How Fitness Analytics Can Help Your Fitness Business

Published on: 
25 November 19
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11 min read

Data is everywhere and it’s valuable. It’s floating around your health club and is just waiting to be utilized. Data has to be analyzed in the right way for it to be valuable and efficient. By using fitness analytics, you can analyze multiple data points to make data-driven business decisions. Consumers are progressively adopting more health and wellness-related practices. As a result, the health and fitness industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. 

The health and fitness industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world. A simple Google search for health and wellness results in millions of pages. People are looking for information and are more health-aware than ever. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make use of your data. Fitness analytics and member insights allow you to fully adapt to your members’ needs and optimize your business.   

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Data-Driven Management in the Fitness Industry 

Highly data-driven organizations are three times as likely to report significant improvements in decision-making. In today’s digitally-driven world, technology is disrupting the fitness industry. With more connectivity, awareness, and fitness options such as at-home workouts, more and more consumers are becoming members at gyms and fitness centers. But, their journey starts way before the treadmill. 

Before signing up for the gym, members first have to make the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. You can see this shift in consumer thinking and spending with purchases of healthy food, fitness trackers, and training gear. 

We are at the height of digital sophistication with so much data at the end of our fingertips. Data analytics and forecasting have become an integral part of running a successful fitness business, or any business for that matter. Data gives you the power to answer questions like what will your club’s KPIs be in six months? It can give accurate trajectories of your gym’s most essential data points like attrition, revenue, membership, and more. 

The Value of Big Data 

With rapid developments in web technologies, devices and social media, we live in a world where every person produces a ton of data every day. At the end of 2017, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created every day. Research shows that organizations that use customer behavior data to generate insights outperform others by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin

Terms like “big data” and “machine learning” are everywhere in the tech world now. Big data refers to the huge amounts of data that are collected each day. But, in order to make use of the data and apply it to business operations, you need special solutions that can crunch it down. That’s where machine learning comes in. Machine learning uses automated systems to label the data and look at patterns. The data is then converted into usable insights that are easier to understand and digest.  

Data in Health and Fitness 

Research by the Sloan School of Business shows that businesses who engaged in data-driven decision making experienced a 6% increase in productivity and output. Data-driven decision making can benefit both small and large companies. Even a small boutique yoga studio will generate lots of data. You can gather data from your website, social media, customer reviews, and payment transactions.  

Unfortunately, many businesses in the fitness industry are still using limited methods when it comes to handling data. The spreadsheet is still the norm for many companies with data beyond the basics of revenue and membership, practically non-existent. With limited dashboards, it makes managements and data analysis much more time-consuming than it needs to be.  

Future of Fitness Analytics 

In the years ahead, we will continue to switch to more big data practices. Insights from multiple sources can help businesses to make data-driven decisions. Data can help to increase revenue, boost productivity and brand awareness, and create new revenue streams. Industries like finance and retail are already putting a lot of emphasis on technologies like machine learning and pattern recognition. 

Large databases are used to predict and mould consumer behavior. As artificial intelligence becomes more integrated into our lives, the world of fitness will see many changes in the future. If you could access all the data you have for all of your fitness classes over the past several years, you could accurately predict the success of a new class or time-slot. With the opportunity to get your hands on churn forecast, sales, and attendance predictions, fitness analytics will need to be fully implemented to stay competitive and meet consumer needs, now and in the future.  

7 Ways Fitness Analytics Can Boost Your Fitness Business Performance 

By leveraging data to make intelligent and data-driven decisions, you can position your business above the competition on the path to success. Through identifying your data sources and processing the data into easy-to-understand information, you can find solutions to business problems, enhance the overall customer experience and uncover actionable insights. 

1. Discover Customers 

Data is flooding out of our devices and is showing no signs of slowing down. Multiple areas of your business can benefit from data analytics. Your marketing team can use big data to reach both existing and new customers. 100% of U.S organizations think that data and analytics will play a crucial role in the future and 38% say that big data analytics is a top five issue. 

By using data and analytics, you can make your marketing efforts more efficient and accurate. From your marketing data, you can find out who is engaged on social media, where they live and their interests. You can then use this data to make better decisions based on customer insight to drive marketing campaigns toward individuals suiting a certain demographic. You know the type of people that visit your fitness center or studio and you can use this data to target and discover new customers. 

2. Improve Your Competitive Edge 

The fitness industry is competitive. As gym memberships increase and interest in health and wellness increases, that competition is only going to intensify. Your approach to business intelligence (BI) has the power to transform your business. Business intelligence refers to a combination of strategy and technology you use to analyze data for business purposes.  

By investing in the right gym management solutions, you can start making use of your data now and handling your BI strategy. With data, you can unlock the full potential of your business and boost your competitive edge. A bonus of this is that through using BI and data, you free up valuable time and resources that you would have otherwise needed to implement your findings. 

For more information, check out episode 246 from The Fitness Business podcast, how to use data insights to grow your fitness business. Listen to the founder of One Fit Shop, Jarron Aizen, he’s immersed in the health and fitness industry and loves to leverage technology to create experiences.  

3. Answer Key Business Questions 

Your members are at the heart of your business. Any strategy that helps you to understand them and successfully manage the business gives you a competitive lead in the fitness space. You might be wondering what factors influencer your members’ behavior or why they behave the way they do? Fitness analytics delves deep into the minds of your clients to uncover insights that can answer key business questions.  

Business questions that you can answer by analyzing data can be separated into three categories. These are descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. Descriptive answers questions that are looking back in time at a point in history. Predictive analytics is about understanding the future. Prescriptive is a bit more advanced and addresses possible outcomes with specific actions and the best route to take. 

There’s a vast amount of data out there that you can tap into. By utilizing different methods of data analytics, you can find the answer to multiple business questions. This, in turn, helps you to make thoroughly-researched data-driven decisions.  

4. Boost Member Retention and Engagement 

There are several strategies you can use to increase gym member retention and engagement. One way it to fully personalizes the experience. Make your members feel welcome and really taken care of with great client-member service. 

Personalization is a top priority for businesses. In a survey by SalesForce of more than 7,000 consumers, it found that 57% are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized discounts and offers. In order to completely personalize the experience, you need to know your members pretty well. This is where your member data is useful. 

By delivering a personal and meaningful experience, your members will feel valued and much more likely to keep renewing their membership. If they feel appreciated, it should show through their brand engagement. The following member data can help you personalize the gym experience, online and offline:

  • Member purchase transactions  
  • Equipment usage 
  • Gym attendance 
  • Fitness goals and objectives 
  • Class attendance 

5. Deliver Unique Experiences 

Whether you own a boutique fitness center or yoga studio, utilizing your members’ fitness analytics is crucial to expansion and success. By having a deep understanding of not only your clients’ behavior but their health as well, you can help them meet their fitness goals more easily. As you align your business to the specific needs of each individual, your members will feel pumped that you’re looking after them so well. 

By integrating fitness and data analytics into your business, you will gain a complete profile of every member and be able to provide a customer experience that goes above and beyond their expectations. Customer behavior data is useful in all areas of the business, but don’t forget about health data as well. 

Fitness brand F45 already uses heart rate monitors during its workouts to deliver an effective workout in 45 minutes. They use data to create an experience that can be personalized throughout the 45 minutes depending on where your heart rate is. Wearable devices like Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin could become an essential part of analytics, becoming fully integrated with health clubs.  

6. Focus on What’s Important 

Data is extremely important for your business. Analytics helps businesses to harness data to identify new opportunities and focus on what really matters. This means you can make smarter, faster and more intelligent data-driven business decisions. Insights from data analytics help to pinpoint business problems and implement processes that reduce time waisting and save resources and money. 

Without data, how do you know if your members enjoy your gym or what new class they would love to see on your timetable? Fitness analytics helps you to focus on member needs and behaviors, increase member retention and craft an experience entirely based around them.

The Fitness + Technology podcast has a fantastic episode on this. Listen to Paul Bedford: technology data and the importance of retention. The retention guru talks about how health clubs and gyms can use technology and analytics to enhance the member experience and maximize their bottom line. 

7. Predict Member Churn 

The next step to analyzing member behavior is to predict member churn. Predictive analytics is capable of identifying which members have a higher churn risk. This might involve looking at class attendance, duration, and frequency data. 

If you have a regular member that always hits the gym four times a week but you haven’t seen or heard from them in the last two weeks, the right analytics solution would draw this to your attention. It would then be possible to contact them before they quit. This gives you the opportunity to check in with your client, identify any problems, and convince them to say with an offer they can’t so no to. 

In Summary 

Understanding data from all touchpoints and sources with an integrated analytics platform allows you to unlock the true potential of your business. You can now turn member insights, behavior and data into actionable data. Fitness analytics gives you the power to boost customer experience while giving you further insights into members’ needs. 

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