Digital Transformation of the Fitness Industry
25 February 2020
Updated: 24 February 2020
Market growth is again primarily driven by a 4.6% increase in the number of clubs across all countries, driving a total increase in members of 3.5% to 62.2 million.
Germany (EUR 5.3 billion) and the United Kingdom (EUR 5.3 billion) remain the two largest national fitness markets in Europe, followed by France (EUR 2.6 billion), Italy (EUR 2.3 billion) and Spain (EUR 2.3 billion), the five leading countries account for 65 % of the total European health and fitness market.
However, these metrics are not accompanied by those of Digital Transformation; the percentage of gyms that are not technologically prepared is quite high; many of them don´t have an app for the management of their club and the connectivity strategy is still pending to be implemented.
Why is digital transformation so important?
The digital revolution has changed the way the economy works, tending towards maximum efficiency with cost savings; and affecting the way companies interact with customers.
This digital transformation has occurred in several waves, at the beginning of the 90s it strongly affected the entertainment sector, music, then the travel sector, then the retailer and finance … Each of the economic sectors will have to make changes to the way they operate and their business models.
The fitness sector has started this digital transformation late. However, thanks to the entry of companies specialized in software management like gym·up in Spain, Resamania or KeepCool in France, TeamSystem in Italy, the sector is making rapid progress on issues such as the digitization of activity programs, the management of employees, the management of members and customers, the reservation of classes, etc.
How to jump into the Digital Transformation?
The first step towards digitalization is to make an introspection of you sports center: what hardware and software do you use? Do you have an app? Do you use social networks? Do you have a responsive website? Do you have a CRM to manage your customers? Do you use wearable technology? Do you offer an optimal payment experience? The list may seem long, but it will be a good exercise to know where you are and what your business priorities are.
The second step refers to the acceptance of change in your company. Digital Transformation will affect your processes, procedures and even your performance indicators. Leading properly these changes is essential to ensure good adoption and proper use of technology.
What are the trends and technological advances?
Deep diving on the fitness sector, we could say that the main areas affected are: user experience, products, services and facilities with the aim of helping to reshape the offer both inside the gym and outside. Here we talk about automation of recruitment processes, hypersegmentation of potential customers, customer service tools or fluid and virtual experiences.
According to LifeFitness, the most sought-after technological advances in this 2019 have been:
- New business models (boutiques, studios …)
- Big data management (user data / training)
- New payment models (pay-per-use, subscriptions, on-demand …)
- Increase in the wearables offer
*Source: Deloitte, European Health & Fitness Market, Report 2018