The benefits of technology is a topic of many conversations when talking about the future of business or investment opportunities, and because of this, it’s easy to be underwhelmed or even overlook the benefits that can be provided to a given industry. There is no doubt that technology has revolutionised many industries already, and the benefits can truly be derived from anyone willing to take advantage of it - such as small businesses maintaining an online presence or big scale initiatives such as deploying artificial intelligence to elevate business offerings.
However, we can’t help but be overwhelmed by the opportunity present within the intersection of the fitness industry and technology - it has revolutionised the industry in a way that is unparalleled to any other.
The fitness industry is often intertwined in these conversations with the mention of wearables, member data, screens, fitness apps and virtual fitness - but beyond the buzzwords, how do they actually benefit the fitness industry or franchise businesses like Fitstop?
The emergence of not only creating an outstanding in-person gym facility offering, but also creating a complimentary fitness App, has meant that the sky's the limit for servicing members and iterating product offerings. For example, members can book into a session, gym owners or managers can anticipate their attendance and ensure they spark a conversation and members can rate sessions. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as the mere existence of an App presents endless possibilities for both gym owners and members, and this is very unique to the fitness industry where an equal balance of in-person and online interactions (and learnings) exists.
Fitstop has experienced this benefit first-handedly as we created our very own custom-built Fitstop App which gives us further flexibility in enhancing the user experience, reporting on crucial metrics and understanding the habits of our members such as their time and frequency of visitation which can inform the most viable times to host sessions, putting each business in the best position possible.
Technology in the fitness industry is largely akin to data, and data means more calculated, validated decisions and strategy. There’s effectively a two-tiered opportunity to engage members - the first being to ensure a great in-person member experience and identify any concerns. The second involves identifying certain traits the data has shown to be related to disengagement such as membership pauses or no recent visitation.
At Fitstop, our engagement has largely benefited from technology through our challenge, referral systems and streaks. Our challenge has allowed members to receive tangible results regarding their progression in performance which indicates our formula works, leaving members feeling proud and wanting more. This is a true testament to the opportunity within the fitness industry as very few industries are able to have such strong and tangible evidence of improvement, and we know noticeable change results in retention.
Our referral systems have also advanced through the use of technology by allowing seamless and unlimited code sharing through our App - resulting in additional returns for our gym owners. Awarding our members with streaks has been another crucial element of engagement, as members are incentivised to build their streak by reaching the next tier level, whereby obtaining a streak is based on their ability to complete 3 x Fitstop sessions each week. This gamification of member usage has meant business owners are able to identify consistently high value members resulting in retention and strong physical performance as they stick to the ideal Fitstop formula.
Especially when buying into a franchise business, you gain swift access to a business model that is at the heart of a technology movement - meaning as the trend continues to strengthen and technological innovations become more accessible, your business will too. This is definitely the case for Fitstop as we continue to innovate our processes to reflect the technology advantage, such as by integrating our Fitstop App usage into reporting metrics that supports business performance for our owners.
At Fitstop, this has played out by creating an admin dashboard for our business owners, allowing 24/7 access and full visibility to any aspect of their business - whether that be memberships, usage, member trends that allude to risk, revenue, anniversaries to celebrate, leads versus conversions, App downloads versus attending a session - and many more! This has made our businesses more competitive than ever - with live reporting readily accessible and continual improvements available.
Ultimately, the fitness industry is only just getting started with leveraging technology to advance processes, experiences and growth - there is a world of future possibilities that exists.
The events of COVID-19 have shown that fitness businesses can adjust to changing conditions by continuing to provide a strong business offering. Fitstop has proudly been able to offer our ‘Fitstop At Home’ in-App workouts which has proven invaluable to engaging members when certain lockdown restrictions subsisted, whilst also providing a solution for our business owners to generate substantial revenue.
Moving beyond restrictions (for lack of a better saying, in a ‘post Covid world’), this hybrid business model will be continuously advantageous as fitness businesses will be able to capture further markets that aren’t bound by geographic locations, provide solutions for members who are travelling and want to complete workouts or simply targeting members who like variety and want the autonomy in choosing in-person versus online.
Social media has become a critical element of member engagement as well as acting as the shop front for fitness businesses. The benefits of using social media for member engagement is quite simple. At Fitstop, our trainers share snippets of members in their sessions working out and having fun, with featured members being tagged. We’ve found that members love being mentioned as they gain a sense of pride and often re-share these mentions to their own social media audience which both engages the current member and showcases the Fitstop community to their followers.
We’re also sure you’ve seen people share their workout summaries on social media before - members are really taking it into their own hands such as wearing Apple watches to track their performance. This trend is considered to continually engage members.
Of course, we’re always raving about our incredible Fitstop community as they’re the backbone of our business. At a more strategic level, technology such as the Fitstop App have allowed us to understand our community like never before. As we’re able to collect data about our consumers, we gain deeper insight about specific consumer types that we can target that will love Fitstop. This effectively allows you to target and create a strong community which is such a vital selling point for gyms.
Technology has given us an understanding of every element of our business like never before - this will become a particular advantage for those who fully embrace its potential!
As mentioned, we’re really accentuating the benefits of technology in every facet of our business - from our members in their sessions right through to reporting for our business owners. Buying into a franchise business is the most strategic way to leverage this technology movement. At Fitstop, we’ve initiated a technology fund that ensures we are making hefty investments in technology as we know the value it has brought to our business - these types of systems are difficult and expensive to develop independently.
There’s no better time to invest in owning your own Fitstop as we embrace the current growth trajectory that the intersection of technology and fitness is set to face.
If you would like to hear more about the ins and outs of the Fitstop business, download our Info Pack at fitstop.com/franchise.