In this post, we’ll discuss the health and fitness consumer, trends in their buying habits and how the industry can meet them head-on. We surveyed over 400 buyers and prospects and here’s what they told us…
1. Location, location, location
With increasing health and fitness options and improving delivery, consumers are increasingly treating fitness as a commodity. Of course, this is not to say you can’t differentiate in delivery and build strong relationships, but understanding how most buyers initially choose their fitness provider is important to maximizing lead generation.
Our industry research revealed that location was the number one driver for choosing a fitness provider. Conducting a high level analysis of your local community, researching what times to provide sessions for customers, and making your details and schedule easily accessible will be key to your success.
The second biggest driver in choosing a fitness service is peer recommendation. Ensuring you are enabling referrals (and making them easy to do) is important, both through incentives such as free sessions and with a booking system that readily allows for information to be shared.
Health and fitness consumers now spend more time on mobile than desktop and are increasingly used to making bookings for services such as taxis, hotels, restaurants and takeaway through via mobile apps. This trend has been growing for some time, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Providing the level of convenience consumers experience elsewhere in their lives is important. 27% of our survey participants said they struggle to find important information from their fitness provider, even when looking for it.
Our analysis revealed a clear trend towards customers wanting to integrate a social aspect into their fitness regime. In today’s busy yet increasingly health-conscious environment, fitness consumers would like to use their workout as a means to connect with friends, meet new people and maybe even find that special someone:
– 37% are more engaged when they’re able to workout together with friends
– Over 10% are hoping to meet that special person when they workout
– 13% would like to work out but don’t because they don’t want to go alone
Offering and encouraging a way for customers to bring a friend along for a workout, and allowing them to easily refer sessions to friends is therefore important. Delivering non-fitness events for your community is also a good idea.
Loyalty programs in retail, hospitality and your weekly grocery shop have proved that they can drive increased purchasing frequency and customer retention.
The downside is that creating and managing schemes can be both expensive and time-consuming. Thinking laterally around how you can provide value through discounted packages is one approach. In those instances, try to clearly communicate the saving aspect against the pay-as-you-go alternative. While the up-front payments can be helpful to your cash flow, you don’t want to create a future expectation for deep discounting.
Occasionally, gifting a free session to a loyal or infrequent customer can also have profound effects, with the unexpected nature of the gift generating a deeper psychological impact and overall better relationship between you and your customer.
The bottom line
Location may or may not be in your power to change but what is for certain is that you have the power to influence criteria 2-5. Gymcatch is here to help.