As the need to stay relevant grows for fitness club operators, technological advancement now presents a huge opportunity to reinvent ‘Fitness’ through ‘Fit-tech’ mobile applications, tailored experiences and engagement beyond the club.
The convergence of technology and fitness is both a necessity and an inevitable, natural evolution to create not only what consumers now expect, but to go beyond: a wholly tailored and integrated fitness experience that merges the members life outside the gym with their fitness ambitions inside the gym.
With users now operating much of their lives via mobile applications, we are now also seeing a significant shift towards a ‘mobile-centric’ approach to fitness. Some applications offer complete fitness, health and wellness guides, allowing users to formulate their own tailored plan, outside of the gym. The success of the fitness apps is a key indicator of the ‘users-side pull’ for an alternative, flexible and integrated solution. These shifts pose some food for thought. The research has identified three areas of opportunity where technology can create tangible value to both members and operators:
- INTEGRATION: Tech & Fitness / Fitness & Lifestyle
- RELEVANCE: Pre / During / Post engagement
- CUSTOMISATION: Lifestyle & Convenience
Implementing a customer-led technology strategy that re-thinks not only the member’s experience within the club, but also the purpose of the fitness clubs within the lives of the members, can extend a brand’s reach beyond the club walls, having direct impact on:
- member retention and acquisition
- additional revenue streams
- access to member data
- brand partnerships
- operation costs
Just as the likes of Airbnb, Uber, PayPal and other tech-revolutionaries changed the parameters of their industries; how will tech reshape the world of fitness in 10 years’ time?
Will cost cutting and convenience drive technological development and open the sector up to new ‘remote’ players, or will fitness clubs compete by introducing new, integrated lifestyle and wellness experiences, merging technology with the individual’s life outside of the club?
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