The biggest challenge the fitness industry has ever had to face is the COVID-19 Pandemic. A lot of time has been spent by the experts and researchers in reading, evaluating, and gathering data to better understand how the industry is changing and being affected. These changes happening around the world and in the gym business are to some extent irreversible.
The pandemic and the post-pandemic situation resulted in the shutting down of many fitness studios and gyms in America because of a fall in revenue and consequently a hike in expenditure. Gym people stopped going to their gyms and turned to the digital setup to meet their fitness and health needs. People have now started investing their time in at-home fitness leading to a decline in the gym-goers. This arrangement of revenue and expenditure forced them into closing down their gyms for good. As the expenditure of running a fitness studio was more than their revenue and they started incurring heavy losses.
The shutting down of a large number of gyms in America gave rise to job loss for many. Many instructors, nutritionists, and other miscellaneous people employed in the gym & fitness industry lost their jobs owing to the pandemic. Studios started to forgo some of their employees due to budget crunch and higher side of expenditure in response to the reduced revenue. Although fitness instructors and nutritionists soon figured their way out and started training people on various digital platforms in the form of VODs, one on one classes, group fitness online classes, and live streaming but others who were involved in jobs of physical nature had to face the brunt of this digital industrial revolution.
Soon after offices started operating from home in the form of the work from home modules, in no time, fitness classes switched to a similar model of online training. An important question for everyone was: how to go to the gym? This led to the evolution of digital and home fitness. Online classes and training sessions were soon trending and this led to a significant increase in the number of people opting for these classes. People also started undertaking at-home fitness classes through live streaming with their own gym equipment. This module of online setup reduced the overall cost of operations for running a gym as well as turned out to be an inexpensive alternative for people.
A hike in at-home fitness programs and online classes led to an increase in the demand for gym equipment by individuals. The gym equipment is now being bought for the personal use of people carrying out a fitness regime at home. America’s fitness market has been booming since the end of the year 2020, with consumers splashing out on accessories and equipment. Now, there is no major difference between home gym vs gym membership due to the availability of all required equipment at their homes. Also, several new businesses are attempting to disrupt by providing a unique health and fitness product that cannot be found on any e-commerce platform.
The pandemic has led to a positive change in the exercise behaviors of individuals. People are now more focused on leading a healthy life which includes nutritious meals and a disciplined workout regime. The mental exhaustion of staying at home ultimately resulted in the deterioration of the physical health of many leading to an increase in the number of people who join a gym in the post-covid scenario. A workout regime boosts confidence as you achieve your workout goals and also aids you to focus in long run.
Many individuals have found new methods of workouts in their homes, and have canceled their gym memberships in this past year. A lot of people got comfortable working out at their own places, bringing about a hike in the gym membership cancellations. This also led to a decline in the revenue of the entire fitness industry. COVID has had a significant influence on the fitness sector, and it may continue to do so.
Let’s see what the statistics say about the evolving and adapting fitness industry. The industry is still navigating its way through the constantly changing needs and demands of people during and post-pandemic scenarios.
COVID-19 has turned out as a big opportunity for communities, especially of color, but also for everyone who has battled to find a place in the fitness industry because of discrimination, cost obstacles, geographic location, or for any other reason. There will always be challenges, that’s evident. Despite all other facts fact, an online fitness class is inexpensive, quick, and convenient because it can be done in your pyjamas on the floor of your bedroom.
The pandemic has also given rise to a new mindset where people are more conscious about their health and fitness goals. They are more into healthy products and are becoming well-aware as to what goes in which product. Now, what they want is more and more assistance for them to lead a healthy lifestyle. From healthy eateries to a dynamic workout plan, the user of today needs everything. This inquisitive behavior of the people has given rise to boutique fitness.
Covid-19 has permanently changed the fitness industry. Boutique brands accounted for 40% of the market in 2017 and had grown by 121% in four years, compared to an 18% increase in growth for large gyms in America. Gym people who prefer smaller, more intimate facilities spend twice as much per month. The popularity of live streaming home fitness classes is rapidly rising as well according to a survey of CNBC.
This tells us that boutique fitness has become more popular than big-box gyms in recent years. Let's take a look at two main reasons why this is happening, both from an operational and a customer-facing viewpoint.
To begin with, imagine yourself as the owner and operator of a small fitness studio. Your space has a total footprint between 1,500 and 3,500 square feet, versus a large box’s average gym size of 15,000 to 65,000 square feet. As a result, even in the face of a global pandemic, boutique fitness continued to grow due to its scalability. Because you have fewer members overall, scaling the business and tailoring the changes to your membership base are considerably easier when you have smaller integration. This doesn't imply you won't have difficulties, but working with a smaller team makes it much simpler to communicate, clean up after yourself, make changes to your programming, and so on. It has also been noticed that big box gyms in America take time to scale their business whereas boutique fitness studios are much easier to scale. We can say that scalability i.e its ability to scale is a big reason why individuals choose boutique fitness from an operational viewpoint.
What boutique fitness has always done well is foster a sense of belonging among its members. Fitness studios are driven by the community approach. The companionship and motivation you receive from a person next to you doing the same workout is a crucial element. Now, at big box gyms, group workout rooms do this well and it remains one of the most important reasons for someone to join a big box gym in America. In response to the growing popularity of group fitness, the industry has created boutique fitness studios that offer everything from high-intensity interval training to Pilates, all at an expensive price. And why not? Since the relationship with the member is more close, the approach is more customized and the customer experience turns out to be excellent.
There is enough room for everyone, and that is how it should be. To achieve your objectives, you must have faith in your ability to do it and you should be able to do that in a supportive and energizing atmosphere created by your gym.
For many people, a gym is much more than just physical fitness. Even if much of the experience is now online, this is more true than ever. It's a place where individuals get together, interact, and work toward common goals. Find out what you need to do so that members are more likely to stick around for more than six months. With these 7 post-pandemic statistics, you would be able to shoot up your customer retention rate and enhance your services as per the needs of your members.
According to statistics, increasing customer retention rates by 5% may improve profits by 25% - 95% as a result. The practice of using strategies to retain customers starts from the very beginning of the on-boarding process i.e the minute a new member joins. Studies show that if your members are appropriately on-boarded, they are likely to remain loyal for a longer time. The best time to join a gym for your members is in January. Make sure you carry out a smooth and convincing on-boarding process from the start of the year. As per the landmark study of Dr. Paul Bedford, 87% of members who had a good on-boarding experience were still active after six months.
Gyms provide a wide range of equipment and training options to meet the needs of all members, but research shows that around 75% of individuals prefer to utilize strength training machines at their gym regularly. Strength training isn't simply for bodybuilders as many people believe. People of all ages and fitness levels benefit from regular strength and resistance training because it slows the natural decline of lean muscle mass that occurs as we age. Nowadays, most people desire to stay fit and have a chiseled body which is also bringing about an increase in the use of strength training equipment.
As per the statistics. half of the new members quit within the first six months of their joining. Most health clubs and gyms in America lose half of their new members as they quit within six months of joining a gym for the first time. About a third of health clubs see a drop in membership each year. A gym membership cancellation survey can help you identify issues that are driving customers to quit their memberships. If you have the chance, find out why people are quitting your gym. Of course, there are legitimate reasons for a member to quit, but you may somehow influence their decision. A cancellation survey would help you to learn about the possible reasons for their leaving. Once you've found the problem, you'll be able to fix it prevent another member from leaving for the same reason.
In 2020, people indulging in home-workouts have increased by 25%. They have now started to deliberate the pros and cons of a home gym vs a gym membership. This is because an increasing number of people in the United States are concerned about staying fit but at the same time protect themselves from contracting the virus. The popularity of online classes is surging and people are avoiding physical classes due to the virus outbreak. Even if they step out for gyming, they believe that having hygienic equipment makes them feel more secure. The gym's capacity and temperature monitoring have now become a fundamental part of the business operation as members prioritize their safety over everything. There is research that says fitness business owners will be forced in the near future to embrace a hybrid business strategy to find new sources of revenue.
Comfort level with group fitness is increasing in the US as the COVID situation gets better.
The likelihood of individual fitness members quitting is 56% higher than the likelihood of group exercise participants quitting. One of the methods to retain clients is via motivation and inspiration. What makes group exercise so special is that it promotes an environment that brings individuals together with diverse fitness levels, objectives, and motives.
In order to interact with such a diverse collection of people, group fitness instructors must have strong skill sets that resonate with each participant, giving them a sense of achievement and success in every session.
Only 34% of US gym members are satisfied with the price-performance ratio offered by their gym. Gyms in America have been able to satisfy only one-third of their users till now with their pricing and services. The rest 66% believe that they don’t receive an end-product worth the monetary value they’ve paid, which means gyms in America have a scope of improvement in pricing and services. People compare gym prices and see which one adds value to their fitness goals. They probably wish to use their services of health & fitness for less than the value they are currently paying. This unfavorable element might have an impact on the long-term revenue potential of many fitness centers and ultimately on the fitness sector as a whole.
Only one out of every twenty-six dissatisfied consumers makes a formal complaint. The remaining would stay silent and leave. You should have a consumer feedback system in the gym because you need to know what, when, and where feedback is being submitted by your clients about your gym. The feedback gives you insights into your members' preferences and provides you scope for improvement. This information can also help you enhance your services. You should also interact with your members to provide a customized experience and learn about their concerns with your gyms so that you can fix them on an individual level. Conduct regular surveys to learn more about what your members want and what they dislike about your gym.
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