Does your digital strategy provide relevant member experiences?
As featured in Athletic Business, February 2019
Today, we have a collective cultural mindset toward overall wellness. Consumers are driving the wellness train with the average person having access to more health, wellness and fitness products and services than ever before. Aside from nutrition, there’s a plethora of gym memberships, on-demand workouts, fitness apps, equipment, body monitoring systems, fitness trackers and more.
All this power at their fingertips — with an explosion of communications — gives your existing and potential members the ability to choose the specific brands they want to interact with and not just the locations where those brands may potentially be. It wasn’t too long ago, when it came to fitness, location was the member’s only choice.
How do you attract and retain these “connected” savvy members who have infinite choice? How do you appeal to that person who is fully immersed in wellness but feels fitness doesn’t mean a gym membership or visiting your recreation center? How do you connect to their lives? Or become an irreplaceable part of your existing members’ lives?
Provide relevant, meaningful offerings that deliver great results they can’t get apart from at your club. Think of the fierce loyalty to CrossFit and many boutique studios with their niche offerings.
Provide experiences that translate beyond the four walls of your club.
In our tech-powered world, providing opportunities for relevant, connected health data quantification can help you do both. Millennials are increasingly looking for personal, quantified health data – 46% of them according to Flurry Analytics. The Internet of Things has given each of us the ability to build an Internet of Me. In fact, on ACSM’s Top 20 list of Fitness Trends for 2019, number one is wearable tech, number 13 is mobile exercise apps, and number 16 is outcome measurements. It’s no coincidence that all are technology related and all are consumer-driven. Exercisers are seeking body-monitoring, wearables that track with programming, customizable club apps, and more.
There’s a lot to consider when adopting technology into your facility, especially if your digital strategy includes providing members with richer digital experiences that can connect beyond the club into their lives.
This means adding digital platforms that allow increasing levels of functionality. Yes, platforms must provide functionality for bookings, billing and payments. But, today, new digital platforms need to have a more open approach toward API integration and provide business intelligence, as well as having the ability to integrate experiences and partnerships that extend beyond the club’s walls.
Such digital platforms provide personalization to each member’s journey, gathering real data and generating actionable insights that allow personal trainers to make program customizations relative to club demographic requirements.
One place where digital technology is a natural enhancement to club offerings — that members directly feel — is in the exploding area of body transformation. Despite all the Instagram “fitspo”, true transformation is difficult to do at home without a support network and the right technology, tools, regimen and community. Here, the club experience excels in its ability to offer real data for personalization in programming, along with the accountability and community to make results happen.
True transformation is where Shapewatch comes into play. It’s a 3D body visualization tool that provides members with an ability to scan, monitor, and visualize their digital self. It offers a realistic, personalized avatar that enhances member connection to their progress and amplifies their accountability. It puts the member at the “selfie” center of their wellness journey.
Shapewatch helps take meaningful in-club experiences beyond the club’s four walls with its open API connecting into club branded apps (and soon other wearable /apps) ensuring that 3D scanning can be performed inside the club while results are stored and accessible on the member’s own smart phone. Plus, the biometrics and data Shapewatch provides empowers members to see the greater connection between their lifestyle choices (positive and negative) and the impact these choices have on their avatar, tapping into the popularity of quantified health data.
Expect to see more digitally powered consumer-centric solutions like this; experiences that are innovative, relevant and blur the lines between home, work and play. We are on the cusp of the smart device revolution. As more areas of their lives can connect, your members will expect more of them to do so, and seamlessly. Clubs and recreational facilities that implement such solutions will win in this Internet of Me world.
Alan Louden is sales director at Shapewatch. Shapewatch is an innovative 3D body scanner empowering a club’s members to scan their bodies, monitor key biometrics and visualize their shapes for true transformation. Learn more at www.shapewatch.com and visit Shapewatch at IHRSA 2019 in booth 2055.