Netpulse, with its vision of delivering technology that amplifies the life-changing impact of the health club industry, recently released a free e-book called “The Club of 2020,” which fast forwards five years to reveal the technology that will shape the fitness industry and what a successful club will look like.
“We break it down into five categories of change that we believe are going to happen in the next five years in the fitness industry, all underscored by technology innovation,” Greg Skloot, vice president of growth, explained.
The book, written by Skloot and Bryan O’Rourke, lists business models, personalization, wearables, the internet of things and optimization as the inevitable categories of change. “Technology is coming into each of these areas in ways it hasn’t before, which is going to bring about radical change to how many health clubs conduct business,” said Skloot.
As an example, Skloot said that new business models stand to break away from the format of traditional monthly dues, and instead evolve into more pay-as-you-go options for clients who may not exercise as frequently as members of health clubs.
Skloot also said the book delves into lower-cost options that will leverage digital training. “We call it the digital and physical hybrid, where [clients] pay for some use of a physical facility and also pay for use of digital content, like a virtual coach,” he said.
According to Skloot, this means that more people will be able to exercise at home — a notion that might directly correlate with age.
The team found that millennials in particular will play a big part in the way the industry moves forward, claiming that the generation demands more flexibility, like the ability to workout without leaving home, as well as being free of long-term commitments.
Personalization, the idea of delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, said Skloot, is another core section of the book. “A big part of that is data,” he said. “Between the member management systems and the mobile apps, we’re starting to end up with this big pile of data that we never had before. And we can start to leverage that data to personalize experiences for members.”
Skloot said that one way health clubs might see that happen is through its equipment, pointing out that data from a personal cell phone could drive the advertisement that appears on a treadmill being used by a client, or even a personalized smoothie order from a previous workout.
And the effects of the changes in the industry will reach more than just members, according to Skloot.
“You can start to have staff members who are far more informed on who the members are, what their individual wants, needs and desires are, and start to customize the member experience to be much more tailored to individual tastes and preferences, which will ultimately create more loyal customers.”
The 15-page e-book can be downloaded for free at www.netpulse.com.