3 Ways Technology Adds Value to Your Club

By Melania Armento

Published 21 October 2020

New technologies have a lot of influence on every industry, and the fitness industry is no exception. We have already highlighted the benefits of mobile apps for your club’s success.

So now, let’s discuss some of the latest hardware developments and point out why hardware like wearables can improve your business and client experience.

The use of digital channels and technologies has been especially useful to deal with the uncertainties of COVID-19. In fact, these advancements allowed fitness businesses to keep in touch and engage with their members during the pandemic.

The Importance of Technology in the Fitness Industry

During the pandemic, technology has played a big role in the industry. In order to survive the inevitable recession and keep businesses up and running, fitness businesses have heavily invested in the digitalization of their services: – i.e.: livestreaming services, at-home workouts, wearables, and they’ve explored new ways to look after their gym members and help them stay active at home.

High-tech hardware can help health club owners and managers in many ways. It can help you support your clients and improve your client experience by knowing more about them and providing better-personalized coaching in return.

This way, you can increase the fun factor of your gym and get more insights o who comes to your gym and when, as well as keep track of members’ at-home workouts – helpful if you’re a personal trainer.

What is Wearable Technology in Fitness?

Let’s start off with wearables. Wearable technology refers to an accessory/technology that helps monitor routine activities. This technology comes in all shapes and sizes, but smartwatches are by far the most well-known type of wearables. Companies like Samsung and Apple have already recognized the incredible potential that wearables offer, and are spending a lot of money developing wearables.

But in what way does this help you as a club owner? Are fitness wearables worth it?

The Benefits of Wearable Technology for Clubs

There are wearables that are designed specifically for the fitness industry. The most obvious examples are activity trackers. These allow your clients to measure all kinds of different things about themselves.

Just think about what it would do for your coaching services if you had direct access to that measured data.

1. Easily monitor members’ health and well being

Fitness wearables can track a variety of metrics. While it differs between brands what values can be measured, some of the most common ones are:

  • Activity (steps, for example)
  • Calories burned
  • Heart rate
  • Sleep

2. Support Your Members From a Distance

The recent pandemic has taught us that communicating with your members and providing services from afar is crucial to make your business future-proof.

By integrating wearables into your array of offerings, you can help members stay on top of their health and wellness goals even when they aren’t working out in your facility. This means you can help them stay on track and retain them in the long-term by ensuring they remain engaged with your business.

According to the Quo Vadis – Covid-19 report from Deloitte & Europe Active, 85% of the club operators that were surveyed either introduced or expanded their digital class offerings, and all of them improved their membership plans with videos and digital workouts.

3. Offer Bespoke Guidance to Your Clients and Members

Depending on the brand or make of the wearable, it is possible for coaches to gain access to measured client data with their consent.

This means that you and your coaches have direct insights into the clients’ activity levels and health wherever they are, and you can support and guide your client accordingly.

4. Improve Your Member Experience

If you decide to integrate wearables in your club’s services, it’ll be sure to boost your client experience. The combination of getting insights into a client’s activity and progress, and being able to coach them accordingly, means you can provide effective services on a personal level.

Lastly, when you combine wearables with other smart monitors such as body composition scales. You can boost the quality of your progress tracking and accuracy of measuring even more.

Access Control: Manage the Capacity of Your Facility

Access control is already a commonly used technology, and it has become even more useful due to the pandemic and the necessity for social distancing.

There are many ways to implement a check-in software in your gym to future-proof your business. Furthermore, are you making full use of the data provided to you by your access control system?

The Benefits of Access Control for Clubs

A touchless entrance control system connected to your CRM to track attendance is what you need to ensure your business survives the COVID-19 slump.

Managing the capacity of your gym or studio to comply with COVID-19 regulations is necessary to ensure your staff and members’ safety. Having an access control solution in place can help you guarantee social distancing in your facility at all times.

1. Clear Insights in Visiting Hours

By having insights into members’ visiting hours, you can easily anticipate the number of employees needed on-site at any given time while keeping an eye on your gym’s max capacity. 

This data can be used to determine optimal times for maintenance, cleaning, and other services. Moreover, a smart access control system prevents long queues at the reception, freeing up time for your staff.

2. Offer Various Time-dependent Memberships

If you have an insight into visiting hours, you’ll have the opportunity to create time-dependent memberships. For example, if you know that it is very quiet between 12 am – 5 pm, you can offer a cheap 12 – 5 deal and increase your revenue during those quiet times of the day.

Or, you could give specific membership types 24-hour access, allowing them to use your services round the clock to ensure safety regulations are practiced at all times.

3. Improved and Automated Admittance

People with expired memberships, people who haven’t paid their fees… it happens. These people can easily slip past your staff if they’re busy, but they can’t easily slip past an access control system.

For example, when someone tries to check-in with an expired membership, a warning can automatically pop up on the reception screen.

But, this is not just about denying service – it’s about improving service. So, for those who are suddenly denied access for the reasons stated above, why not give them an immediate way of renewing their membership, like using an online payment system?

The Evolution of Fitness Equipment

Technology has also changed the way we interact with fitness machines. Examples of new, advanced cardio machines are stationary bikes, treadmills, and cross trainers that are equipped with heart rate monitors and TVs!

High-tech gym equipment not only improves gym members’ fitness experience at facilities, but they’re also frequently used at home. Technology is a great ally during these uncertain times, so this is why smart home gyms could be here to stay.

The Benefits of Smart Fitness Machines for Clubs (and at Home)

Smart fitness equipment is changing the face of at-home workout for good. Fitness companies like Peloton, Lululemon-owned Mirror, and Tonal play with virtual reality to adapt to a new reality (or ‘the new normal’ as we now call it). These create new hybrid fitness experiences for their members.

According to CB Insights:

In 2015, the category accounted for approximately 2.9% of overall revenue in the fitness equipment vertical. By the end of 2020, that figure is expected to exceed 7.5%. The home fitness equipment market is projected to hit nearly $4.3B in value by 2021.

Another good example of fitness tech is the cloud-connected line of cardio machines, which track performed workouts and send progress data to the user’s account. You can also get fitness machines that are equipped with touch screens which can be used for interactive workouts.

1. Offer More Luxury (and Increase Club Prestige)

When your gym is equipped with innovative machines, it will boost the image of your health club. If your gym is known for your high-tech approach to fitness, you can draw upon a growing audience of digital natives who are used to technology and value it in everything they do.

2. Increase the Fun Factor of Visiting Your Gym

When your fitness machines enable your clients to challenge themselves in new ways – for example through interactive exercises or games – it will make going to the gym so much more enjoyable. It will definitely help to keep members motivated to hit the gym regularly!

Melania Armento

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