Figuring out the best strategy to get the most out of your club mobile app isn’t easy. Which aspects do you prioritize? How do you know if you’re on the right track? Is a mobile app even right for your club? Here are the five most important questions you need to ask yourself before getting started.
1. Can you get to market quickly?
Getting to market quickly is a standard consideration for any technology project. However, it’s especially important here given the growing number of fitness industry leaders who are already up and running with health club mobile strategies. All 10 of the top 10 global fitness brands have either recently launched or are working towards launching a major mobile initiative.
The adoption of mobile applications over the past several years continues to demonstrate a clear demand from your members for a club mobile platform. Yet many health club mobile applications are not meeting customer expectations today. This gap represents a clear, high-value opportunity that leading organizations are pursuing aggressively.
2. Are you partnering with fitness industry-specific mobile experts?
Heading into uncharted territory at the same time as your competitors means that you can’t borrow someone else’s technology roadmap to guide your journey. Building your own app is extremely expensive and risky. Involving a third party that has done it before greatly increases your chances of success. Without partners that are highly focused on the risks and opportunities in the fitness space, you’re much more likely to make costly mistakes.
3. Are you delivering a fitness hub for your members?
The average app from Netpulse already contains 15+ integrations with various club systems and 3rd party technologies. Clubs are rolling out an increasing number of integrated digital services and this trend will continue.
Loyalty programs, booking systems, eCommerce programs, nutrition programs, training programs and more are all going digital, and they all need to be accessed by your members easily in one place. That place is the Club Mobile App. Your plan must consider the resource burden of all of the integrations that you’ll require to deliver apps that truly serve as a digital hub for your expanding programs and services, as well as all the external apps and services that your members will expect to access. Your app will need to meet expectations such as connecting wearables, tracking workouts and booking classes.
4. Are you focusing on innovation?
A club’s mobile app must represent its brand in every way. A brand isn’t just about look and feel, it’s about exposing the right digital services for the club’s demographic and pushing innovation that fits the brand. Innovation is where knowledge of the customer is most critical, and no one should know the members of the club better than the club organization itself. For all of these reasons, innovation is where the organization’s efforts should be focused.
Unfortunately, supporting successful mobile apps is a continuous process that requires much more than just innovative new digital programs and services. It requires quite a bit of infrastructure and a significant amount of grunt work. This work comes in the form of foundational app technology, basic feature requirements, integrations, and seamlessly addressing app lifecycle issues, such as the OS and device updates. Building these foundational elements takes a lot of resources and provides no differentiation for your organization, taking away from your app’s ability to innovate.
5. Do you have a realistic budget?
We all know that mobile is critical to business in the future, but without clarity as to exactly how, ROI and budget conversations can be difficult. The goal should be to avoid a high-risk, massive, multi-million dollar version 1 project. By staying flexible and efficient with your resources, you can get in the game and prove out specific digital programs that warrant further investment before breaking the bank on unproven strategies.