According to co-founder Natalie Holloway, Bala is a “movement company.” The brand’s mission: to inspire movement by design.
Bala’s innovative workout products are inspired by iconic 80s aerobics designs: the brand’s first and most well-known product, Bala Bangles, are a reimagination of old-school wrist and ankle weights. They’ve since branched out with the Bala Bars (their take on the dumbbell) and most recently, the Power Ring (a new version of the classic kettlebell). Every product is as colorful as it is functional, reflecting the brand’s playful personality.
For Holloway and co-founder Max Kislevitz, making payment seamless was a priority from the early days of the business. Not only had customers been requesting a buy now, pay later option from the get-go, Holloway and Kislevitz also recognized a unique opportunity to integrate installment payments into their business model. Because Bala relied mainly on pre-orders to distribute their products, customers would often make purchases that would not be shipped for several weeks. Rather than asking customers to pay the full price upfront, the co-founders wanted to give them the option to pay later.
Their solution was to offer Zip, so that customers would only have to pay the first installment upfront with the remaining payments due right around the product ship date. This option would also benefit those who were outfitting their home gyms with multiple products, by allowing them to space out this investment over time.
Bala decided to move forward with implementing a buy now, pay later solution in August 2018, soon after the company’s founding. Holloway notes that offering Zip at checkout is what customers want, and that providing a buy now, pay later solution should be par for the course for today’s trendy, modern brands.
According to Holloway, “we did a quick competitive set on who was out there, and determined that Zip would be an amazing partner for us. It struck us as the most credible and simplest platform to use.” Holloway spearheaded the checkout integration with Bala’s Shopify platform herself, noting that the process “was very easy and intuitive” from start to finish.
Since integrating with Zip, the results (and the Bala buyers) have spoken for themselves. “We have heard lots of positive sentiment from our customers. They love having the option to buy now, pay later, and they thank us for it,” says Holloway.
This year has been a particularly explosive one for Bala’s growth. After appearing on Shark Tank in February 2020 and the beginning of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions the following month, Bala quickly became a home gym staple and saw a 1200% increase in monthly transaction volume. For months on end, they sold out of product within days every time they restocked.
"We have heard lots of positive sentiment from our customers. They love having the option to buy now, pay later, and they thank us for it.”Natalie Holloway,Co-Founder
Zip has played a major role in facilitating this growth: when Bala launched the Power Ring,
they saw a 51% increase in average order value, while week-over-week sales volume processed via
Zip increased by over 200%. Bala has also enjoyed a customer repeat rate as high as 25%.
As demand for at-home fitness equipment continues, Bala is taking advantage of the momentum to start the new year off strong. Among their plans: expanding into exciting new colorways for their classic products, along with new product launches on deck in early 2021.