How Gymshark Centralizes UX for 250K Monthly Users With Auth0
Leading conditioning brand Gymshark estimates savings of £900,000 per year while improving user community experience
Gymshark is a conditioning brand, dedicated to creating functional training apparel, designing innovative performance technologies and building passionate, empowered communities. Formed in 2012 in a garage in Birmingham, UK, Gymshark has emerged as a leading brand in our industry, with a worldwide family from over 170 countries. We exist to unite the conditioning community.
Ben Francis started Gymshark, a fitness wear apparel brand, in his garage in 2012. Since then, it has grown into one of the most recognizable functional training apparel brands in the world, with a social media following of 10+ million and customers in over 170 countries.
Gymshark attributes its success to a tight focus on uniting the conditioning community through its ‘disruptive’ approach to social media and marketing.
As part of that community-building effort, Gymshark released a standalone conditioning app in 2019. During the development process, they realized they wanted a centralized authentication solution that worked across both their online and mobile applications.
Siloed Logins Spoil User Experience
Gymshark already used Shopify’s authentication for their e-commerce sites. Their first thought, when their engineering team began creating the Gymshark Conditioning Workout App, was to use that same authentication system for the app. But it became apparent to Dan Lake, the Engineering Director at Gymshark, that that wasn’t a good idea. “Shopify is not an authentication provider,” Lake says. “It's not what they do day in day out.” Instead of trying to force a solution, Lake knew that they needed to consider ease-of-use for the customer.
They began looking for a universal login solution that would unite user accounts across their fifteen different retail sites (each of which had their own separate login) as well as on the app. “When we looked at all of our various client-facing sign-ins,” says Lake, “it was becoming too complicated to authenticate across so many different siloed systems. We needed centralized authentication.”
An Invisible Layer of Security
When looking for an identity provider, Gymshark had one major priority: a seamless customer experience. “User experience is the most important thing that we as engineers do,” says Lake, “So the system behind the scenes should be doing the hard work, and the user experience to the end customer should be seamless and as simple as possible.”
While they briefly considered building their own solution, Gymshark brought in Auth0 to manage security and identity within their Conditioning app and online stores. “A lot of our software engineers, myself included, have got experience with authentication and have built all sorts of different authentication solutions in the past,” says Lake. “However, as a retailer, we want to concentrate on providing a world-class customer experience rather than getting authentication right, especially when we can hand it over to the experts at Auth0.”
A Six-Week Transition and Huge Measurable Savings
At the time they implemented Auth0, Gymshark’s software engineering team was just three people. Even with such a small team, they were able to easily launch the new authentication system and migrate their customers in just a six-week time period. Lake says, “The ease of implementing Auth0 was brilliant. It saved us months of time, salaries, effort in finding the right engineers, obviously ongoing support, and also probably given us back a few years in our lives as well through stress.”
To implement their own identity solution, Lake estimates that Gymshark saved “roughly £900,000 in new engineers salaries annually.” Nearly a million pounds a year is no small change for a growing company.
In addition to easy implementation, Gymshark appreciates Auth0’s out-of-the-box features, like anomaly detection, which make it effortless to secure logins for 250,000 monthly users. “Auth0 protects us against credential stuffing,” says Lake. “You don't realize how valuable credential stuffing features are until it happens. Those are the kind of features that we relished at the moment, things we see that our customers don't.”
Identity Enables Gymshark’s Tech-Based Future
As Gymshark focuses on uniting the conditioning community, the team recognizes that adopting new technologies is key to its success. “We're going down a headless commerce route, doing much of our ops and infrastructure through serverless technologies with cloud partners such as AWS. We're kind of rebuilding the whole back office of the company from the ground up,” says Lake.
Thanks to Auth0, Gymshark can focus on creating apps and other technology that advances their core mission. “The largest shift and growth at Gymshark is we've become a tech company through our aim to unite the conditioning community. We’re building the foundation for where we're headed,” Lake says, “and it's just going to get bigger and bigger.”
Curious How Your Organization Can Benefit From Auth0?
Learn how our customers are saving time and reducing costs by reading The Total Economic Impact of Auth0 by Forrester Consulting.
Auth0, a product unit within Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. The Auth0 Identity Platform is highly customizable, and is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.