A white paper charting the effects of intermediary services – or aggregators – in the fitness sector has revealed that 21 out of every 100 users will go on to join a gym directly.
The Aggregation in Fitness
report, published today (10 February) in collaboration between Fusion Analytics and online fitness marketplace Hussle, aims to provide fitness operators with increased data to support the wider industry debate on the topic.
In an industry first, Hussle has now made its data available for Fusion Analytics to produce a report.
The report addresses, and offers analysis, on three key questions identified by Hussle as ones that are often debated by operators.
These are substitution (do existing gym members cancel to use Hussle instead); intervention (does Hussle acquire customers that traditional gym operators would have acquired anyway); and incrementality (does Hussle provide incremental value to the market).
For fitness club operators, the question of incremental vs. substitutional users is often a pivotal one. If an operator is confident that the aggregator would provide new, incremental users – rather than substitutional users – striking a deal with the aggregator would make commercial sense.
The report shows that there is some substitution, as one out of every 100 Hussle users cancelled a gym membership to use Hussle exclusively.
However, this is offset by those who find a gym they like through Hussle – 21 out of every 100 Hussle users will go on to join a gym directly.
What more, there is evidence that aggregators are able to keep some consumers in the sector, despite their plans to quit a gym. The data shows that 16 out of every 100 Hussle customers cancelled their membership for "organic reasons" – ie. not because of aggregation services – but continued to use a gym through Hussle, continuing to bring in revenue.
"Hussle enables these users to continue their fitness regime, representing ‘recovered’ market value that would otherwise have been lost to operators, albeit at a lower yield," the report states."
On the intervention front, there is evidence that Hussle does acquire some customers that traditional gym operators would have acquired anyway.
According to the report, four out of every 100 Hussle customers were searching for a gym and came across Hussle. Some of these users may have found gym regardless, thus representing potential marketing intervention.
However, the evidence also shows that 71 per cent of respondents were unlikely or very unlikely to have visited a gym without Hussle.
Consumers also used Hussle to explore other options for keeping fit – 92 per cent of respondents said that Hussle had enabled them to visit a new gym.
Hussle's head of fitness partnerships, Jamie O’Keefe, said the data and the report will, for the first time, provide the information needed for a proper analysis of intermediary services.
"Hussle is completely focused on growing the fitness industry and the data in this report gives us great confidence that we are doing that in three ways - the direct revenue we pay to our gym partners, significant downstream revenue through converted members, and secondary revenue through spend in-club," O'Keefe said.
The report is based on data from 2,557 respondents across three separate surveys – a random sample of active Hussle users, a survey question asked of all Hussle "Monthly Pass" customers as they cancel and a single survey question sent to "Day Pass" customers to ascertain if they had gone on to ‘join a gym directly’. All three surveys were conducted between December 2019 and January 2020.
• To register and download your free copy of the Aggregation in Fitness
report, click here for www.aggregationinfitness.com