While the coronavirus pandemic has caused mass disruption across multiple industries, some companies have seen a surge in profits and demand. One of the sectors seeing the most significant rise in interest is the at home fitness market.
As lockdown orders began in March, many people started working out from home to stay healthy and in shape. This resulted in a massive demand for home gym equipment, fitness apps, and digital fitness platforms. In this article, we take a look at 11 companies succeeding in the home fitness market and what you can learn from them. First, let’s take a look at the at home fitness surge in recent months.
Skip ahead to:
- The Impact of COVID-19 on the Home Fitness Market
- 4 Lessons to Learn From Key Players in Home Fitness
- 11 Companies Making Huge Strides in the Home Fitness Market
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Home Fitness Market
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the fitness industry. With businesses like gyms and fitness studios naturally reliant on members physically coming to their facilities, studios have had to adapt to completely unforeseen challenges. After closing their doors back in March, the fitness industry had to cater to an entirely home-based audience. This allowed the home fitness market to continue to boom and reap the financial rewards.
North America’s home fitness market has seen significant growth in recent years, with the United States remaining the largest market. Back in 2018, the global home fitness equipment market size was estimated at $10.7 million. This sector is now expected to see market growth at a CAGR of 6% between 2020 and 2027.
The pandemic has shifted consumer behavior and mindset. At first, the public was forced to stay at home and get creative with their home fitness. Now, consumers want to work out at home. Home fitness is widely accepted as an effective way to exercise. As usual, consumer behaviors and demands will drive change in the fitness industry and continue to prompt businesses to utilize new technology to capitalize on the home fitness fan base.
This episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast explores how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the fitness industry.
Industry experts Mike Hansen, Ann Maries Barbour, Mark Wilson Kristina Ejem, and Helene Jafine talk about how fitness businesses need to learn to go hybrid or get left behind. By offering a digital service alongside your in-person studio, you can succeed in today’s fitness industry and adapt to the new normal.
4 Lessons to Learn From Key Players in Home Fitness
Key players in the home fitness market, such as Johnson Health Tech, Amer Sports, and NordicTrack, have continued to perform during lockdown and beyond. Companies that naturally lean themselves to home fitness were better positioned to handle the challenge that the pandemic has thrown at business owners. Here are four lessons you can learn from key market players in the home fitness market and how you can shift your current business model.
1. Embrace Digital and Virtual Fitness
Interest in digital fitness has skyrocketed during the pandemic. However, the digital fitness revolution was already well underway. It’s time to fully embrace digital fitness and leverage technology that makes the user experience more convenient and effective. Online digital fitness platforms like FiiT and Gympass are currently battling it out to win over the new-age digital fitness consumer. As a key market trend, now is the time to enter the world of running a hybrid fitness business to meet the consumer’s demand.
2. The Demand for High-Tech Home Gym Equipment is Growing
Small but growing tech start-up companies that sell high-tech home gym equipment are thriving. Brands like Tonal, Mirror, and FightCamp are combining fitness services with high-tech equipment specifically designed for home fitness. The home gym is no longer just a couple of dumbbells and a pull-up bar; it has stepped up its game. Although gyms and fitness centers are opening, consumers are evaluating the convenience and effectiveness of home fitness and the benefits that come from it.
3. Big Shift in Consumer Priorities
The world is still fighting the coronavirus. Despite more severe lockdown restrictions being lifted, social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines remain in place. There has been a massive shift in consumer priorities and behavior. Health and hygiene is a priority, and habits are changing around the home. Health consciousness has increased. Preventative medicine is in the limelight as governments inform the public to stay fit and healthy to reduce the risk of a severe coronavirus case.
4. The Purpose of Home has Changed
As many of you will know, the purpose of the home has changed in the past few months. The home is now the hub for work, school, exercise, dining, and entertainment. That’s a big transition. Many of you are staying at home longer than ever. This results in consumers looking to improve their quality of life at home and finding solutions that suit this new transition. Consumers may start to spend a larger portion of their discretionary income on the home. That could include things such as cooking, home fitness, loungewear, and home improvement.
5. Adapt or Fall Behind
So, how do businesses survive the current climate? Although some companies were inherently in a better position to tackle the challenges of COVID-19, other businesses have quickly shifted to a new way of working. The companies that have been adaptable and flexible will come out on top in the long-term.
11 Companies Making Huge Strides in the Home Fitness Market
The prolonged lockdown period has had a significant impact on the fitness industry. With cash flow drying up and many companies letting go of employees, the economy has taken a real hit. But some companies in the home fitness market are going above and beyond to hit more sales, grow their community, and see more return customers.
1. Johnson Health Tech
Johnson Health Tech Co manufactures fitness equipment. The company is one of the leading fitness equipment manufacturers, starting back in 1975. The Johnson Health Tech family includes several well-known brands such as Matrix, Horizon Fitness, Synca Wellness, and Tempo Fitness.
The company is one of the key players in the home fitness market and has a global industry leader. As manufacturers of cardiovascular training equipment and home fitness machines, the company was in a strong position to take advantage of the surge in equipment sales during and after lockdown.
NordicTrack is an American manufacturer of treadmills, strength training equipment, exercise bikes, incline trainers, and more. Owner of NordicTrack and other brands, Icon Health and Fitness, Inc, reported that sales were up 600% in May this year.
Two of the most popular stationary bicycles are NordicTrack and Peloton. The NordicTrack S22i is one of their most popular options that many home fitness fans are jumping to get their hands on. The home cycling trend is a growing one that had already begun well before the coronavirus pandemic. Brands like NordicTrack are in an excellent position to meet the rise in consumer demand and benefit from the home fitness craze.
The Top 10 Barriers Slowing Your Fitness Business Growth
Precor manufacturers premium fitness equipment such as elliptical machines and rowing machines. It’s one of the world’s largest commercial gym suppliers. Precor is a big supplier for gyms, health clubs, and top hotels. Therefore, it makes sense that they will lose money throughout the pandemic as their primary customers cannot currently purchase any more equipment. Although Precor has seen a decrease in sales, they have taken steps to support their customers.
Precor is confident in its pandemic strategy and has created a set of free resources for gym operators. Free online information is designed to help operators keep members engaged and active from home. In addition, Precor is offering online home workouts to customers entirely free of charge. The takeaway from this is that although it’s a difficult time, Precor is supporting its customers so that in the long-term, they can bounce back more efficiently.
4. Nautilus Inc.
Nautilus Home Fitness Solutions sells directly to the consumer. They create gym-quality strength training solutions for the home. In May 2020, Nautilus saw an 11% increase in revenue due to the massive rise in home fitness demand. In particular, the company’s new connected fitness bike was a big hit.
The exact revenue in March was actually nine times more than the previous year. As lockdown set in, many consumers were looking for a way to work out effectively at home. One thing that the company did well was to protect its employees by implementing work-from-home orders, safety guidelines, and social distancing in all facilities. With early supply chain issues, the company had to overcome some problems before coming back to near full capacity and boosting sales.
The New York-based fitness equipment maker and online exercise service have seen a massive increase in sales since the beginning of lockdown. Quarterly revenue soared 66%, and paid digital fitness subscriptions jumped by 64%. Before the pandemic, Peloton was in a strong position to benefit from the home fitness craze.
Figures show that Peloton is set to be a winner in the home fitness market. Peloton expanded the free trial to its app up to 90 days during the pandemic to give consumers more access to home fitness solutions. One of Peloton’s biggest obstacles is getting customers to pay the one-off fee of roughly $2,400 for a bike or $4,400 for a treadmill. Peloton’s different financing options allow customers more flexibility, allowing them to pay smaller monthly payments. Being flexible and offering convenient solutions is hugely beneficial for consumers.
6. Lululemon and Mirror
The activewear brand Lululemon is dipping its toe into the home fitness market. Back in June, the company bought interactive home fitness brand Mirror for $500 million. This gives Lululemon the chance to compete against Peloton in the smart home fitness equipment sector.
The new purchase may encourage other brands in the smart home fitness area, such as Tonal, to continue developing their product portfolio and services. Mirror can really accelerate the growth of personalized home fitness and is tapping into the market share of high-tech home equipment.
TrueCoach is a mobile fitness app that allows trainers and coaches to teach clients online. Before the pandemic, the company predicted a 100% increase in user growth. The actual increase in user growth was 200% in Q2. Similar healthcare and fitness apps saw a rise in use during and following the pandemic.
This shows that it’s not just hardware companies that are seeing more sales and customers; the software has a massive part to play as well. Digital fitness can deliver home workouts and classes from the comfort of your own living room. These services tend to be more cost-effective than an in-person membership. By leveraging both digital and in-person services, you can access a wider target base.
The popular running and cycling app, Strava, experienced double the number of downloads during quarantine. As COVID-19 spread, many people looked to outdoor exercise to stay fit and manage their mental health concerns.
One way that Strava really succeeds is the way it focuses on the community like social media. When you sign up for Strava, you can see your contacts who have the app, which encourages you to compete with friends and stay active.
Clothing brand Gymshark has recently become the UK’s newest £1 billion startup. Gymshark’s success is rooted in the way it understands its target audience. As consumer behavior and mindset continue to change, Gymshark continues to stay up-to-date and adapt to changes.
Recent numbers show that Gymshark’s full-year revenues up until July 2020 reached £258 million. This is up from £176 million in 2019. Gymshark is a strong brand that continues to drive organic traffic and see an increase in sales.
FightCamp is another fit-tech startup that sells high-tech interactive home fitness equipment to provide users with access to world-class exercise routines. During the peak of lockdown, FightCamp experienced six to seven times the normal amount of sales. Sales then plateaued, but still at a rate much higher than before COVID-19.
It’s clear that many companies that are succeeding during this time are thinking that home fitness is not a trend. With many people choosing to workout from home after the pandemic, digital fitness and connected home fitness solutions could be the future.
11. Tone & Sculpt
Tone & Sculpt is a workout and nutrition app that offers a subscription-based service to increase muscular strength and cardiovascular health. The app has seen an 88% increase in growth in April 2020 compared to the previous year. Turnover has also tripped over the last year.
Home-based exercises help people to stay active. Although home fitness has been shaping the fitness industry for decades, the coronavirus pandemic has squashed a lot of progress into an extremely short period of time.
The health and fitness industry has taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic with some businesses suffering huge financial losses. As more people resort to home fitness to stay fit and active, some companies are seeing a massive increase in sales and revenue. Some of the best home fitness brands adapt quickly to change, keep up with changing consumer behavior, and nurture their community. You can apply all of this to your strategy and tap into the home fitness market effectively.