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The Fitness Industry Is Feeling The Burn. How Can Gyms Make A Digital Shift For Post-Pandemic Endurance?

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COVID-19 continues to force businesses into uncharted territory, especially those that thrive off of business in-person. One such example that’s been hit especially hard? Fitness and health centers. With no members to fill their spaces due to social distancing measures, it’s become harder for owners to justify fees. 

However, staying active and healthy remains a priority for many consumers, and these centers can still provide great value to members, and even entice new customers, not only now—but long after their gym or studio reopens. 

With shelter-in-place orders restricting interaction, people are craving a sense of community and connectivity. Why not give your members exactly that? Go beyond live-streamed classes or sharing workout tearsheets, and create a full fitness club experience, virtually. 

With a custom branded mobile app or digital platform, owners can create a hub that is educational, promotional, AND inclusive. You can create forums for members to share tips for similar fitness goals, host challenges, offer tutorials from personal trainers, provide a space for members to track progress, and more—all at members’ fingertips. With this type of resource, owners can also simplify administrative tasks, such as push notifications about closures or rescheduled classes, sending guest passes with a quick login, or click-to-register personal trainer trial sessions. 

Not to mention, beefing up virtual offerings now could signal even greater profits once people can resume in-person workouts. In fact, before the pandemic, spending on fitness classes and gyms grew just over 5%, but on-demand fitness spending jumped nearly 59% in the last year. Meaning? Before COVID-19, consumers were already turning to digital options because of their convenience. 

And it’s likely to continue long after the threat of COVID-19 subsides, with some fitness center operators predicting that only 25% to 30% of people will return to in-person classes when lockdowns lift. Members may return to gyms, but they are likely to do so slowly, cautiously, and with a greater reluctance to commit to long-term contracts. And even if people lace up their shoes and race to the gym, having a virtual community in place can still enhance their membership.

Think of it this way—if members aren’t in a class, they usually have earbuds in with music blasting, exercising without interacting with others, and dodging reps offering training services and more. By having a digital portal in place that offers different resources and services, members can EXTEND their experience beyond the gym, on their own terms, and on their own time. And owners? They can justify fees, price increases, and more.  

At CatalystXL, we know the value of information and interaction—and it’s exactly at that cross-section that our cardware platform operates. We make knowledge sharing fast, easy, and social—so people can quickly find information when they need it. We can create a custom branded app in as little as 48 hours, so fitness owners can not only connect with members and maintain the business under shelter-in-place orders, but grow that business once those orders lift. Interested in learning more?

Book a personal demo with a CatalystXL crew member here.