Member experience, both digital and in-person is often at the heart of any great fitness business. When building a successful business in a post-COVID-19 world, think about how you can use online fitness tools to create a better member experience. Through a combination of online tools, you can support your business as well as encourage employee wellbeing and motivate members.
During this difficult time, technology-forward fitness professionals continue to engage with members and monetize their services. You don’t need to be told that running a fitness business is hard work. But you have access to so many tools that can help speed up your processes, allow your members to track their diet and fitness, and improve their overall experience. In this article, we will talk about how online fitness tools can help your business and eight tools you should definitely be using.
Skip ahead to:
- The Fitness Industry Needs to Embrace Technology
- How Online Fitness Tools Benefits Your Business
- 7 Online Fitness Tools You Need
The Fitness Industry Needs to Embrace Technology
The fitness industry has already seen a massive digital transformation and no doubt it will continue to do so. The digital revolution has already changed the way the economy works and affects how companies interact with customers. Yes, digital disruption can present a risk to any industry. But technology is an essential part of future-proofing your business.
Businesses need to jump on the opportunity and look to implement tools that can streamline and support their business. All parts of the business can benefit from technology from member management and keeping members engaged to supporting employee wellbeing and offering new digital services. Technology is now at the center of the fitness industry.
You will always need high-quality fitness instructors and workouts that your members will love. A passion for fitness and commitment to the business is essential. But now is the time to invest in digital tools that increase productivity and create a unique member experience.
The Fit Pro Business Podcast explores the topic of creating a client experience and building a community. The episode talks about growing your fitness business or personal training business by giving clients an incredible experience.
How Online Fitness Tools Benefits Your Business
Your gym members see you as a well-poised fitness leader in the community. What they don’t see is your mind running a mile a minute because behind it all, you are a business owner first. You’re living in a digital age where modern technology can help you run your business and keep up with the fast pace of today’s world.
Streamline Your Business Efforts
Managing your business digitally can take a heavy load off your shoulders. If you’re constantly filing paperwork and using an outdated system, it can really impact your business. By simplifying your processes and automating services, you can streamline your business and take back time lost. With the right management software, gym managers can easily delegate and allow their gym to grow more effectively. It also puts the power back in the hands of members as they can access their gym membership and manage their gym account more efficiently.
Boost Member Experience
When you have access to data, you gain a new level of insight. The member experience is crucial for retaining members. If you have access to member activity, you can assess the effectiveness of their fitness regime. You can then alter workouts and activities based on this data, helping members to achieve better results. Data allows for increased personalization which leads to better member experience and retention.
Create New Fitness Offerings and Income Streams
Digital fitness classes have become the norm in many households since the coronavirus pandemic. With the likes of ClassPass, Alo Moves, Peloton, and Obé Fitness leading the pack in digital fitness. Online tools and technology allow you to create new fitness offerings in a fraction of the time compared to opening a new physical studio location. This means you can create additional streams of income, target new customers, and adapt quickly to consumer demand.
Track Member Progress and Results
If you’re not tracking members’ progress and results, now might be the time to start. Tracking progress is essential for retaining members in the long-term. When you track progress, you can show your members how far they have come. This helps to boost motivation and engagement. It also allows you to recognize when members have hit their goals. If they had a weight-loss target in mind or wanted to run 5K in a certain amount of time and they did it, celebrate it. Send them a WhatsApp message or email to congratulate them on their progress. As you collect data and information, this will help to boost your members’ experience and personalize their journey.
7 Online Fitness Tools You Need
Technology gives you the power to carry out actions and tasks much more quickly. It also gives you the ability to grow your business and expand into areas such as eCommerce and digital fitness. When considering which online fitness tools best suit your business, think about your business needs, target audience, and what problem you need solving. If your employees are spending too much time following up with late payments, what can you implement to solve this issue? How can you automate this action? Here are eight online tools you need to support your business.
1. Live Streaming Platforms
Currently, live streaming classes are leading the fitness industry with platforms like Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram Live giving users the ability to stream classes easily. If you want to keep your classes real, live streaming is the way to go. It allows your members to keep up with you in real-time and engage with you throughout the class. For studios and gyms, many brands have turned to live streaming platforms to deliver weekly scheduled classes. With live streaming, one of the most important aspects is the live contact you get with your audience. It’s a unique opportunity to keep your brand fresh in the mind of your customers.
By encouraging more people to be active at home and support them during a time of need, it will help to increase brand loyalty and awareness. The worst thing you can do at the moment is cut off all communication with your members. You need to make the process of reopening as simple as possible and if you have lost a large number of members due to a lack of communication, you could be facing very difficult decisions.
2. On-Demand Digital Platform
As well as streaming classes live, you have the option to pre-record videos for on-demand digital platforms. This allows you to create a digital space to host all of your videos for members. The benefit is that viewers can watch it in their own time, and you have the chance to edit the footage before posting. This is ideal for a workout series or weekly nutrition series where you have more structure to the content.
Glofox’s new digital platform allows gyms and fitness studios to deliver live streaming and premium on-demand content for their members. It’s important for businesses to adapt quickly to the current situation. By using online digital tools, it means that brands will survive and thrive by creating additional streams of income and keeping members motivated.
3. Online Nutrition Tools
Nutrition plays a big part in fitness and achieving results. Often, it can be the downfall of many people that come to your gym. Obviously, you can’t be with your members the whole time, but you can encourage them to use online nutrition tools to help them achieve their fitness goals. After all, the majority of people tend to join a gym or studio for a reason. Whether it’s to lose weight, decrease stress, or just be healthier, fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand.
Here are four online nutrition tools you can use to support your members:
- MyFitnessPal – the mobile app tracks food and water intake. It allows users to interact with each other and share updates.
- Cronometer – the comprehensive nutrition tracking app aims to provide a complete diet solution and is based on nutritional data from verified sources.
- Myfood24 – easy-to-use nutritional analysis software that automates diet tracking and analysis.
- FitDay – the free website lets you track daily foods, moods, and exercises. It has nutritional information on a ton of foods and breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and protein into graphs.
4. Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers and wearables allow you to gain further insight into the activities of your members. Trackers are very useful for staying on top of member progress and allows you to personalize workouts to fitness abilities and goals. There are various options for fitness trackers from more simple choices like the Fitbit Inspire HR to the more complex Apple Watch Series 5.
Many fitness businesses are already integrating fitness trackers to create a unique experience. For example, Orangetheory Fitness use heart rate monitoring to deliver an effective workout. CKO Boxing uses Hykso’s wearable technology to record metrics like intensity, speed, and punch count. The ability to personalize workouts and adjust them to the individual is hugely valuable.
5. Health and Fitness Apps
The global fitness app market is estimated to reach $15.96 billion by 2026 with a huge amount of growth expected between 2020-2026. Health and fitness apps can help members track their progress as well as provide workout suggestions while they are away from the gym. You now have the ability to access different types of workouts and activities from the touch of a button on your smartphone. While there’s nothing quite as motivating as a group fitness class for some people, fitness apps can be very beneficial for keeping members healthy.
Some of the top health and fitness apps are:
- Fitbit Coach
6. Meditation Apps
Although meditation apps fall under the health app umbrella, they have a role to play in employee health as well as supporting your members. Fostering good employee wellbeing is important for your business. Healthier employees tend to be happier and more productive. Good health and a positive working environment can be a key driver of employee engagement and performance.
You can use online tools to promote mindfulness and wellbeing of employees. Taking the time for your employees and making sure they feel listened to is important when fostering the right environment for optimum performance. Great meditation apps to use include Headspace, Calm, and Aura.
7. Online Fitness Communities
Online fitness communities give people a place to connect and interact with other like-minded individuals. Creating and nurturing your own fitness community is essential. By emphasizing community-building both online and offline, you can create a community your members love. This helps to build brand loyalty and attract new members into your gym.
As well as your fitness community, there are several places online that members can visit for support around a particular topic or to expand their fitness circle. Here are three examples of online fitness communities to check out:
- SparkPeople – the free site has a good community aspect with message boards and teams to help people transition to a permanent healthy lifestyle.
- MapMyFitness – the fitness tracking app is advertised as “the world’s largest digital health and fitness community.”
- Fitocracy – with free workouts for any goal, you can access support from a positive online community.
Whether it’s task management, employee wellbeing, or member support, online fitness tools can play a major role in the success of your business. As you simplify your processes and streamline your efforts, you can reduce the time it takes to perform several tasks while increasing accuracy and reliability. You can use a combination of tools to create a better member experience and grow your business.