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People love shopping online. It’s easy, convenient, there are no lines or crowds, and the consumer is in full control of their purchase.
Therefore it should be no surprise that in the digital age we live in today more and more people are choosing to buy online. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 8 out of 10 Americans are now shopping online. As a club owner, if you are not offering membership joins or personal training packages online, then you are cutting yourself short from additional revenue streams.
It’s a no-brainer. When you offer membership sign ups and personal training online you will create more opportunities for membership growth. As an added perk, you will increase your EFT dues lines and encourage repeat spending behavior. The best part is that the sales process will be effortless to you. It is the member who is doing all the work.
First, they find a motivational factor why they want to join a gym. Next, they do an internet search of gyms nearby, they click on your website, they pick one of your offers, they submit their credit card info and voila. You have a new member. Selling memberships in your sleep can actually be a reality.
So how do you attract potential members to your online page, and how do you get them to join? This by far is one of the most common questions. Here are some important tips.
The buying experience begins with your website. You want to make sure that every page on your site is optimized for search engines and mobile devices. Can your prospects navigate easily through your site? Can they pull up your page on their mobile device? If not, they will surely click off your site and go elsewhere. Having a mobile friendly site is crucial. According to Business Insider, it is forecasted that by the year 2020, 45 percent of e-commerce transactions will be done on a mobile device.
Website content is another important key factor. Your prospect needs to know information about your club before joining. Is your site updated with all of your club’s services and amenities? Is your group fitness class schedule current? Your potential member is not interested in a schedule from 2013. What kind of photos do you have of your club? Remember, you are not doing a face-to-face club tour. The prospect is doing their research based on the details you provide.
Along with website content, and in my opinion the most essential component, you will need a secure e-commerce platform. Most club owners will seek a third party that can process credit card transactions while simultaneously storing the member’s account information for EFT. Your best bet is to check with your club management software provider. Having a web-based software application that can seamlessly integrate your online sales into your CMS will make member management a whole lot easier to handle. Some can even brand their e-commerce page to look just like your website.
In the end, your prospects are likely to join your club after you’ve answered their questions and offered solutions to their problems. It is less about how your website looks and more about how your visitors feel. There are a lot of cool web designs out there but if your page is archaic, doesn’t have enough information or is difficult to navigate, you’ll see your web traffic diminish as people are attracted to sites that can give them a better shopping experience.
Joanna Truong managed both privately owned and corporate chain health clubs for six years before accepting a consulting job at Twin Oaks Software Development in 2014. She can be reached at 860.829.6000, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit healthclubsoftware.com.