A lot can change in half a decade. Make sure you’re ahead of the curve or you might find yourself left behind.
With the rise of technology invading and shaping the health & fitness space, the rate of change within the industry is only going to increase. Various different factors are changing how the industry works and what consumers perceive to be valuable to them. Here we’ve collected some of our predictions for the evolution of the industry.
1) Clients Will Be More Educated
There’s more fitness advice on the web than anyone really knows what to do with. From old school sources shouting about how great their tried and tested methods are, to new entrants to the field claiming they’ve unlocked a huge fitness secret- there’s never been so much information for people to take in.
Enter the know-it-all customer. We’re sure everyone in the industry has had a few. The ones who think they know better than full time fitness professionals with years of experience and hundreds of happy clients behind them. They’ve read something online or in a magazine that says they should be doing whatever the latest craze is.
How do you cut through all of that as a professional? Cultivate a rock solid foundation of well sourced knowledge that you can apply on an individual basis and use that as the core of your value proposition to clients. In a messy, overloaded world the people who can keep things simple will be the winners.
2) Time Is Money
Life has never felt so busy. In 2018 there are a million different things demanding our attention every single day. This has led consumer to be very conscious of how they use their time, and ultimately made them a bit impatient. The type of classes demanded by the masses is slowly shifting to shorter, more intense workouts that can deliver results more quickly than other more traditional workouts.
Think about ashtanga yoga vs. power yoga. They’re both great for you but one is a bit more intense so consumers will feel they’re getting more bang for their buck. Obviously their is a limit to what results can realistically be achieved in a short amount of time, but that won’t stop consumers from trying – so savvy business should try to meet that demand anyway.
3) Wearing Their Heartrate On Their Sleeve
The proliferation of Apple Watches, Fitbits, and all of the other smart health trackers has given consumers access to data about their health that they never had before. Their heart rate, steps, sleep, and a whole host of other performance indicators are being measured and fed to them 24/7. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of them before, and many of us here at magnaPass like using them.
But what does this mean for the fitness industry? It means consumers now have more information about themselves and their progress towards whatever goal they’ve set. This has meant that classes and sessions offered to them have to be top notch and constantly challenging – while the trackers aren’t perfectly accurate, they’re good enough to distinguish between a class where the client worked hard and one where they didn’t.
Don’t let your class be the weakest link – make sure that every session gets the best out of attendees and keep them (and their trackers!) happy.
4) Social Media – Trends, Image, Competition
The rise of social media has already totally transformed the fitness industry. New classes and ideas spread so quickly that if you don’t keep up you can be lead in the dust. Customers in smaller regional towns and cities now demand the same services as yoga hubs like Los Angeles for instance. This presents a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge to keep your services fresh and the opportunity to ride a growing wave of original new classes that cater to the trend led market.
Social media has also changed what customers want when we mean results. In the past, many people many have said “I want to be fitter” or “I want to lose ___ amount of weight”. With the rise of online influencers presenting perfectly polished (and often highly edited) versions of themselves online, customers increasingly want to replicate this for themselves – often to their detriment. How can businesses keep up with an unreal standard of perfection? Temper customer expectations, offer them realistic support, and then help them achieve their original goal in a safe, constructive way.
Social media has also lowered the barrier of entry for new players in the market which has been fantastic for freelancers. With a platform to promote themselves to a wide audience, people have built entire businesses from flashy social media profiles. However the cracks in this model are beginning to show. Customers have been burnt too many times by unprofessional behaviour, unclear communication, and plain old bad workouts. To regain their trust, freelance businesses should introduce more professional services such as booking systems. These give customers a clearer picture of what is on offer and how to access these services in a way that they can feel secure spending their money.
5) Getting Up Close & Personal
There is a section of the fitness industry that tries to churn through the most amount of customers as possible while putting in the least amount of effort. Giving every client the same starter programme despite their different goals is increasingly frowned upon by consumers who know very well they can access pre-made routines online, for free.
The people who are winning over customers now and into the future are the people offering them service. Before you even start talking to people about their goals, get to know them, ask about their lifestyle, understand what makes them tick. Then by all means ask about their goals and start making a plan for how to achieve them. Customers want personalised, well informed advice which works for them and they aren’t afraid to shop around until they find it. Make sure you’re their destination on that journey and not their first stop.
6) It Takes A Village
No one got to where they are today on their own. No one woke up one morning and without any assistance became a fitness god. Everyone has needed the support of their friends, family, and fitness professionals to reach their goals. The importance of community and social interaction in the fitness community cannot be understated.
That’s how the likes of Crossfit have exploded in popularity – great results paired with a strong social support system is very appealing to consumers who are new to fitness. Savvy professionals have clocked onto this demand and started communities for themselves and their clients to inhabit. Whether it’s a forum, a facebook group, or even just adding each other on facebook – clients love having a social connection to their workouts. Offering advice and support to customers even outside the studio is important in earning their loyalty. As these communities get more popular it’ll be harder to compete – so we’d suggest starting one right now.
Stay ahead of the tech curve by integrating MagnaPass Pro into your business. With simplified payments, lower fees, and more ways to connect with your customers than ever what are you waiting for? Start your free 30 day trial today and discover how MagnaPass can give you a head start on the rat race.