The Impact of Digitization and Why The Fitness Industry is Next
Since the beginning of the 21st century, many industries are undergoing substantial digital transformations. From e-commerce to healthcare, the majority of companies are reaping the benefits of continually improving technologies.
The fitness industry is one of the later bloomers. Historically, it has focused on highly personalized face-to-face interactions, leaving technologies to wait in line. Meanwhile, gym-goers and health-seekers dig deeper into what digitalization has to offer, expecting the service providers to do the same.
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Digitalization and Other Industries
The role of digital technologies is rapidly changing from being the driver of efficiency to enabling fundamental innovations. Digitalization is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Some common examples are:
- Healthcare industry — e-prescribe and telehealth technologies make remote healthcare a reality, more than ever since COVID-19.
- Ecommerce — advanced payment services reduce the number of abandoned carts.
- Construction — BIM (building information modeling) changes the way buildings are constructed, cutting costs substantially.
- Software development — cloud solutions revolutionize the software development and operation process.
- Marketing — technologies make in-depth personalization possible, while analytics allow marketers to create top-notch strategies with high conversion potential.
- Banking — digitalization improves security, speed, and personalization. Meanwhile, blockchain ads transparency to numerous transactions, taking payments to a new level.
The cost of advanced technologies is rapidly plummeting, making it accessible to smaller companies and average users. For example, in 2007, a construction drone cost $100,000. In 2020, you can buy one for under $500.
With time, digitalization can go beyond benefiting a particular industry to being socially significant. For example, implementing autonomous vehicles could reduce the number of accidents and save lives.
Why the Fitness Industry is Next
With all other industries undergoing a digital transformation, gym-goers and health-seekers now simply expect their favorite industry to follow suit.
To stay on top of their game, fitness industry players have to keep up with client expectations. Otherwise, they may fall behind the competition quickly.
By 2021, consumers are expected to spend more than $63 billion in the USA fitness trackers alone. All these fitness-lovers are unlikely to be happy with a continuing lack of digitalization in their favorite gyms.
Other reasons why the fitness industry can't avoid digitalization any longer include:
- Social media — Facebook and Instagram encourage posting fitness achievements. Snapshots of fitness app screens are gaining immense popularity.
- Personalization — while it's possible to create a personal fitness plan for each client without digital tools, it's time-consuming and often inconvenient for gym-goers.
- Time — fitness or health facilities members are often pressed for time. Waiting for the trainer to adjust the program could ruin their plans for the workout. Meanwhile, fitness apps can make adjustments instantaneously.
- Online Training — with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions of fitness and health facilities worldwide, offering online training keeps many of them afloat. The right approach to digitalization can make online training an integral part of the membership offer.
- Health orientation — fitness and health are becoming interchangeable. Designing health-oriented fitness programs can turn into a major part of a gym package. Digital offers for no-risk training at home coupled with social distancing requirements make the health-fitness package even more appealing; all while keeping the connection to a beloved fitness and health facility and it’s community.
- Education — education is a crucial part of a wholesome fitness experience. Digital solutions can educate fitness clients while marketing services in the process.
Even one step toward digitalization can improve your business' viability. For example, by creating a fitness app, you can design personal training programs, send essential reminders, offer new products, market your services, and educate your clients.
Most importantly, such an app can make your fitness or health facility or chain appear innovative and appealing to the 21st-century client.
Fitness Industry Digitalization is Already Here
While some fitness chains weigh the pros and cons of digitalization, others are already taking full advantage of the available options.
- Online class booking — allows clients to register online, choose membership options that suit their needs, check-in, and much more.
- On-demand online training — allows clients to exercise from the comfort of their own home or in the gym on-demand, eliminating the need for personal trainers to work early and late hours.
- Customer service — high-quality chatbots (on websites and apps) provide answers to urgent questions or solve class registration issues 24/7.
- Gamification — motivational features in the app help customers stay motivated and better understand the positive effect their training has on individual health.
- Smart gym equipment — utilizes cutting-edge technologies to prove workout analysis to adjust training in real-time.
- Online fitness communities — allow gyms to support their members on individual journeys, provide educational materials, and enhance the sense of belonging. These communities also create an excellent environment for fun and social challenges.
- Digital marketing — marketing automation solutions allow gyms to get close to the target audience and promote their offers to local clients and beyond.
Digitalization is consuming the fitness industry from virtual workouts to personalized apps, leaving those who ignore it behind in the dust.
How to Start Your Digital Transformation
For the fitness industry players, the digital transformation starts with a proper assessment of your current technologies.
- Which software are you using, if any?
- Which hardware you have (how old is it?)
- Do you have a website?
- Do you work with an app?
- Do you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to improve customer relationship and management?
- Do you work with wearables?
- Do you provide advanced payment options?
- Do you use marketing automation software?
- Is all of this connected?
While the list of questions may seem long, it's vital to have the right idea of where you stand. Then you can start implementing changes one by one.
Adjusting your work process to digital transformation could be time-consuming and complicated. That's why it's imperative to start with easy-to-implement tried and tested solutions.
Streamlining Fitness Digitization with EGYM
At EGYM, we provide various digital solutions for all fitness industry players, from gym-goers to facility operators. We simplify your road to digital transformation by offering easy-to-implement options like Branded Member App, EGYM Trainer App, and EGYM Cloud.
Besides giving your fitness chain a push forward, digitalization can help scale your business and turn clients into brand ambassadors.