Health and wellness have always been things people are willing to spend money on. However, it is a very competitive industry because as a global market it is worth an estimated 3.4 trillion dollars. In order to remain competitive, you must find a way to differentiate yourself.
Like most things today the fitness industry has adopted to technology. With fitness trackers, mobile apps and websites there’s no lack of devices to help you lose weight or stay in shape. But at the end of the day, the business of fitness is about people and relationships.
While most gyms now have a mobile optimized website, some might ask whether a mobile app is really necessary. The answer is yes.
Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Websites
Your mobile website is a great place to get quick information about your gym, but according to a survey done by technology research company Quixey, many web-surfers agree that it is slow and the user experience is not nearly as satisfying or engaging1. A website has small buttons and it’s difficult to find things. Mobile apps are faster, come with more features and capabilities and also have push notifications and alerts. In fact, according to a survey done by eMarketer web-surfers spend almost 6 times as much time using a mobile app as they do a mobile website.2
Below are 8 Reasons Your Fitness Gym Needs a Mobile App
1. Lower Your Marketing Costs and Increase Your Profits
According to the Harvard Business Review it is between 5 to 25 times more expensive to attract a new customer as it is to retain an old one. This depends on which industry you are in and which study you believe. Furthermore research shows that when customer retention rates increases by profits can increase by 25% to 95%. While a mobile app may bring you some new customers, what it can really excel at is keeping your existing customers. When used correctly it is one of the best tools in your arsenal for improving customer satisfaction.
2. Your Competition
Technology and fitness go hand and hand and having the best technology is a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In 2016 more than 102 wearable devices were sold. This includes things like FitBits, that track your daily movement and monitor your health. Wouldn’t it be great to have your own custom mobile app connected to your users FitBit Login? This way they could view their data and track their progress from your app while working out at your gym. This would keep your name brand in front of them at all times.
3. Mobile Payments and Mobile Commerce
One of the most important things for a gym to be successful is to get a lot of regular members who pay a monthly fee. This residual income is the life’s blood of a gyms survival. A mobile app can help with member retention rates by making it easier to pay their fees. A simple tap and they’re a member for another year.
Your app could also be used to build a store to sell gear, clothing, yoga mats or even food and drinks. This could increase your bottom line by adding another revenue stream or just adding another channel to an existing one.
4. Events and Scheduling
Overall a mobile app is about adding convenience to your customer’s user experience. In it they can see upcoming special events, or just the regular class schedule. They can add it to their calendar or even register for a class directly. The easier it is for your customer to sign up for a class the more likely they are to take it and this will keep them coming back to your gym over and over again.
You can also give your customer’s reminders to go workout using push notifications or Geo-fencing (notices that trigger when they are in the area). People quit gyms because they get out of the habit of going. An app can help motivate them to go even when they don’t want to.
5. Manage Your Business and Your Members
Your app can be used to integrate with other software such as Gym Master or MindBody that are designed to help manage membership enrollment and can be also used to help with class scheduling and managing your instructors as well. You can add these to your app in order to manage your clients directly from them. This can streamline your business and make it much easier to manage.
6. Social Media
Today social media needs to play a significant role in a gym’s marketing strategy. It is essentially your online face and personality. Your mobile app can connect to all of your social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It can then act like a hub for you to post things and for your customer’s to interact and add comments of their own.
7. Offer Added Value
These days a gym isn’t just a place to work out. It is also to meet people, learn yoga, take boxing classes, or even get a massage. The influence of your gym also extends outside of the four walls once your customer leaves. With technology you can be in contact with your customers 24/7 days a week, by providing with valuable content. For example your trainers can post videos giving exercise and nutrition tips. You can upload recipes for smoothies and food. You could do live streaming classes, or record classes for students to view on a later date.
This way your app becomes a value added service, that shows you are willing to go above and beyond for customer service. Your members want workout videos, motivation, and education. Your app is the perfect tool to deliver these things.
8. Online Reputation Management
Your brand and its reputation is more important than ever and local reviews matter. Sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, and TripAdvisor hold a lot of sway when people are looking for reviews about local businesses. Providing a way for you app users to rate your gym is a great way to make sure your online reputation is good and to get valuable feedback from your customers to ensure that they are happy.
Apps and Technology are Driving the Future of the Health and Fitness Industry
Although I’ve only given you 8 reasons why your fitness gym needs a mobile app there are plenty more. In the near future things like augmented reality and virtual reality are going to become an important part of our lives. Maybe we will exercise in a room full of holograms while taking directions from an instructor that is 500 kilometers away. Whatever the future holds the mobile app is at the center of it. Think of not as just a piece of technology but a tool to deliver media and build relationships with your staff and your customers. It will help streamline your operation, reduce your marketing costs, and most importantly increase the profits on your business.