The fitness industry is constantly changing. Every year, there are new exercises, diets, and equipment touted as the next big thing. As the owner of a studio or gym, you’re likely to pick and choose the new ideas that fit your niche.
However, there are some ideas worth exploring regardless of your fitness business model. Keep reading for five fitness trends that can help you boost both your membership numbers and your revenue.
1. Create a modern, digital experience
There’s no question about it. The consumers of today expect to access their favorite businesses through their mobile devices. Whether it’s booking a hair appointment or checking out a restaurant menu, digital access is a given – and businesses that don’t provide it may lose out on customers.
The fitness industry is no different. Make sure to provide a seamless digital experience by having a website and social media pages with easy access to your booking system. Make it just as straightforward to book on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop as it is at the front desk or over the phone.
60 percent of American consumers usually book their appointments online.
A difficult process can be a deterrent for current and potential members to book classes and training sessions. They might question if they can add a friend to their booking or easily cancel if they’re not feeling well. If they suspect that making or changing their booking could become a time-consuming affair, they may refrain from doing it altogether. Prevent such attrition by opting for an online booking system that is flexible and user-friendly.
Another way to increase your digital appeal – and your visibility online – is by listing your business in Gympass or ClassPass. Both are online marketplaces where credits can be purchased for bookings at thousands of studios, gyms, salons, and spas. So, rather than becoming a member at one business, fitness seekers can customize their wellness routines with visits to a variety of locations, all while enjoying the simplicity of one central platform for purchasing services.
Although memberships provide a more consistent income, fitness businesses can benefit from offering this type of flexibility. Through a presence on platforms like Gympass or ClassPass, fitness studios can secure revenue from people willing to try out new options. Such platforms also provide an additional channel for discovery of your brand, as they act as business listings. Your brand shows up in searches for local gyms or fitness studios, giving you a source of leads in addition to Google and other search services.
2. Boost engagement with gamification
Club Industry recently asked Bryan O’Rourke, president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, what should be on the radar of health club operators in 2022. He emphasized “creating a culture and compensation dynamic that attracts and keeps great people.”
Many of those who attend a fitness business love a challenge. Whether it’s completing a 5K in under 30 minutes, beating a personal best in the weight room, or holding a tree pose without a wobble, a sense of competition is a great motivator.
Gamification in business means adding elements of game playing, such as scoring points and competing with peers, to your services. In the fitness sphere, you can use this strategy to heighten motivation and engagement while encouraging members to visit more often and try more classes.
Let members collect points for meeting an attendance target, trying different workouts, improving their performance, or referring a friend to your business. Maintain a leaderboard and reward participants with prizes when they achieve goals and milestones, and give public recognition to celebrate their wins.
Magnify your brand’s visibility by featuring the contest within your social media community and tagging engaged members (with their permission). Taking this approach can enhance growth for your page(s) as members tend to like and share content that mentions them personally.
Utilize all your usual communication channels such as email, text, and push notifications to encourage members to join in the challenge and keep them motivated.
3. Go beyond fitness with holistic offerings
The fitness industry of today isn’t just about losing weight and building muscle. Members increasingly look to improve their overall wellness through a range of strategies: recovery, nutrition, mobility, and mental health – to name a few.
If your members come to you for their workouts, it’s likely they are also looking to fulfill some or all of those other health and wellness needs. Offer irresistible convenience by making your business a full-service destination for as much of the wellness spectrum as possible. Consider whether your brand could incorporate outdoor workouts, Zoom workouts, personal consultations, treatments, nutrition counseling, or other relevant services.
Streamline by using all-in-one fitness software to make bookings, sales, and promotions for all your offerings available on one platform. Adopting this strategy can help you grow your revenue with current members while giving them a consistent brand experience. Your front desk will thank you, too – think of all the time they’ll save by not having to switch between software applications for appointment booking, retail sales, and inventory checks, for instance.
If you’re a multi-location business or planning to become one, be sure to select a scalable solution with a centralized database. That means, if a member steps into a new location, they can immediately pick up where they left off as all their data and member history can be accessed from any location.
Watch the video below to see how fitness brands use the Zenoti platform to create a smoother experience for members and instructors:
4. Don’t just recommend products — sell them
Supplement consumption and personal equipment used to be limited to the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts. However, as fitness has become more mainstream, more people are investing in aids that will help them maximize their training, from clothing and pre-workouts to gloves and bands.
Your members trust your knowledge and expertise, so go beyond just recommending products. Have you thought about selling your favorite product ranges or even creating your own? Members will be purchasing these products somewhere – so why not from you?
Offer modern convenience (and save space on your premises!) by making your product range available in an online store, alongside your memberships and gift cards.
Make the store a revenue driver by promoting it across your digital channels. Deploy social media posts and email campaigns to provide education around usage and benefits, along with links to purchase the product directly from your online store. Instructors can provide further context and advice to help members better understand how and when to use products on top of the routine programming your studio offers.
5. Gain new members through reviews and referrals
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to attract new members. In today’s world, that often takes the shape of online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
77 percent of consumers regularly read reviews when browsing for a local business
Maintain a good online reputation to make your business the first choice when potential members search for their next fitness destination. Here’s how to do it:
- Implement a process for requesting reviews when members are likely to have a favorable opinion of your business. For example, an automated email or text message sent when someone has been a member for three months gives them a chance to easily weigh in.
- Respond to all online reviews – both positive and negative – to show that you are engaged and willing to address all manners of feedback.
- Save time with a tool such as ezRepute. This enables you to view and manage reviews from all major platforms in one place, rather than switching between a multitude of sites.
In addition to online reviews, a referral program can provide a welcome increase in your membership numbers. While your most engaged members are likely to recommend your business where they can, you’re missing out on potential revenue if you don’t have a program to encourage referrals from all members.
Incentivize referrals with a clearly defined, digital referral program. This firstly means setting up attractive rewards (for example, a month’s free or discounted membership for every successful referral) and promoting them across all your channels. Secondly, make the program available on mobile phones. The benefit: Members can complete referrals in just a few taps when talking with family or friends.
Acting on the above trends can boost your membership numbers and revenue in 2022 and beyond. With the help of the right technology, it’s easier than you might think.