For the fitness industry, 2015 is the beginning of the mobile and digital revolution. The most successful clubs will combine excellence in customer service and member relationships with world-class technology that enables member engagement, drives revenue and enhances the club experience.
As operators, you are faced with far too many challenges a day: staff not showing up, machines breaking, searching for leads… on the surface, adding technology to the mix can seem like just another thing to worry about it. However, when harnessed the right way, technology can become the ultimate competitive advantage for a club operator. Let’s dig into how:
It all starts with smartphones. Nearly 80% of online Americans have a mobile phone that connects to the Internet. It’s pretty unbelievable, when it feels like just a few years ago, we were all on dial up! This innovation has connected millions of people to a sea of useful and entertaining apps, devices and services that were never available before.
Now, we know that the vast majority of our members are using smartphones. How can WE use that to our advantage to drive a better member experience?
1. Go digital
From training videos to virtual coaching to online advertisements, operators must engage with members where they live: online, and more frequently, on their mobile device. Members now demand to access basic club services (like a class schedule) and increasingly enhanced club services (like signing up for PT) online and from their phones.
2. Think about commerce
For operators, the mobile revolution can be a goldmine, because many people are using all of these smartphones to buy things. We’re talking big numbers here… 1 out of every 4 of your members have made purchases from their phones. Imagine if grabbing a protein shake or even a trial personal training session was as quick as a tap.
3. It’s not just the phone, it’s the wearable
People spent a whopping $700M in 2014 purchasing wearable devices, and now 1 out of every 5 Americans are using wearable tech in their daily lives. These devices, like FitBit, Nike+ and Jawbone UP are giving members access to never before available data that helps them understand how they are progressing towards their fitness goals. Savvy clubs can use these devices to support their member’s fitness journeys, and provide better opportunities for engagement (like club fitness challenges).
4. Know that Internet is everywhere
In the next 10 years, I bet even your toaster will be connected to the Internet. From doors to treadmills, more devices than ever before can be online, and as a result, allow a member to interact. From connected cardio equipment to futuristic iBeacon technology, the health club of 2015 and beyond will have more “smart equipment” that makes workout tracking and personalization easier than ever before.
This article is a preview of Bryan O’Rourke & Netpulse’s 10 Tech Trends for Clubs in 2015. Download the full, free PDF here.
Bryan O’Rourke is an accomplished CEO, strategic adviser, entrepreneur, investor and professional speaker. His expertise in technology, strategy, development, marketing, management and finance has led to a track record of results in fitness and wellness, food and beverage, international trade, technology and franchising. Learn more at http://www.bryankorourke.com.
Netpulse is the #1 provider of custom branded mobile apps for clubs. The most successful clubs use their mobile app to engage members, drive revenue and create a complete club experience. Your mobile app drives member referrals, PT sales, member participation in fitness challenges and many other powerful methods of member engagement. It’s a must-have for 2015! Learn more at http://www.netpulse.com