Twenty years ago, fitness companies worked hard on their interactions with clients. Everything was about communicating correctly. Employees were taught to "overcome objections" and how to speak with clients. Others worked on communication materials sharing a view of service benefits and fitness concepts.
Then came the first decade of the new millennium and the brave new world of the smartphone took off. More than 2 billion smartphones are now being used and more people surf the Internet on their smartphones than on computers or tablets. As we’ve become more connected, consumer behavior is changing at the speed of light.
Experiences have shifted from visiting a gym to touching screens and knowing what we’ll experience before we take the time to visit. Instead of traveling to the supermarket or standing impatiently on the curb to hail a cab, people use their smartphones to streamline tasks. Trends like these are only going to intensify...and they are changing consumer behavior significantly.
Consumerism has shifted from a world of physical images and personal communication to a world of imagery and perception delivered instantly via elegant apps and tools. Regardless of industry, product or service, vendors that enable instantaneous access and deliver on their digital promise will excel. Those who rely solely on their brick and mortar presence will not. Fitness brands need to realize these are facts today, yet a large portion of the industry has not come to accept that the consumer has changed and technology is behind it.
Consumer behavior is now defined by digital activities which are growing in every sphere. In the U.S., over 50% of all the video viewed is now either “time-shifted” (using DVRs or video on demand) or “device-shifted” (from television sets to laptops, tablets, or mobile phones). Music is even more digital, with just over 2/3 of usage from streaming services, MP3 files, and satellite radio, leaving traditional AM/ terrestrial FM radio with a mere 32% share. Basic communication has changed from landline to cell phone, even among older generations.
In the interest of Innovation when considering consumers, fitness businesses must increasingly embrace shifting consumer behavior. There are six major on-going consumer trends that are further compelling this shift to digital and are reshaping the fitness marketplace.
See 6 Consumer Tech Trends Operators Must Know in 2016 to learn more.