The #1 Technology Every Club Needs in 2015
No surprise, the number one technology every club needs in 2015 is mobile apps. Did you know 80 percent of gym members carry a smartphone and 62 percent of all internet access now happens on a mobile device? Your members want to engage with you through mobile, which means a club mobile app is essential to maintaining a successful health club. So how does it work and how do you get one?
Having a mobile app is no longer optional — it has become a necessity for all health clubs and fitness centers. A club mobile app connects the entire club experience digitally, while also strengthening relationships with your members, attracting prospects and increasing revenue.
What Can a Mobile App Do For Your Fitness Center?
A club mobile app is customized to your health club and provides your members with features that integrate with the most popular fitness apps, wearables and programs essential to managing a successful gym.
Some of these integrations include:
- Fitness Trackers: Devices that track calories burned and steps taken. E.g. Nike+, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper
- Rewards Programs: Loyalty programs that reward your members for referrals or club engagement. E.g. Perkville, FitRewards
- CRM: Customer relationship management system for sales, marketing and improving employee performance. Ex: Lead Dolphin, ClubOS, InTouch
- Cardio Integrations: Fitness equipment that connects through mobile. E.g. ECOFit, Matrix Fitness
- Social Media: Platforms for members to share their fitness progress with friends. E.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
The club mobile app can also be used for members to participate in fitness challenges, make mobile payments, book personal training sessions, access their account information and even receive up-to-date gym news via push alert notifications that appear right on their phones like a text-message.
How Does This Affect Prospective Members?
A club mobile app can also be incredibly valuable to prospects. Through your branded app, prospects have immediate access to all information about your health club and its amenities. Essentially, the app is one giant advertisement for you. Prospects can even use the app to enroll for a trial pass or make the commitment as a member.
How Can a Custom Mobile App Drive Revenue?
Your app can impact revenue in several ways. One of the most popular ways to do so is maximizing the communication and promotion opportunities in your app. Each time someone downloads your club’s mobile app, they are essentially subscribing to your brand. This means they will receive instant communication from you via push alert notifications (again, messages that appear on the home screen of members’ phones, like a text message).
For maximum member connectivity, push notifications can be used to communicate breaking gym news, promotions and advertise programs within your club. You can also offer special deals, like discounted personal training, redeemable through the app.
How Do I Get One?
- Build it yourself
This is NOT recommended as it requires programmers and technical knowledge. The cost often starts at $40,000 and that doesn’t include the annual maintenance, updates, etc.
- Buy a generic pre-built app
There are services that provide low-quality, but customizable pre-built apps. These are not designed for health clubs … instead they are templates that work for any small business that can be customized. The problem is that they lack required integrations to fitness industry technologies, like your billing system. Since these integrations are requirements, this is a bad option as well.
- Buy a fitness-focused, pre-built app
This is by far the recommended choice. Buying a pre-built app that is specifically for health clubs enables you to get all of the “requirements” taken care of instantly, like class schedules, fitness challenges and integration to the other technologies you use, like your billing system, CRM and wearable devices such as Fitbit.
Greg Skloot is the VP Growth at Netpulse. See a free demo of a fitness-focus, pre-built app today.