We’re in a fast changing, challenging world – there’s so much noise and confusion and so many mixed messages, I empathise with health and fitness operators wading through the challenges.
Here at Volution, our mission is to enable companies to be better and more efficient at handling data to drive member engagement, retention, experience creation and lifetime value.
Volution doesn’t compete, but instead harnesses the power of all technology partners to better serve and support the sector. We genuinely believe in positive partnerships and proactively working with other tech companies to deliver outcomes that operators need.
Data and tech, in spite of being enablers, can sometimes cause people to be wary of change, but with challenges comes opportunity – we’re at the epicentre of some of the most significant changes this sector has seen in 20 years and now, more than ever, operators need to have a clear line of sight across their whole operation.
Powering the hybrid gym model
Transparency and understanding are critical, as quick business decisions need to be made to secure the future success of businesses. Harnessing data insights is also essential, so operators can make the best, most informed decisions.
For example, it’s clear the future for some is the hybrid gym model, but it’s advisable not to launch in haste, just to be able to tick the digital box.
To successfully operate a hybrid model, digital needs to be part of a bigger strategy and something that’s central to the day-to-day running of a facility, not just an add on.
Fortunately, technology can do much of the heavy lifting, and when implemented correctly, can automate many of the processes that help operators make quicker, smarter business decisions and unlock new and exciting opportunities to engage members, both inside and outside the four walls of the gym.
Making the most of virtual
Group classes on Instagram Live, Zoom and other platforms helped many people through lockdown and will form part of the fabric of the fitness industry moving forward. But how can operators put themselves in a position to make the most of virtual training?
One of the limitations of these free-to-use social media platforms is that they don’t have built-in tracking to measure member engagement. They’ve been a great step on the virtual training ladder, but to truly maximise this opportunity, operators need a more intelligent solution.
At Volution, we’ve created a Virtual Hub that does just that, enabling operators to offer digital content, such as classes and PT sessions via a digital hybrid-membership.
This isn’t the same as providing Facebook or Instagram Live classes. It’s an entirely bespoke system that’s measurable and can deliver commercial returns to operators from day one.
Anytime Fitness in the Philippines has already seen a 14.2 per cent increase in PT revenue and a US$1m increase in overall revenue by working with Volution on data analytics and digitisation, not to mention that 50 per cent of members who’ve signed up to the Anytime Fitness Virtual Hub so far are using assisted services for the very first time, enhancing their engagement with the brand.
This leads us to virtual engagement – a trending topic – but what exactly does it mean?
In the ‘real world,’ engagement occurs every time somebody visits your facility and interacts with your brand, staff and equipment. Virtual engagement is about replicating these ‘real life’ interactions, online or through technology, to increase the affinity between your facility and members.
Using a virtual platform, you can learn which classes, PTs, or kit have the highest and lowest attendance and usage. From there, you can swap to higher performing – both online and offline – and see the effect this has on penetration rates, attendance, and lifetime value of members via your Volution dashboard.
Virtual engagement is about using data to establish what works and what doesn’t, to give members more of what they want, at the times they want it, through their preferred channels, ultimately, providing them with the best experience possible to secure their loyalty.
Some operators have focused on the traditional brick and mortar facade of gyms and health clubs and relied on the goodwill and self-motivation of members and customers to continue to attend.
However, we’ve moved into an experience economy and genuine commercial and business value is generated by goodwill, loyalty and member engagement. Now’s the time to approach member engagement differently, to ensure you’re hitting the right notes to enhance their experience and increase lifetime value.
In the fitness industry, F45 is a brand that’s nailing member engagement, largely as a result of its instructors’ ability to create a genuine community. Although this is more achievable at clubs with smaller memberships, it’s perfectly possible to recreate this outcome in larger volume gyms by utilising the power of data.
The power of better systems
Some operators are still working with old data and software systems, which can be limited in scope and laborious and time-consuming to use.
The prospect of change can be daunting, with misconceptions around processes, price, implementation and even capability and this can lead to change-paralysis, although typically, this is based on perception, rather than reality.
This paralysis can come from previous experiences, but this is a fast moving field and providers and solutions have advanced. The sector is far more sophisticated, and – most importantly – more user-friendly than ever before, so now is the time to consider upgrading.
Easy to implement
To give an example, Volution’s solutions don’t require businesses to change tech platforms, instead, we develop and integrate new and high performing applications with existing systems to enable businesses to have greater visibility of data, gained from multiple data sources, which in turn can improve business performance.
Embracing digital in 2021
It’s an interesting landscape we’re all navigating at the moment and one which will see changes and challenges as we enter 2021. Investing in data and virtual engagement is an operator’s best point of defence and attack as we enter this new stage in the development of the industry.
If you’re ready to embrace the digital world, Volution is here to help.
We don’t have a product to sell, but instead we work with brands in the industry to consult, advise, and genuinely deliver results which strengthen the operation.
Your data is our passion, and together, we can trailblaze a bold new world of hybrid gyms and experience-based offerings that epitomise the customer-centric approach to enable your facility to be successful – now and in the years to come.