Business Technology and Software

TECHNOLOGY

Industry challenges Technological innovation and an enhanced consumer experience has helped the UK health and fitness industry to gain more gyms, more members and greater market value over the past year. This increase shows continued growth and makes not only a significant contribution to the health of our nation, but also highlights the true value of the health and fitness sector to the UK economy. However, the IBISWorld group, one of the UK’s most trusted independent sources of industry and market research, recently took a closer look at the current status of the gym industry in the UK. It was noted that although the industry increased its revenues over the last five years by 1.2% annually, this was predominantly driven by the entry of many new low-cost budget gyms, which are now posing a genuine threat to the health of existing gyms, which were already operating in a highly-competitive environment. These large clubs have the funding to run omnipresent marketing in a bid to saturate an area. At the same time, weak economic conditions have forced many existing gyms to discount their services to maintain membership numbers and compete. By doing this, their business model and profit margins become weak and commercially challenging. In such a fiercely-competitive environment, retaining members is crucial to any gym hoping not just to survive but also to thrive. The industry retention average lies at around 60% annually, meaning gyms are typically losing over 40% of their members every year. One of the challenges lies around the level of support and resource that is required by each gym member, to ensure they receive the service they need to reach their goals and stay

motivated and on track. As a gym’s membership base grows, the retention challenge is magnified. The level of resource warranted is simply not realistic for many clubs. Another significant challenge is around building a strong club community. It’s widely thought across the industry that fitness clubs will only survive into the future if they can create a true sense of community for their members, by creating a positive group environment and a greater sense of belonging. Overcoming the key industry challenges with FitSense To help clubs to overcome these challenges, we developed FitSense, a member app designed to provide clubs with the ability to digitally connect with their members regularly, facilitate interaction among members, as well as providing a strong club community. Simplicity was also a key consideration, to ensure accessibility for a wide range of members, including the older generation.

The industry retention average for private sector clubs lies at 57% annually, meaning gyms are losing over 40% of their members every year Dr Paul Bedford PhD, Retention Guru

ClubWise is a powerful, integrated suite of services that forms the backbone to any fitness business

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