Hello, Guidefitter Community!
Today, I am thrilled to share some highlights of our progress for the first half of 2023 in releasing useful new features on our website and mobile apps. It’s been a crazy past few years in the outdoor industry. Still, our product development team has been tirelessly working behind the scenes to innovate and continue to enhance our platform. And, importantly, nearly all of our new feature ideas came from the Guidefitter community, so thank you for your feedback, and please keep the ideas and advice rolling in. We read every comment you share about things we could do better and take your feedback seriously.
Below is a summary of 15 new features available now on Guidefitter. A few of these features have been available since earlier this year, and others are fresh off the Guidefitter factory floor. Some features bring foundational new capabilities to Guidefitter, like Buy Now, Pay Later for outdoor gear. Others introduce minor but practical upgrades, such as being able to “Like” someone’s comments and replies to a post in addition to the post itself. Still, other features are “invisible” but help improve the overall Guidefitter experience, such as improvements to photo upload speeds from our mobile apps and faster page and screen load times.
Let’s start unpacking the list…
We revamped and relaunched the popular monthly “Invite an Insider” competition, where you can win gear by referring friends, family, or co-workers who qualify for Insider status with Guidefitter. The revamped competition received a new facelift on our website, and the monthly competitions are now sponsored by Guidefitter brand partners, who provide top-notch outdoor gear as prizes for the winners. Check it out, refer your friends, and compete to win gear!
At long last, a feature that many of you have been asking for – especially those of you who don’t have credit cards, don’t want credit cards, or don’t want to add to your credit card balance – is a new payment option, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) for outdoor gear. The BNPL payment option is powered by a new Guidefitter business partner, Credova, who focuses on the outdoor industry and provides flexible payment options for all types of outdoor gear, including firearms. Financing options depend on a few factors, including where you live and your creditworthiness. They can range from short-term financing with four payments and no interest over six weeks to longer-term financing, extending up to 60 months with total financing up to $10,000.*
You will see info on each product details page eligible for Credova financing and can also apply for BNPL financing during checkout. So if you have been waiting to pull the trigger on that new spotting scope, e-bike, rifle, thermal optic, or all of the above, you now have alternatives for getting the gear you want sooner than later—no credit card needed.
When we first launched our e-commerce platform, only verified Guidefitter “Insiders” could purchase products via the Guidefitter marketplace. However, we have gradually been opening up more and more shopping opportunities for anyone who wants to purchase great gear from Guidefitter. If you are a Guidefitter Insider in good standing, you will still see your exclusive Insider pricing when shopping. However, if you are not an Insider, you can still shop for products from many of Guidefitter’s partners at competitive retail prices. And to make sure you know that the retail prices are competitive, we recently introduced the Guidefitter Price Match Guarantee. If you find a better price on the identical product somewhere else online, we will match that price or refund you the difference. So, shop away confidently, looking for the Guidefitter Price Match Guarantee logo, knowing you’ll always get the best deal from Guidefitter.
At our core is the Guidefitter community; Our pro members, enthusiast members, outfitting businesses, brand partners, conservation partners, associations, and - YOU. The community shares information, answers questions, and generally interacts with each other around their shared passion for hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. And to help make these connections more human, more trustworthy, and helpful are community profiles. Your profile - whether for you or your business - and the information you share through your profile is a vital way of representing and expressing yourself within the community.
So, community profiles matter a lot, and we just made it easier and more mobile-friendly to update your Guidefitter profile from any browser, whether on your mobile device, laptop, desktop, or tablet. These ease-of-use upgrades make it faster and more intuitive to update your personal profiles on Guidefitter. So, take a stab at updating your “About Me,” your hometown, add a nice profile pic so that you are more human and relatable in the Guidefitter community, and cap off your profile with a superb background pic.
For our members who also own a hunting or fishing outfit (or if you are an authorized “Page Manager” for that outfit), we also made it easier for you to update information about your business, including trip and trip pricing info and more. So check it out; this would be a great time to ensure all the information about your outfit is current. Your outfitter rankings in our outfitter trip search engine are based somewhat on how frequently you update your profile information, including how often you add photos to your outfit profile and if your pricing is current. In general, outfitters with fresh and rich content bubble up to the top of the search results.
Of course, you can also still update your profile from our mobile apps, and we’ll be upgrading the profile editing experience in the future within our apps as well.
Outdoor gear is generally technical, and shopping for gear often leads to lots of questions. Why should I consider an angled spotting scope vs. a straight spotting scope? Is this the latest version of this product? Does this accessory work with / fit the product that I own? How long does it take for this solar panel to charge this battery? Is this charging brick really waterproof? How far can I travel on this e-bike with a full battery charge? And so on, and so on.
The good news is that nearly every Guidefitter member is a hopelessly-addicted hunting, fishing, camping, you-name-it-outdoors gear fanatic. And someone probably has the answers to your questions. So, we recently expanded the Q&A capabilities on Guidefitter to include Q&A on product details pages. When you land on a product details page, you can ask a question and see other questions and answers about that product.
So if you have a question, ask away. If you can help a fellow member by answering a question, please do! This is a new feature for us, and it may take a little while to get solid answers flowing, but we hope this will continue to evolve and help everyone more and more. (We may also introduce incentives in the future for providing the best answers to questions, so stay tuned for more on that later.)
Also, please note that for now, the Q&A experience is much better on our iOS and Android mobile apps. But, we are working hard to continually improve the overall Q&A experience across our web browser experience and in general. Please check it out, ask questions, answer even more, and let us know your thoughts.
Download our mobile apps:
Google Sign-In is now available for accessing Guidefitter through a desktop or mobile browser and our iOS and Android apps, creating four different ways to sign into Guidefitter. You can now sign up or sign in to Guidefitter with your email address and password or your Google, Apple, or Facebook account. Personally, I am now using Google Sign-In for most websites I access - including Guidefitter - as it’s so convenient.
The number-one question every client asks their guide or outfitter is, “What should I bring? What gear do you recommend?” Pro guides are in a unique position when it comes to outdoor gear. First, they rely on great gear themselves every day they’re guiding to get the job done for their clients. They abuse gear. They put miles on boots - per day. They use optics in rain, sleet, snow, fog, dawn, dusk, and bright sunlight. They use their backpacks as seats, pillows, rifle rests, gear garages, and lunchboxes while tossing them in dusty pickup trucks, UTVs, or drift boats. They’ve tried gear that doesn’t generally work, or perhaps not for them and their unique guiding environment or style. They’ve adapted and tried multiple different gear configurations to perfect their kit and their craft.
Guides also have a front-row seat to see how gear performs that their clients bring with them. Raincoats that aren’t waterproof. Ammo that jams. Noisy clothing. Waders that leak. Reels with sticky drags. Jackets that don’t keep you warm, and so on. They also see the gear that works beautifully for clients of varying ages, capabilities, body types, and abilities. Experienced pro guides have seen it all and are arguably the best human beings on the planet to recommend gear for the outdoor experiences they guide.
So, we’ve started to work with a small handful of select pro guide Guidefitter Insiders to tinker around with a new type of content on Guidefitter - recommended gear lists. Gear lists contain gear recommendations from pro guides (and later, anyone) that include gear from Gudiefitter’s brand partners and gear from many other gear manufacturers that aren’t (yet) Guidefitter partners.
Here are a few Guidefitter Gear List examples so far:
Colorado Wilderness Fly Fishing - Robert Terwilliger
Fly Fishing for Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon of Ascension Bay, Mexico - Chris Jensen
Eastern Idaho/ Southwest Montana Fly Fishing - Mike Bias
We’ll continue to improve recommended gear lists, including better gear list creation tools and tools to help anyone create smaller collections of gear they find essential if not a full-blown gear list. You can also now see gear list content on product details pages when shopping on Guidefitter, like on this page for the Vortex DIAMONDBACK HD 12x50 binos, where any gear list that contains these binos is now available directly on the product details page.
Finally, we are working with a small set of pro guide members on a test program (the “Guidefitter Influencer Program”) that provides incentives, including financial incentives, for proactively promoting brands and gear through gear lists and other content.
Interested in creating gear lists? Visit this page to get started. For more information about becoming an early Guidefitter Influencer Program member, contact us with a link to your Guidefitter profile.
It’s been possible to add gear tags to your Guidefitter community feed posts for a while. But you could only add gear tags based on the gear you purchased from Guidefitter. Now, you can tag posts with any products in the Guidefitter marketplace. Adding gear tags helps the rest of the GF community better understand what gear you use to have a great time outside. When I see someone post pics occasionally, I wonder - “What are those boots?” or “What bow is he using?” and so on.
Learning more about gear and discovering new brands and products others find useful is helpful and makes me realize how much additional gear I really “need” 😀. Also, any of the pics you tag with gear show up on the product details pages for those products, adding to the community-powered shopping experience that Guidefitter is getting known for. For example, check out the Community Photos section on the page for this Badlands Stealth Cooltouch Hoodie. So tag away, and share more about the gear you use and recommend!
One of the best things about Guidefitter is our community, where people share content and interact and engage with each other, based on our shared passion for the outdoors. Share a pic of your daughter’s first deer or largemouth bass, and fellow members will be quick to say “Congratulations!” Share a pic of your new yellow lab pup, and I virtually guarantee that all the fellow dog lovers on Guidefitter will share a comment or at least “Like” your post.
Sometimes, it’s also useful to engage with the people that have previously engaged with the original post in the comments. If someone leaves a great comment, you can already add a comment to the comment. But we also just added the ability to “Like” someone’s comment as well as being able to “Like” the original post, adding more ways for the Guidefitter community to engage with each other. It’s a little thing, but also a big thing, helping us engage even more with each other.
Also, did you know that when you comment on someone’s post that you can add a photo in your comment? We’ve had that out for a while now as well. Sometimes, reading the comments to an original post are more entertaining than the original post itself.
In our browser-based experience, it’s always been easy to search for another person or a specific outfitter on Guidefitter, using the global search box at the top right-hand side of the screen.
Now, you can also search for people, outfitters, brands, wildlife conservation orgs, and guide outfitter associations on our iOS and Android apps, using the search box at the top of the Community Feed.
Until recently, only Guidefitter members or outfitting business profiles could create posts in the Guidefitter community feed. Now, our outdoor brand partners can also post to the Guidefitter community. We’re hoping that brands use this new feature in a more informative and helpful way instead of a full-on sales pitch mode. But we also know that brands have lots of information to share, including news about new products, updates on inventory availability, special deals, and more, so we’ll see how this new feature plays out.
We have even more updates for Brand Pages coming soon, where you can learn more about each brand and engage with them in new ways. More on that in a future update. But in the meantime, if you see a brand post something in the community feed, give it a thumbs up and a comment, and follow the brand. Following a brand will mean much more soon!
Adding to the #11 feature update above, Guide Outfitter Associations and Wildlife Conservation Orgs can now claim their Org Profile Pages and share news and info via posts to the Guidefitter Feed. We’ve heard from so many of these essential organizations that it’s difficult and costly to get the word out about the great work that these organizations do. They do vital work in their respective state legislatures and at the federal level, helping to protect wildlife, wildlife habitat, access to public lands, and lobby for guide/outfitter-friendly legislation.
The NWTF, for example, has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of wildlife habitat since its inception, helped recruit over 1.5 million hunters with a vested interest in conserving wild turkeys, and opened over 700,000 acres for hunting since 2012. NWTF has dedicated $1.2M towards wild turkey research in the last year alone. (See more information about what the NWTF has accomplished in your state by visiting the “by the numbers” section of their website.)
Similarly, the Wild Sheep Foundation has raised nearly $53 million in the past ten years for projects dedicated to, “put and keep wild sheep on the mountain®.” And in the WSF’s most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, they have raised another $7.1M+ directed to mission programs vital to preserving wild sheep and sheep habitat.
We will continue improving the experience here for Guide Outfitter Associations, Conservation Organization partners, and Guidefitter members over the coming months, so please be on the lookout for those updates. For example, we’re planning to make it easier for people to join these organizations and learn even more about the work they’re doing.
In the meantime, if you work for a Guide Outfitter Association or Conservation Organization and would like to learn more about using Guidefitter at no cost to help spread the word, please Contact Us.
And take time to visit and follow a few of the organizations now starting to use this new feature on Guidefitter.
The Guidefitter community shares lots of photos. Photos of the hunt, friends, family, sunsets, mountains, dogs, campsites, favorite gear, wildlife, wild game dishes, monster fish caught in the rain or snow, and more.
And now, sharing photos just got much, much faster when using our iPhone and Android mobile apps. So hit us with your best shots! Download or update the Guidefitter mobile app on your phone, and share some great pics of your outdoor adventures with the Guidefitter community.
Download our mobile apps:
The Guidefitter blog features new updates at least weekly and provides helpful information for guides, outfitters, and everyone else in the Guidefitter community. Until recently, the Blog was not accessible via the Guidefitter iOS and Android apps. But now - users of our mobile apps can access the Guidefitter blog by tapping on the Guidefitter logo in the upper left-hand corner, then tapping the “Blog” menu item. Viola - the Guidefitter blog magically appears inside the mobile app.
Sharing is caring. And until recently, it was a little clunky to share a Guidefitter post, a review, a product shopping page, a profile, or any other piece of shareable content. But now, we’ve made it much easier by introducing a new “share” icon and using the native share screen of each mobile device to share content. This update makes it much easier to text or email someone a link to a product, a Guidefitter member’s profile or a post, or any other shareable content.
NOTE: The new native share screen (what the nerds call “system-provided share capability”) is currently only available with our iOS and Android mobile apps. But we plan to update our browser user experience with this new feature in an upcoming web release.
As I mentioned throughout this new features rundown, our product development team is always working on improving some portion of our existing platform and building completely new features that will add value to all of our members and business partners. We’re always looking for better ways to leverage the content created by our community, especially outdoor professionals, to help better inform and entertain everyone, and that will continue to be a priority for us. We know, for example, that video is exciting and super engaging content. While it’s possible today to embed YouTube videos in a Guidefitter post, there are probably much better, native ways to create and consume video content on Guidefitter.
There are so many other exciting developments on our product roadmap, including new features and products for our brand partners that will help them better tell their story, better manage and oversee their pro purchase programs, and better connect with pro staffers, pro program members and fans of the brand in general, on Guidefitter.
Thank you for reading this far - that was a lot to cover. So, what did we miss? What features or improvements would you like to see? What could we do to make Guidefitter work better or make it easier or more fun? Please drop your comments below - the good and the bad - and I promise we’ll read all of them.
Your feedback and interaction have always been the cornerstone of our growth, and your ideas fuel our roadmap and innovation. We thrive on it. Without your support, there would be no Guidefitter.
Also, if you found this article helpful, we’d be grateful if you’d share it with friends across your various social channels. We’d love to welcome them to the Guidefitter community and get their thoughts as well!
Thanks again, and happy adventuring,
*For complete Credova disclaimers and disclosures, please visit http://www.credova.com/disclaimers