Staying connected to your members is more important than ever, and a well-made mobile app is a great way to establish a strong, consistent connection. With a mobile app, you can allow members to track workout progress, reserve class spots and even check into the gym.
Mobile apps are ambitious undertakings, however, so it’s important to consider all the variables. At the beginning of the year, Blink Fitness launched its own mobile app, called the “personalized mobile companion,” and the brand did extensive research before pulling the trigger.
“We did some research in the market to better understand the needs of fitness consumers — people we were interested in having become members — as well as current members,” said Todd Magazine, the CEO of Blink. “We did a pretty significant research study across the country of over 3,000 people.”
Market research can help determine if a mobile app would be beneficial for your gym, and if so, what that app needs to deliver for your members. If you own a smaller boutique studio, for example, allowing members to interact with each other closely and compete in challenges through the app could boost engagement.
Or if you’re a franchise owner, you might consider a more robust app that features fitness and wellness education resources like Blink’s personalized mobile companion, or even the ability to reserve personal training sessions.
The possibilities are endless, and the features you implement are dependent on what your members need. And don’t worry about trying something new — even if a feature doesn’t resonate with members as well as you’d like, there’s always room to improve with technology.
“That’s one of the things about technology that’s pretty amazing — unlike a physical product you put out there and it is what it is, technology enables you to put something out there and continue to make it better,” said Magazine.
In fact, you can count on constant technological updates in fitness apps, according to Magazine. “What’s in the marketplace today is going to be very different in the next six to 12 months, and it’s going to be greatly enhanced by all these improvements we make over time,” he said.
Since there is a measure of flexibility in evolving your club’s technology, there’s no time like the present to dig into market research and launch a mobile app.
“You have to make a decision of when you want to put something in the marketplace and then update it over time,” said Magazine. “And it’s really about trying to figure out your members’ objectives for living a healthy life.”
The right mobile app can be an excellent tool to help members reach their goals and a great complement to your club’s offerings. All it takes is an understanding of what will best motivate and resonate with your members, and integrating that into the app.