The increasing use of technology in the health and fitness industry is undeniably fascinating, especially after the COVID-19 hit the world.
Apart from D2C fitness products like health bands and mobile applications for tracking health, there are multiple ways in which the fitness industry has adapted to digital transformational solutions since last year.
How’s Digital Transformation Reinventing the Health & Wellness Space
In his, The Guardian article Howard King said, “Businesses don’t transform by choice because it is expensive and risky. Businesses go through transformation when they have failed to evolve.”
Here are some strong reasons why health clubs must leverage digital transformation:
Frictionless experience (FCX)
The power has now shifted from fitness businesses to customers today. Customer experience is the new marketing driver. Offering a frictionless experience to members can significantly grow your gym or fitness club’s repute and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. If you don’t give your members an exceptional fitness and gym experience, someone else will.
Just like digital transformation has reimagined other industries like banking, retail, health care, etc., the health and fitness industry too has been reinvigorated. A health club offering a seamless experience across various touchpoints is most valued by members today. It’s one of the key drivers for digital transformation in this space.
Decodes Members’ Behaviors
Social, mobile, cloud, AR & VR, and other disruptive technologies have changed the way customers live and interact with the world. Deeper data analysis offers insights into customer behavior and increases the ROI of the business.
Digital Transformation in the fitness industry has digitized every program and service that a fitness club offers – right from onboarding a member and customer management to innovative & interactive experiences in workouts.
Challenges the Status Quo
Digital Transformation can bring out a cultural change throughout the industry, internal and external collaborations. It transforms the infrastructure and challenges the status quo. There may be some internal resistance to implement the digital transformation process. Still, an organization needs to break through and implement these advanced business practices and strategies to grow your business.
Personalized Customer Experiences
Bryan O’Rourke, President of Fitness Industry Technology Council, said, “Expectations for consumers are increasing, and have for quite some time now, and meeting that expectation is getting more challenging for brands in all industries.”
Health club members expect and require facilities to suit their personal preferences. Digital transformation helps personalize a member’s fitness experience like preparing a customized fitness and workout plan, personal training applications, etc. Member journey mapping improves their experiences, leading to increased member conversions and loyalty.
Working from homes has never been so easy, yet hectic. And people with hectic schedules prefer customization for their daily workouts because it saves their time. Earlier, they had to wait for their trainer, but with digital transformation, members can instantly adjust their schedules as per their convenience.
Since the pandemic struck last year, the health and fitness domain and technology have become inseparable. Digitalization enables the members to have a risk-free fitness routine from the comfort of their homes while simultaneously enjoying their engaging routines.
It offers a wholesome fitness experience to the users. Fitness businesses can also provide health tips and other necessary information using notifications and e-mail newsletters. It not only makes people more aware but also helps them promote their business.
How Can Health & Fitness Businesses Embrace Digital Transformation?
Adapting to digital transformation can be challenging for any fitness brand, despite the benefits it provides. Experts suggest that a successful digital transformation is a combined digitalization across five interdependent segments:
- Leadership that supports and encourages digital transformation.
- Capacity and Capability building for the future.
- Empowering employees to adapt to the new ways.
- Upgrading digital tools and keeping them up to date.
- Communicating using both traditional & digital methods frequently.
It’s essential to remember that the digital transformation for every fitness company will be different from the other.
The First Step
The first step in the digital transformation journey in the health club or fitness company is an introspection of existing company assets like website and social networks, hardware, software, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
Digital Transformation Journey
A company should be aligned to the business goals, involve IT in the business decisions and solving problems, select strategic partners, redesign business and products around the business objectives, and retrain their employees and make them digital-ready.
Keep the trends in mind
There are three trends that every fitness company should check throughout and after their digital transformation process: consumer spending, lifestyle choices, and consumers’ healthcare decisions.
A Deloitte Consumer Product Bifurcation survey showed the highest degrees of bifurcation in the health and beauty industry – customer spending in a wide range from the cheapest to the most expensive products. It’s not only the surveys, but even doctors prescribe healthy eating & regular exercise to their patients.
Few key insights
The key to digital transformation success is having and using the right digital tools. A McKinsey survey highlights the following:
Is Digital Transformation Here to Stay?
Digital transformation has reimagined the traditional fitness industry, making gyms and health clubs more attractive and strategically competitive. An increasing number of fitness studios and health clubs are now using technology solutions and insights to keep up with gym members’ expectations.
Undoubtedly, digital transformation is here to stay in the fitness industry and isn’t just another fad. It’s now necessary for fitness clubs and gyms to have technical experts to help with the strategic development and scale the digital transformation process.
Digital transformation of the fitness company can provide a unique hybrid experience to customers in offline and online modes and give a competitive edge to the company over its peers. Now is the best time to adapt and embrace this innovation in the business.