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Are Fitness Apps the Future of the Fitness Industry?

By Parisa Hashempour

Published 3 March 2021

You’d have to have been hiding under a giant kettlebell to have missed the news that the fitness industry has changed for good. Before coronavirus transformed life as we know it, the industry was already making the switch to digital. But the recent pandemic supercharged that process. 

App usage of workout tools like Peleton, Nike, and Under Armour was already skyrocketing. Throw lockdown and facility closures into the mix and it’s safe to say these companies are now doing pretty well. Without a gym, club, or studio to go to, consumers swapped working out on location for working out in their house, or in their local park. Fitness is still a priority for consumers – but the way that they’re embracing it has changed. 

What’s interesting is this is…

Users Are Loyal to Their Favorite Fitness Apps

Almost 96% of consumers only use one fitness app and over 75% of active users open up their apps a minimum of twice a week. And that’s not even the most active! 25% of the most engaged users open their health or fitness apps more than ten times a week – it’s safe to say that most fitness professionals don’t have that much face-to-face contact with members and clients.

This is scary for many fitness business owners. And rightly so. But it really doesn’t have to be. Instead, the rise of fitness apps can act as a great opportunity.

How Can Fitness Apps Benefit Gym, Club, and Studio Owners?

Hear us out on this one. Okay, it might be detrimental to the health of your business if all of your clients start using a competing fitness app – but what if you had one of your own? Think about the possibilities of reaching your clients up to ten times a week, despite pandemics, forced closures, holidays, or any other reasons a client might have from being distanced from your facility.

Your clients are ready for your digital fitness app because they’ve been getting used to the idea of working out digitally for months now. Rather than let apps capitalize on the changing market and steal your clients away, beat them to the post.

Unlike those other fitness apps that lack a personal touch, you know your clients well. They have the opportunity to work out with you in person and combine it with an online experience. You have the capability to go so much further than your average fitness app.

Adapt Your Business Model

By adding a digital app experience to your memberships you can transform your business model. You could bring in additional streams of revenue and hold on to clients that might be tempted to cancel their memberships and swap them for a digital solution.

The market is ready for a mix of digital and physical workouts. They’re ready to engage not just with the trainers and staff inside your gym but also with an online coach or video training plan, outside of the gym too. The answer? A digital platform that is connected to you, the gym that members know and love.

Use an App to Rebuild Your Community

The community of your club may have been impacted by the recent pandemic. After all, it’s hard to engage clients when you don’t see or hear from them for a number of months. Using a fitness app is an effective way to foster a sense of community and champion engagement.

Relationships are a crucial part of a gym, club, or studio experience – this is one essential thing that regular fitness apps can’t deliver. When they use competing fitness apps, clients don’t have access to coaches and other members of the community that is on their own fitness journeys.

When you have a functioning community, it’s clear that the progress of your clients matters to you. The best way to show them that you care, and to make sure they stay on track, is to be with them 24/7 – you guessed it, an app can help with that.

More Touchpoints to Keep You Connected

You probably already know how important it is to have a number of touchpoints inside your facility that keep clients engaged in order to promote a positive client experience and upsell additional services. But continuing those touchpoints when your clients leave the gym is just as important.

Data shows that every two touchpoints within a month can reduce the risk of clients canceling their contracts with you by 32 percent. It’s all about creating an effective strategy and utilizing a digital service – like your own personalized app.

Not only does having workout plans inside an app, or notifications that remind clients of classes to help them stay on top of their fitness (and as a result happy with your business), it also gives you more options and opportunities to push premium products and services. You could use digital touchpoints to offer group or personal training sessions or offer access to unique digital services such as food and nutrition tracking.

Staying connected was a major pain point for San Diego-based gym, Pacific Beach Training. Find out how the Virtuagym software helped meet their client engagement goals amid the pandemic.

Read their story

Make Your Business Future-Proof

Ultimately, it’s going to make your business future-proof. The recent pandemic has forced us to all shift gear and adapt to what’s being described as the new normal. With the business model outlined here, which combines a digital app with onsite training, you have the power to take control of this situation and keep up with your new competition.

We don’t know what strange events the future will hold. But we do know that if you back up your business by offering a digital service too, you’ll be able to service clients no matter what does occur. With a mixed business model, you’ll be ready to tackle the second wave of coronavirus head-on.

Parisa Hashempour

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