As we welcome the new year, we wanted to take a quick peek at what’s in store for the fitness industry in 2023.
The past two years saw an unprecedented rise in at-home workouts as gym goers were forced to stay at home due to the ongoing pandemic. While it did look like a monumental shift in people abandoning fitness clubs and gyms, by 2022, with a bit of normalcy returning, fitness clubs made a comeback because a lot of people preferred their club over at-home workouts.
We learned a lot in that time. Most importantly, in the fitness landscape, customer requirements and expectations have massively changed in the last three years. The biggest lesson is that going back to the old way of operating any fitness business is certainly not going to work now.
As the fitness industry continues to grow in 2023, there will be more opportunities for small businesses to succeed. However, competition will also become more intense, and it will be important for businesses to offer unique and valuable services.
Here are a few trends in fitness that are likely to emerge in the next few years:
- Increased focus on customer experience
As the fitness industry becomes more competitive, businesses will need to focus on providing a great customer experience. This means offering high-quality services and products, as well as creating a welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment.
- More personalized services
With the rise of technology, businesses will be able to collect more data about their customers. This will allow them to offer more personalized services that are tailored to the needs of each individual.
- A shift towards health and wellness
There is a growing trend towards health and wellness, and this is likely to continue in the next few years. Fitness businesses will need to focus on offering services that help people improve their overall health, rather than just their physical appearance.
- More innovative fitness classes
As people become more interested in health and fitness, they will be looking for new and innovative ways to stay in shape. This will lead to a demand for more unique and interesting fitness classes.
- A focus on community
The fitness industry is moving away from the traditional gym model, and towards a more community-based approach. Businesses will need to create a sense of community and belonging to attract and retain customers.
- Increased focus on customer experience
The story of the enthusiast, the buff, and the socialite
We are aware of the various types of members that visit gyms and fitness clubs. Broadly speaking, we have the fitness enthusiast, the gym buff, and the socialite.
These members may not resonate with each other in terms of how they go about their fitness routines, but they still have one thing in common – gym goers love the communal experience of fitness. Hence, appealing to each persona is crucial for fitness clubs to attract and retain their customers.
It is evident now that fitness clubs have a larger pool of customers to attract because the trend around health and wellness is unlike ever before. This change is now leading to the rise of new types of fitness facilities, which are designed to meet the needs of the modern fitness consumer.
From micro-gyms to HVLP clubs (High value low price) to luxury clubs, the earlier model of fitness clubs has changed with newer member expectations and the ability to provide better, personalized experiences.
Fitness is also clubbed with health and wellness, leading to the emergence of the HWF sector, which includes physical as well as mental health and nutrition. The sheer amount of limelight due to the explosion of information around wellbeing has opened a whole new sector whose needs have to be met.
The wellness in HWF is growing at a rapid pace. A McKinsey report states that people prioritizing wellness in their day-to-day lives went from 42% in 2020 to 50% in 2022.
Digital transformation of fitness
Gyms, now more than ever, need to offer more than just a place to work out. A bit like the work from home for many companies, brick and mortar fitness businesses need to consider a hybrid approach, offering products and services digitally while keeping them connected. They need to offer a complete fitness experience which can be achieved by:
- Focusing on digital strategy and data preparedness
- Transforming the value proposition
- Managing space with safe distancing and hygiene
- Integrating various data systems – internal and external
- Providing a seamless ecommerce experience
- Utilizing social media and influencers marketing
“Think of the member as an entity with numerous touchpoints for your products or services.”
Artificial Intelligence-Powered Apps
- Personalized user experiences based on individual goals and preferences
Monitor progress and adjust workouts accordingly
- Tailored recommendations based on user data such as age, gender, height, weight, etc.
Easier for users to achieve their desired results faster
- Provide users with real-time feedback through voice recognition
Adjust their form if needed while they exercise
- Track physical activities such as heart rate, sleeping patterns, caloric intake, steps taken per day and much more
Offer more features such as giving personalized guidance during workouts
- Provide reminders when it’s time for users to take breaks from their daily routines
Syncing with other devices so that users can access all of their data from one central place
Virtual Reality Workouts
- Interactive workouts
Allow users to explore different environments while they exercise
- Join virtual reality classes
Compete against friends in virtual tournaments, and even go on virtual adventures while exercising
- Stay motivated and engaged
No more dull or monotonous workout routines
The bottom line for the fitness industry is that the demand for fitness is increasing among consumers which means that companies need to adapt to the changing trends to become successful in the coming years.
The future of fitness is here! In 2023, we will see a variety of revolutionary trends and technologies come into play that will make staying fit and healthy a lot easier than ever before. From virtual reality-based workouts to AI-powered personal trainers and smart wearable devices – there’s something out there for everyone! So, get ready – because the future of fitness is just around the corner!