past two years with a mixed bag of results. He is now looking for advice to gauge what is working and what’s not and track his ROI so he can be sure that he is investing in the best possible digital marketing strategy to target his specific demographic.  

Affordable online advertising platforms such as Adtiq provide valuable insights for Hee Chai.  And what’s more, it’s ease-of-use is a boon to SMEs hard-pressed to build in-house digital marketing capabilities.

“We believe that there is still a vast opportunity for ArmourUP to reach more customers through digital marketing,” he says. “We could definitely work with something that is simple to use and that delivers results right when we need it.”

Hee Chai discovered Adtiq at a roadshow, and plans to use the platform to customise his digital campaign and help expand his business in the region; Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

For now, he is using Adtiq to promote his newly-opened store and feature exciting new products such as the Electronic Muscle Simulators from Compex and PowerDot.

“Digital advertising can be risk free if you know what you are doing,” says Hee Chai. “I would advise all SMEs to keep at it and run the digital marketing marathon – start small and test, test, test!”


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