This year marks the beginning of the mobile and digital revolution in the fitness industry. Many clubs will combine great customer service and member engagement with cutting edge technology to drive revenue and enhances the club experience.
As club owners and managers, you’re faced with far too many challenges during the day, like staff not showing up, broken machines and trying to increase membership. Adding technology to the mix seems like just another thing to worry about. However, when harnessed the right way, technology can be an advantage for a club operator. Here’s how:
It begins with smartphones. Nearly 80 percent of online Americans have a mobile phone that connects to the Internet. Cell phones have connected millions of people to a host of entertaining apps, devices and services that were never available before.
With the vast majority of club members using smartphones, how can health clubs take advantage of not only creating a better member experience, but engaging them and up-selling products and services?
These statistics underscore the importance of mobile visibility for clubs. In the fitness industry, club owners are tackling the mobile space by launching branded club apps to increase community awareness, enhance the entire member experience and drive revenue.
From training videos, to virtual coaching, to online advertisements, clubs are now engaging with members where they live (online) and on their mobile devices. Members now have a growing need to access basic club services such as a class schedule, or enhanced club services like signing up for personal training from their phones.
For health clubs, the mobile revolution has profit potential because many people are purchasing products and services directly from their smartphones. One out of every four club members has made purchases from their phones. Imagine if grabbing a protein shake or even a personal training session was as quick as a phone tap.
In 2014, people spent $700 million purchasing wearable devices, and now one out of every five Americans are using wearable tech every day. These devices such as FitBit, Nike+, Jawbone UP and Apple Watch are giving members access to valuable information that helps them understand how they are progressing towards their fitness goals. Savvy clubs can use these devices to support their members’ fitness programs and offer better opportunities for engagement, such as club fitness challenges for example.
The Internet is everywhere
In the upcoming years, many more devices will be connected to the Internet. From everyday appliances to treadmills, more devices than ever have the potential of being online, allowing members to interact with their club. From connected cardio equipment to futuristic iBeacon technology, the health clubs of 2015 and into the future will house “smart equipment” that makes workout tracking and member integration easier than ever before.
Stephen Wilson is the marketing manager at ASF Payment Solutions and a 20-year veteran of marketing and advertising. His focus on branding and strategic communications in the health and wellness industry for over 20 years has earned him numerous accreditations and awards on national marketing and advertising campaigns. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.asfpaymentsolutions.com to learn more about products and services.