How Fitstop Maintains Member Engagement in a COVID Climate

Engagement is critical for any business that relies on a membership base to perform, especially when the business built on the foundations of ‘good profit’. For Fitstop, our end consumer is our member, and they are central to a thriving business for our location owners. Of course, maintaining member engagement has become even more important in the current COVID-19 climate. As a business, we’ve adapted our strategies and offerings to ensure we can succeed in these changing times. Yet, what hasn’t changed is our strategy to always prioritise engagement, meaning, we can create high engagement levels throughout lockdowns and come out stronger than ever. 


To paint the picture; in 2021 alone, our incredible Melbourne community have engaged 4322 participants via Live Fitstop Zoom sessions, resulting in a total of 378 sessions and 330 hours of getting our Melbourne community moving during lockdowns (as of August 2021). 


In uncertain times as a business, we create certainty. From refining our processes and being reactive when needed, we’ve ensured we can support our business owners and Fitstop community. This has led to a continual revenue stream, high retention and a huge number of members moving and keeping active.


Here’s how Fitstop HQ and business owners have maintained member engagement in the COVID-19 climate: 

1. Innovating Fitstop into a hybrid model 

Fitstop’s strong hybrid business model, including our in-person group training sessions and our Fitstop At Home in-App offerings, has allowed for seamless transition. This has meant that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel for both our business owners and members. We continue to spark organic engagement by hosting daily Fitstop Live sessions via the Fitstop App, where our members can see their trainer and vice versa, meaning our members can get that extra push to stay accountable and connected with their community. We also have our Daily Sweat sessions hosted in-App that include a large variety of on-demand at home workouts that can be completed whenever our members please. 


This has become a huge point of difference for Fitstop as our App is not just a booking system for our in-person sessions, but it is an integrated platform providing services accessible for paying members only. 


2. Swift communication 

Our HQ team prioritises supporting our locations with swift communications within moments of receiving a lockdown update in which our business owners relay to their members; this enforces the benefits of transparency, support, and encouragement to keep our members connected and engaged. Our approach means our members can expect an immediate (and comforting) response, feel in control, and ultimately result in retaining a highly active membership base. 


This also applies for communication throughout the lockdown period, whereby business owners are encouraged to ramp up their social media presence with daily updates, positives of the day, engaging q & a’s and engaging content; with idea starters and content supported from Fitstop HQ too. 


3. Lean on our strong communities 

We always talk about the strength in our communities, and it’s in times like these when it really shows. Our business owners maintain a key focus on fostering their communities as strong communities create fantastic member experiences. In turn, their strong community has proven to support our business owners throughout lockdowns with incredibly high retention and engagement rates, such as our most recent Victorian lockdown seeing 80% of active members retained!


We also encourage our business owners to band together with community spirit and promote the small business sentiment, such as #supportyourlocal. We’ve seen that if they can continue to show their support to fellow small businesses, they receive the same support and members are reminded that our locations are run by small business owners, too. 


4. Add additional value when possible 

Our business owners go above and beyond to make sure our members feel looked after and that they’re getting the same value from their membership, just delivered differently! This includes finding ways to add additional value, such as with themed Fitstop Lives, continuing with funky sock Fridays and engaging with members throughout the live sessions (not just demonstrating, but interacting and correcting form or offering words of encouragement). 


5. Create engaging workouts

A common misconception when switching to online sessions is that workouts will not be as productive or hard. Our programming team totally combat this by tailoring and being creative with our evidence-based training methodology to suit an at home environment. By creating killer workouts, our sessions continue to be challenging yet super fun and engaging. Combine this with our technology play, our custom-built App takes the engagement one step further and encourages members to stick to their training through building their 'streak' which is achieved by attending a minimum of 3 sessions per week!


6. Continual Fitstop HQ support 

Last but certainly not lease, we provide unrivalled support in response to COVID-19 from the initial announcement, during the lockdown and in the stages of restrictions easing. This support exists within our marketing strategies, member communications, financial advice pertaining to Government support, roadmaps to reopening, operational support and altered campaigns to optimise performance once opened.   


If you would like to know more about how Fitstop continues to be a highly supportive model that can help you support your business goals, even through the toughest of times, enquire now at fitstop.com/franchise 






Rebecca Hull

Franchise Recruitment Manager

Fitstop Franchise Recruitment Manager, Rebecca, combines her love of fitness and experience as a Senior Recruitment Consultant to help progress passionate people into owning their own successful fitness business.