‘Digital experiences’ are the new buzzword of the fitness world. If your gym, club, or studio can only operate in real-life then you may start to feel left behind as the new wave of virtual fitness washes over the industry.
The key to engage and retain members, while exploring new opportunities to increase revenue and maintain relevance during the pandemic and beyond, is to embrace the idea of digital experiences.
This article will outline the best ways you can bring a holistic wellness experience to your members through their phones, computers, or tablets. We have been working hard on having new features to help you tailor your digital offering and get ready for the reopening. And this is why.
Why Is a Digital Fitness Experience So Important?
As we’re sure you already know, the experience that your members have inside your gym is crucial. A positive experience can make or break the success of your company.
A motivational and encouraging member’s experience can be created through a strong sense of community, a great setting, or excellent staff on-hand for assistance. Of course, during the current climate, these factors all become a lot more difficult to provide.
That’s why moving towards creating a digital fitness experience for gym members is the best way to ensure exponential growth for your business by engaging members from afar and providing them with the best service possible at a distance. Remember what people are able to do at home, be mindful of their environment.
Think of a digital fitness experience as similar to your real-life experience for members, only instead it is created using any virtual or digital tools at your disposal.
That could mean a personalized, branded, bespoke fitness app or wearables such as step-trackers and GPS running watches. There are multiple ways you can now reach out and engage with your community: read this article to learn more on how to promote your digital offering to your customers.
Create the Ultimate Digital Fitness Experience
Other popular styles of digital fitness experiences that have seen growing popularity during the current crisis include social media workouts, live-streaming workout videos via a website or app, one-to-one training sessions with personal trainers and coaches from your gym.
Today even sites such as Tik Tok with its one-minute videos are being utilized to keep members and prospective members engaged and moving. Not to mention all the fitness challenges that are quickly turning Tik Tok into ‘Fit Tok’ .
If you’re wondering where to start with your digital fitness experience offering, you came to the right place.
1. Ensure You Have the Right Software in Place
When it comes to creating the best possible digital fitness experience, having the right software is absolutely essential. Software providers such as Virtuagym offer a complete solution for your members and your business needs.
Not only can software be used for booking, scheduling, and setting up those one-to-one Zoom sessions, Virtuagym also provides members with access to a virtual trainer complete with over 5000 animated exercise guides via your own personalized branded app.
Using a program such as Virtuagym’s PRO+ feature allows you to combine the real-life experience of training clients and members inside a facility with all of the digital training solutions their members need, such as livestreaming classes, virtual training, nutrition, and workout tracking, and a virtual community to share their results with.
It means that members can continue feeling as though they are a part of the club community and can also support their local gym throughout the difficult period currently faced.
Members continue to pay their club at a discounted rate, and in exchange receive a hybrid wellness solution combining real-life and virtual experiences that cater to all of their health, fitness, and wellness needs. This makes it the greatest digital fitness experience.
2. Grow Your Virtual Community
When it comes to replicating the amazing in-person experiences of your club or studio, maintaining an authentic community feel is paramount. Human 2 Human is the new B2C.
You can use an in-app community feature to do this but you can also do this by checking in with clients and members on a regular basis. Keep clear communication on what your next steps are, set up Q&A sessions to ensure that you help them to stay on track and answer any burning questions.
Consider how you can check in with them weekly or even day-to-day in some cases. Encourage your community to interact with one another. Give them a space to share progress pictures and post updates, or even challenge them with customized workout challenges . Community as a method of motivation is at the heart of a positive fitness experience both on and offline.
3. Personalize the Experience
Creating a bespoke experience is key to making your members feel connected to your gym or club. This will lead to positive word-of-mouth messaging and will ensure that they are more likely to stand by you through difficult times.
According to IHRSA, hyper-personalization was expected to be the new thing in the fitness industry . We might just jump a bit ahead in time with the pandemic that forced us all to rethink our business and go digital.
You could create a personal experience by offering one-to-ones and providing unique nutrition and workout advice based on your client or member’s needs and requirements.
You could also try prescribing them specific livestreaming classes that are tailored to their needs. If you have a client that is looking to lose weight, incorporate 3 weekly live-streaming HIIT classes into their workout plans. If you have a client with injuries, try incorporating more gentle restorative stretching sessions.
Show that you care about your members on a personal level and they’ll stand by you in the long-run. When gyms reopen you should be ready to provide a combination of real-life and digital experiences that make a difference to your members. Don’t stop creating experiences and habits that are lifelong for your customers. Use Virtuagym to make sure that you are best equipped to return to normalcy.
4. Adapt to New Policies
Finally, the best way to create a stand-out digital fitness experience is to combine it with an offline one. While this may not be possible right now in your area, it will be soon. You can check out the Virtuagym heat map, which gives details of gym reopening plans across Europe and the US. Unlike most software companies that attempt to provide you with the tools you need to create a positive digital experience for your members, Virtuagym is working to prepare clubs for the future.
Virtuagym can prepare you for the transition to post-pandemic life by providing you with check-in software that helps you control access to the gym. Consider the fact that part of your reopening strategy will include new measures to comply with social distancing requirements.
Real-time attendance tracking will help you know who is in your gym and what is your capacity to host more people. You can reduce or space out the equipment in your gym, but you want to make sure you respect the limit of the number of people working out at one time.
Having this kind of tracking in place helps you managing class schedules as well. Even if you think about starting outdoor group classes you have to set a limit to comply with the current policies. By using Virtuagym online features, clients can easily book their spot in your class and you don’t need to worry about capacity anymore.