Industry Trends

How The Internet Will Change Health Clubs

Over the next 5 years, more devices that have historically been static (e.g. toasters) will become dynamic by connecting to the Internet. This is what is often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) – a network of billions of common devices that suddenly can be far more interactive because of their connection to the Internet.

This has big implications for the “smart home”; imagine a refrigerator that knows when you will run out of milk and automatically places an online order for a grocery delivery service to restock it at the right time. The fitness industry will be impacted by the Internet of things as well.

Smarter Equipment Supply Chains

We’re all familiar with the often tedious process of regularly replacing cardio equipment, dealing with malfunctions and replacing parts. Often, these issues bubble up when the machine actually stops working, resulting in the club having to put an “out of order” sign on it, annoying members and reducing the availability of machines on the floor. With these machines joining the Internet of Things with online connections, they can begin to automatically communicate with club management and the manufacturer, identifying opportunities for asset optimization as well as preventative maintenance.

Automated Replacement Ordering

The automations achieved from the Internet of Things aren’t limited to cardio equipment. Clubs can gain benefits from simpler devices like free weights, cleaning supplies, etc. all being able to communicate online to automate replenishment. This type of automation enables staff to be less focused on the mundane and more focused on looking at data to personalize the member experience.

No More Club Check-In

Even today with the popularity of Club Mobile Apps, members check into a club by showing a barcode (now often digital within the app) and scanning it with a 2-D scanner. Prior to mobile apps, members had to carry a plastic barcode on a keychain and scan it, adding an extra expense for clubs to provide them and an extra annoyance for members to bring them. By 2020, many more sophisticated clubs will offer touchless check-in, leveraging iBeacon technology to communicate with the club’s mobile app and automate the check-in process when members walk in the door. This “touchless luxury” is the frictionless experience for which we must strive.


Want to learn about the future of health clubs? Check out our FREE guide The Club of 2020:

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