All of the new technology and data available gives club operators an exciting opportunity: fine tune and optimize our businesses. Other industries have become maniacally focused on this, such as restaurants. From tweaking marketing messaging to determining the exact right menu design to positioning tables in a way that delivers an ideal flow, the restaurant industry has always been focused on optimization. The same trend continues to grow in the fitness industry, and new technology is going to accelerate it.
It may be the most important secret of the hotel industry: behind the scenes, software is analyzing huge sets of data and changing the prices of hotel rooms to ensure that as few rooms as possible are empty. Without doing this, hotels would be highly inefficient, often going nights with significant portions of their inventory underutilized. Moving towards 2020, it’s possible that similar strategies will be used for health clubs. Sensor technology can deliver precise, real-time metrics on how many members are in the club at once, using which machines, attending which classes, etc. This can be combined with innovative business models like pay-as-you-go pricing to market unique offers that fill the right classes at the right times to maximize revenue. This of course will rely on new software and technology to work effectively.
More so than ever by 2020, the data available will not just be used create more personalized member experiences, but it will also give health club operators access to deeper “business intelligence” – actionable data that can be used to make better business decisions. From purchasing certain equipment to running marketing promotions, the owner and general manager of 2020 will be making decisions not by guessing or gut instinct but by hard numbers and data. As in many other industries, this will lead to improving club operations.
Did you know that when you visit an ecommerce website, the price you see might be completely different than the price your friend might see at a different time of day? Ecommerce pricing is dynamic and can be altered in real-time based on many variables. This enables the retailer to increase profit margins. The very same trend could evolve to the fitness industry by 2020. Pricing that is offered as either membership, pay-as-you-go or a la carte can be dynamic and customized based on the data we have about the consumer or other variables like month or season.
The Club of 2020
If there is one word to sum up the club of 2020 it's sophistication. Health clubs and the fitness industry overall are going to become far more sophisticated over the next few years. Ironically, this is happening in parallel with the barrier to entering the industry lowering, as it becomes cheaper and easier to start by opening a small studio and using technology to grow the business.
For operators that wish to thrive over the next few years and into 2020, the biggest takeaway is to embrace technology. Encourage wearables, promote your Club Mobile App and be active on social media. As technology naturally evolves, successful operators will become more comfortable introducing the latest and greatest trends to engage members, increase revenue and enhance the overall club experience.
Learn more about the future of health clubs. Check out our Free guide The Club of 2020: