Beacon technology is changing the way smartphones interact with the real world. These devices, known as iBeacons, are coin-sized items that can be placed in locations and communicate with a smartphone that is nearby. They have become increasingly more popular in retail locations as the technology allows for stores to send customers tailored offers, notifications, and coupons based on where they are in the shop.
As the utilization of beacons continues to expand into new industries the question is raised: How will beacons be used in health clubs in the future?
How do Beacons work?
Beacons send signals to a user’s smartphone based on their location so that they can interact with the world around them. They communicate by sending Bluetooth signals to a customer’s smartphone, which interacts with an online platform through the retailer’s app that makes something happen on the user’s phone such as a push notification, message or advertisement.
Because these Bluetooth signals are hyper-local they can track exactly where a customer is within a store. For example, if a customer is looking at the shoe section of a store, the beacon can send a push notification right to their phone, giving them a coupon for 10% off of any shoe. Furthermore the beacon can interact with your CRM allowing it to tailor notifications based on the type of customer. If it’s a returning customer it can send a welcome back message, or if it’s their first time in the store it could offer them a one time use coupon. All of these interactions are automated and fully customizable as long as you have a beacon-enabled app.
How can you use Beacons within your health club?
While the functional possibilities that come with a beacon are seemingly endless, we’ve outlined three of the most useful ways the technology may be integrated into a health club in the future:
This is the most attractive part of Beacon technology. It creates a constant and locally responsive billboard right in the palm of your member’s hands. Say your member is walking past your juice bar... they can receive an instant coupon or other incentive in order to drive a purchase. This can be applied to all other areas of your club such as PT, merchandise, and fitness classes. The message would appear on your Club Mobile App.
2. Personalized Messaging
By interacting with your CRM, the beacon can use information about members to tailor messages to them. If a members has frequented spin classes in the past, the beacon can send a push notification prompting them to sign up for more classes the next time they walk past the spin studio. Similar to today, signing up for the class would be done seamlessly from your Club Mobile App on members' smartphones.
3.Automatic Check-in and Contactless Payment
Imagine members walking through the door of the club and automatically being checked in, increasing the level of convenience for them. Contactless payment creates a faster and simpler way for members to purchase items from your health club. It also negates the possibility of lost sales due to members forgetting their credit cards at home.
While much of this technology is still futuristic, you can accomplish many of these functions using your Club Mobile App. Having a custom app can bring these great features, along with countless others, to your health club. It allows you to create a new level of engagement with members, provides a platform to drive revenue, and most of all improve your overall club experience.
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