Tonus Club was established in 2002 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, as an innovative fitness studio, providing a perfect, comprehensive solution for a woman of any age. They started manufacturing innovative exercise machines for wellness and physiotherapy in 2007.
The company produces toning tables, roller massagers, vacuum machines, etc. in over 150 franchised locations. In this niche market, the advantages of their products are high quality and reasonable prices.
Tonus Club grew rapidly, opening several clubs within a few years at the beginning of its operations. Users of their machines would always ask how to buy them, so they realized that it was a business opportunity not to be missed.
Firstly they imported from European countries and sold these machines in the domestic market. As the price is very high, it does not meet the demand of the local market. So they try to find more suppliers that can produce this kind of machine domestically. But this is a niche market and not many companies are willing to produce them, so they try to manufacture their own machines, which are more affordable while guaranteeing the same high quality.
Elena Korostyleva, Co-founder of Tonus Club, is the sole person in the team with e-commerce experience. ''I started with e-commerce as a buyer many years ago and when we decided to start export of our machines, we realized that e-commerce will be very helpful in this.'' In 2014, due to economic pressures and the impact of currency rates, they decided to start expanding overseas to find more foreign buyers. When they decided to tap into the overseas market, Alibaba.com was the first thing that came to their mind. During that time, they started with alibaa.com as a buyer, importing other machines for re-selling. Now, they both maintain sales in their domestic market and use Alibaba.com to develop overseas users.
Because of the pandemic, customers could not visit the factory and machines offline, and online sales were accepted by most customers. They can make orders online, which makes their business much easier. With the help of Alibaba.com, a young dietologist from Turkey has bought two machines from Tonus Club in a very short period of time, and then became their distributor. Until now, they have sold their machines to Italy, Australia, Turkey, Sweden, etc.
At the beginning of using this platform as the global gold supplier, they didn't have the essential knowledge to use the platform. Local partners offered a lot of help with holding webinars and introductions. They followed the advice step by step and finished building the storefront and uploading products. Now they have a sales team that runs Alibaba.com and responds to inquiries in a timely manner. Because they know it is very important to gain user trust.
Currently, alibaba.com is the only e-commerce platform they use. All the new customers and overseas business come from Alibaba.com. The revenue is getting better and better every year. Sales from Alibaba.com accounted for 20% of all turnover sales. In the past two years, they have reached a turnover of 1 million USD and more.
‘For those who will be using the Alibaba.com platform, I don't think they need to worry, it's easy to use, requires no special skills, and doesn't take much time. This platform is perfect if you want to start an export business. Just do it. ’