CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Technogym
As the dot-commers revolutionized the internet, Apple reinvented the telephone and Millennials gave birth to the selfie, the average American health club remained alarmingly static. Besides a few early adopters, the technology that seemed to have the whole world on a string for decades had yet to gain a significant foothold in fitness. Driven by consumer demand and manufacturer innovation, the technological fitness revolution has arrived. Here are five ways it is (finally) bettering the way health clubs do business.
1. Asset Management
Asset management technology provides club operators with a simple way to keep track of every piece of equipment in their facility. The latest smart fitness equipment is able to directly communicate with a health club’s online asset management system to simplify parts ordering, service and equipment rotation schedules. The latest asset management systems allow club operators to access a simple interface and to order parts plus view service records, usage history and warranty information. Some equipment manufacturers even offer a direct connection to their service department through an online interface for parts ordering and tracking, bringing extended value to the equipment purchase. With this information at their fingertips, operators can effectively rotate equipment to prolong its lifespan, communicate service issues to all stakeholders and forecast future equipment needs. More information means better ROI.
In June 2015, popular wearable fitness device manufacturer FitBit went public with an IPO offering that valued the company at more than $4 billion, making it clear that wearable fitness trackers are not a passing fad. As a result of this popularity, equipment manufacturers have begun integrating features into cardio equipment to allow wearable devices to communicate with exercise machines. Now exercisers can benefit from more accurate activity tracking both inside and outside the health club. Club operators that embrace this technology have the opportunity to engage with users when they are not in the club and build member loyalty. The devices, along with equipment integration, make it easy for club operators to create fitness challenges and set club-wide workout goals. Personal trainers can enhance value to clients by monitoring wearable data, extrapolating health outcomes and setting data-based goals.
3. Virtual Training
Offering free virtual training may sound counterintuitive to club operators who are trying to sell more personal training sessions. However, when choosing a health club, members often view this offering as a huge asset. Fitness equipment that is equipped with virtual training features provides members with the basic tools they need to learn at their own pace and feel comfortable in a gym environment. It also can motivate users to follow a workout plan. Personal trainers can utilize virtual trainer applications to prescribe workouts for their clients throughout the week or when the client is traveling. In turn, members will feel more connected to the club and their own workout goals, increasing retention and positive outcomes. When a user feels comfortable in a health club, it is easier to convert them to a personal training or small group fitness client.
4. Digital Marketing and Social Media
Digital marketing has helped level the playing field between large corporations and small businesses when it comes to stretching the advertising dollar. Often, digital marketing campaigns have a lower cost and a deeper reach than traditional avenues. Equipment manufacturers have begun to offer digital marketing platforms on equipment as well, allowing clubs to get in front of members with targeted marketing messages during, before and after workouts. Data and analytics tools help marketing managers understand each campaign’s return on investment and analyze where dollars are best spent. Equipment with built in social media integration has turned members into marketing assets as well, with the ability to post workouts and check in at the gym. Video technology has advanced to a point where production costs are pennies on the dollar compared to the past, and free or low-cost digital distribution makes reaching prospects much easier. With digital marketing, the sky is the limit, and budgets can be stretched further while reach can extend around the world.
5. The Cloud
The cloud is changing the way nearly every industry and individual stores access their digital data. Tapping into this power offers club operators a way to streamline operations, minimize redundancy and gain a complete view of their business. Club operators can utilize Software as a Service POS systems that integrate directly with sales and accounting databases. The latest fitness equipment will store user workout data, entertainment features and service records on the cloud to be accessed in a single interface by multiple users at a time. All data is kept in a secure location with redundant backups, eliminating the need for onsite servers and maintenance. Cloud-based technology is just beginning to reach the health club industry, but it has already proven helpful in simplifying many of the complex and tedious tasks that are necessary to running a successful health club.
Technogym has solutions for all five of these important technology trends for operators. We are proud to introduce Service Matters 365. We know reliability and service are among the top concerns for facilities. Attracting new clients and building solid reputations depend on it. So we asked how we could improve service quality, and you told us: service that is transparent, reliable, trackable and in real-time. 24/7. 365. Contact us for a free demo of our E-Services Portal software and see the power of your data.