The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted the fitness training industry hard. Many gyms and fitness studios have to shut their doors. While the business impact has been severe, the pandemic has also prompted many gyms and studios to rethink and reimagine their business and leverage digital as a strategy.
The global fitness market is worth about $96.7 billion. While there is a gradual reopening of gyms and fitness centers across the globe now, the business is set to change. Many factors are at play here.
The COVID-19 threat is still there which means people will find it difficult to visit gyms and work out. Secondly, the global pandemic has led to becoming at-home workouts as a new norm which is going to stay. People have got used to doing their fitness exercises at home through virtual content.
As per Mindbody data, there’s a huge jump in people accessing virtual content on fitness since March 2020. 73% are using pre-recorded videos now as against 17% in 2019, whereas 85% are using live stream classes versus 7% in 2019. In the same survey, 46% of participants stated that they intend to make virtual training a part of their routine, even after gyms and studios reopen. A third of the participants plan to visit more studios after trying new workouts virtually and 40% are booking studios they have never physically visited before.
The data above suggests a paradigm shift in the fitness industry. Digital fitness or virtual fitness training is here to stay. It will not completely replace the brick-and-mortar gyms and fitness clubs but will surely have its place in the future. While this may mean memberships coming down, it also means the arrival of a new target segment that gym owners and fitness trainers can target. So, if you are a fitness coach or own a gym then this is the right time to get ready and grab the new opportunities on the offing.
Scaling up is easy and cost effective. With digital programs, you can reach out to global users. Space and time constraints will no longer come in the way of expanding your business. From the confines of your home, you will be able to offer fitness lessons to a global audience. With live stream, recordings and interactive features, digital platforms enhance your communication with your clients and deepen their engagement.
Digital provides you easier facilities to customize content based on your target audience. By setting up templates you can easily modify and personalize fitness programs for each client or a particular demographic like women, senior citizens, fitness lovers etc. You can also arrange special one-on-one sessions for clients who ask for it at a premium price range.
Additionally, you can keep track of your clients’ progress and send them reminders. You can streamline your communication and send secure messages on diet plans and new training methods.
Your clients will also have the facility to choose the packages that is convenient for them and pay for what they use rather than a fixed amount.
With new clients and customized programs, you will be able to increase your revenues and strengthen your brand in the fitness industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in the global fitness industry. Gemini Consulting & Services can help you in your digital transformation journey with its technology expertise. We can help you leverage digital as a strategy for your business and build custom platforms and apps. Click here to know more about our digital services.
- Start with a Strategy: Digital transformation is more than using videos, mobile apps etc., to provide your services. Each business is different. And so, should be the strategy. Digitalization will have a significant impact on your existing processes and people. You need to think afresh and make digital the core of your existing business in place of the existing physical assets. Secondly, think about how you can tie up your existing physical business with digital services.
- Build a Digital Fitness Platform: You need top-class technology to offer engaging experiences to your customers. A digital fitness platform consisting of a website, mobile app, content development tools and customer engagement tools would serve you well in the long term. The platform should allow your customers to buy memberships, book classes, access virtual content and engage with you. Fitness has also gone data-driven. Your platform should be able to collect data from various sources, harness it and provide insights to you and your members. A custom platform will cater to your exact needs.
- Promote Your Business Digitally: Digital promotion is relatively cheaper and effective. More so when you want to target the young population and Millennials. In addition to running ads, open accounts on social media and inform people about your services. Share sample content, invite for demo sessions and offer digital coupons. Social media is highly effective for fitness coaches who offer one-to-one services. You can expand your services beyond your city and location. There are many fitness coaches on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc., who have built considerable following and business by being active on social media and advising people on how to be in perfect shape.
- Invest in a Member Engagement Platform: You have the choice to subscribe to an engagement platform and customize it to your needs or build a custom platform. Whichever way you choose, an engagement platform is important for your members and business. While people may want to train at home, but they would surely like to engage with other members, discuss various workouts, their progress and other experiences. Community engagement will also motivate your members to continue training which in return means continued business for you.