Posts by Hazel Frank

Wexer’s new user interface: We make finding the perfect class simple

A browser is only as good as the ease with which you can find exactly what you want through it.

That’s why we’ve re-invented the user interface of the Wexer Player – the shop window of our virtual class system. We wanted to make it even easier to search for and identify the perfect workout from our extensive library of over 1,000 virtual group exercise classes.

We started off with the look and feel, making the whole thing lighter, brighter and even more visual, with headlines and imagery that really pop off the page and draw you in. It’s about making the experience clean and clear, inspiring and inviting.

(That said, if you preferred the darker screen of our old user interface, a simple toggle in Settings allows you to instantly change from white to black, and back again – the colour scheme will change without losing the benefits of the other improvements we’ve made.)

It’s easy to change language too, simply clicking on the current language shown in the corner of the home screen and choosing from the other language options shown.

 

 

Go home

But it’s the rest of the home page that deserves the real attention, with just three buttons from which to choose: Explore, View Schedule, and Search. We’ll talk you through each of these in a moment. First, though, a quick mention of what lies beneath: an eye-catching carousel of images showcasing all the newest classes. Scroll across, either by swiping or by clicking the arrows, for brand new workout inspiration.

And so to ‘Explore’. Select this option on the home page and you’ll launch a screen featuring a distinctive, impactful thumbnail for each class Collection – our new way of organising classes for ease of navigation.

(Consistency of experience being the name of the game here, this – Collections – is the same approach we’re already using on the Wexer Web Player, for those of you familiar with this fantastic new product.)

Every class in the huge Wexer library is currently encompassed within 10 main Collections, from Ride The World to Yoga, Sixpack Abs to Powerful Mind & Meditation, Body Weight Blast to HiiT It. Simply scroll down the screen to find the Collection you want.

Please note, in addition to these main Collections, there are two further, specially curated Collections – Featured and Most Popular – which will always be found at the top of the list. The classes within them will likely change each time you log in, as these Collections respectively offer our recommended new classes and the most played classes in your club.

 

 

Drill down

Once you’ve found the Collection you want, click ‘View all’ to launch a new page showing a helpful thumbnail for every class in that Collection – not just an image to represent the class, but also its duration and a tag to show the type of workout: cardio, mind-body and so on. Once again, it’s about simplifying the search process, clearly signposting the key attributes of each workout – attributes on which decisions are most commonly made – to help you quickly find what you need.

Scroll across this page to explore all the classes available in your chosen Collection. Then, when you think you’ve found the class you want, double check by clicking on it. This will launch a handy preview: a short video from the class, along with a class description and key information around class duration, type, level, trainer and provider.

Press ‘start’ and the class will begin, on-demand – or alternatively, if you now realise you’ve done it before and want to try something new, how about we recommend an alternative? Beneath every class preview you launch, you’ll see ‘Related content’ – our suggestions of other great classes that match your search criteria, and that might give you just the workout inspiration you’re seeking today.

 

Simple, fast, intuitive

Next up is ‘Search’, which instead of using Collections allows you to search for a class by category, keyword or content provider.

If you search by category, you’ll have three filters from which to choose: Duration, Type and Level. Apply just one of these filters, two, or all three for a very precise search.

Searching by keyword presents you with a search bar into which you type the relevant search term(s), whether that’s a specific class name, a type of class, provider, or even body part you want to train.

Finally, choosing to search by provider launches an impressive list of all of Wexer’s world-leading content partners. Scroll across the logos to find the provider you’re looking for, then click to view all their classes.

As before, search results will all appear as eye-catching thumbnails on a results screen; click on any of these classes for a preview.

Once again, it’s about making your search simpler, faster and more intuitive, ensuring you quickly get to the class you want – however you choose to approach your search.

 

 

Schedules that sell themselves

Finally, ‘View Schedule’ is where you can view the club’s timetable of scheduled virtual classes – and once again it’s far more visual than before, with the relevant thumbnails used for each class. This not only makes it more eye-catching for end users, but also – by offering a great overview of the spread of classes – makes it easier for studio co-ordinators to plan timetables.

View by day (across the top) and, within each day, by start time (down the right-hand side). You can also zoom in and out (buttons to the right of the screen) to switch between viewing an overview versus focusing in on the detail of a specific day or time.

And, of course, if members want to know more about any class they see on the timetable, all they need do is click on the thumbnail to launch a preview.

Particularly interesting here: if a club also has Wexer Web Player or Wexer Mobile, there’s an option to add a QR code to this preview page. This allows members to scan and save an interesting-looking class to do at home later, or even to do on their own elsewhere in the gym – great if the class has already started in the studio and they want to try it for themselves, from the start, or if a popular virtual class is full and they don’t want to miss out altogether.

 

 

Partner integrations

Last but not least, the Settings tab is also the place of partner integrations.

Got Wexer Beat in your club – Wexer’s heart rate monitoring system created in partnership with Motosumo? This is where you can choose whether (or not) to overlay heart rate data on the studio big screen for any given class.

Got Wexer’s very latest Player and upgraded to the fully interactive version of Intelligent Cycling? This is where you integrate with the Intelligent Cycling app, allowing your instructors to design and schedule bespoke workouts for your members.

You may not currently use this section of the Player much, but as our list of partnerships grows, this Settings tab will become an invaluable hub to manage the member experience in your virtual classes.

We will update you shortly on time frames for the new interface roll out.

We hope this blog has answered any questions you might have on our new user interface – as well as some you didn’t even know you had yet! – but as always, if you have any further queries, we’re here to help. You can contact us at info@wexer.com

So you think you know your customer?

Do you still think of millennials as ‘the young generation’ – a group of people you might turn your attention to a few years down the line?

If so, it’s time for a reality check.

While definitions vary, the consensus is that, in 2019, millennials are aged anything up to 40. Meanwhile, the oldest members of the subsequent generation – Gen Z – are aged anywhere between late teens and early 20s, depending on whose definition you use.

 

As a gym or other fitness provider, this isn’t your future target market. This is your primary audience right now.

Already, between them, millennials and Gen Z account for 80% of all gym-goers. But while an impressive percentage of a comparatively small total – the roughly 15% of the population who are members of a gym – what this actually points to is a huge opportunity to blow the market wide open, growing the whole sector exponentially by harnessing the enthusiasm of these generations for all things health and fitness.

And these generations really do offer the potential for this sort of growth. As far back as the mid-1990s, millennials overtook Gen X to become the largest generation globally, but Gen Z is now predicted to overtake millennials this year; Bloomberg estimates Gen Z will rise to 32% of the global population in 2019, surpassing the millennials on 31.5% – and this a conservative estimate based on the comparatively late 2000/2001 as the generational split.

Millennials will, adds Bloomberg, continue to represent the bigger proportion in the world’s four largest economies: the US, China, Japan and Germany. However, overall the fact remains:

 

These generations account for over 60% of the world’s population – and they are characterised by their prioritisation of health and fitness.

However, don’t assume that means ‘if we build it, they will come’. Fitness providers of all shapes and sizes have important decisions to make when it comes to packaging their offering in a way that appeals to these generations.

One thing it inevitably means is the need to embrace technology. Gen Z is, after all, the first entire generation unable to remember a world without the internet; we may have classified the millennials as ‘digital natives’, but Gen Z goes a step further into digital entrenchment.

And this isn’t a passing fad. Hot on the heels of Gen Z comes Gen Alpha – those born after 2011, who have grown up using smartphones and tablets instead of books; we’ve all seen the babies on YouTube trying to swipe or click on the pages of printed magazines.

How will this generation interact with your fitness business when, in just a few years’ time, they’re old enough to use your facilities?

 

The long and short of it is, purely analogue fitness businesses are becoming less relevant by the day.

From the millennials onwards, consumers quite simply expect products and services to be available when and where they want them, accessed from the palm of their hand through their trusty smartphone. Why should fitness be any different?

The answer is: it shouldn’t – and isn’t, with vast reams of fitness content already being accessed online and through apps. The consumer has moved on.

Set against this backdrop, the need to ‘digitally transform’ is clear – but it can be hard to know where to start in bringing your fitness business into the digital age.

Wexer can help. From on-site virtual group exercise to the new Wexer Web Player – which makes world-class workouts available any time, anywhere, through any internet-enabled device – our digital ecosystem helps you create a seamless experience for your customer. One that aligns with today’s on-demand mindset.

 

Our advice: Don’t think of this as future-proofing. Think of it as a re-set button you need to push today.

 

 

To find out more about how Wexer can help your business catch up with the needs of today’s fitness consumers, contact info@wexer.com

 

 

 

What retail can teach us about the future of fitness

People always say the fitness industry lags behind other sectors. They say it as a criticism – yet in some ways, it’s a good thing.

Why? Because it means we have a chance to understand the trends that have shaped those sectors. It means we have an invaluable opportunity to put measures in place to pre-empt and prepare for them, and with it future-proof our businesses.

Let’s take retail as an example. Rewind a decade or so, we were seeing ever more experiential stores being built. Shopping became less chore and more entertainment – and yet convenience still ultimately won the day. Online shopping continued to chip away at the traditional model and, as it became increasingly mainstream, more and more consumers opted to click, select, pay… and then move on to something other than shopping altogether. The result? A not-so-slowly-dying high street as shopping morphed into something consumers did from the palm of their hand.

There are obvious parallels to draw with fitness, where today’s health clubs have an undeniable ‘wow’ factor but still only attract around 12–15 per cent of the population even in most developed markets. Meanwhile, both existing exercisers and, crucially, those new to fitness are being drawn towards the digital offerings: online fitness providers and influencers whose advice and programming is no more than a click away, available any time, anywhere. Once again, convenience is proving to be a huge selling point.

So, how do we prevent health clubs dying off in the same way as retail outlets? How can we keep clubs relevant to consumers, even as their preferences change and evolve in terms of how they consume fitness?

The answer is simple and doesn’t have to be hard to implement: clubs must extend their model so it no longer relies purely on people coming in to their facilities to work out. Rather than allowing themselves to be replaced by online competitors, they must adopt a hybrid membership model that allows them to own the online space as a digital extension of the physical club offering.

Tools such as Wexer Web Player can play an instrumental role in delivering this quickly, compellingly and cost-effectively.

This new offering from digital fitness leader Wexer is a password-protected portal that offers on-demand access, through any internet-enabled device, to 500+ top-quality virtual group exercise classes. It gives consumers what they want – 24/7 access to great fitness content that allows them to work out whenever they like, wherever they may be – but, by integrating with a club’s existing website and/or app, the club has clear ownership of the experience.

Even better, this is achieved without any significant investment on the operator’s part as no technical integrations are required; Wexer Web Player costs just US$249 a month for the first 200 users, and $249 for every additional 200 users.

Wexer Web Player is the perfect bridge between the physical and digital worlds of fitness. It facilitates a best-of-both-worlds situation: one where clubs remain at the heart of the experience, but where fitness users can choose how they want to consume that experience from one day to the next, whether in-club or from the palm of their hand.

 

For more information please get in touch at info@wexer.com

 

 

We’re hiring! Business Development Executive, US

JOB DESCRIPTION

 Job Title: Business Development Executive (BDE) – Web Player

Reports to: Head of Business Development (HBD)

Place of Work: East Coast or West Coast, US

Line Management Responsibilities : None

Employed by: Wexer Virtual

Organisational Context: Business Development / Account Management

 

 

Main Purpose of Role

To be responsible for managing, implementing and driving the company’s European Web Player sales both commercially and operationally, creating robust, positive relationships and generating new business in the franchise, single site operator and small fitness chains 10/20 sites markets.

 

About Wexer…

Our vision is to create a healthier and happier planet by delivering a partner-centric business approach. At Wexer we don’t have customer, only partners and we work vigorously to earn and keep partners’ trust and to secure long-term relationships.

As digital fitness market leader, our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to more people through the use of technology – at the same time ensuring traditional fitness operators remain at the very heart of this experience.

Our technology creates a bridge between the digital and physical worlds. It enhances our clients’ in-facility products and experiences; it broadens the audience for their expertise, talent and programming via new ‘always-on’ channels; and it enables every user touchpoint to be shaped by data and personalized insight.

Our technology isn’t there to replace operators. It’s a vital tool to guarantee their future.

 

About the Role…

To be successful in this role, you will be a sales ace with a partner-centric mind-set. You have a good understanding of selling SaaS solutions. You will become part of a hard-working, high performing, young and dynamic team. We set the bar high and so do you.

 

Direct Responsibilities: Sales and After Sales Services

The main task is to generate sales from new and existing business, and help building/growing for our Web Player business. The focus is in Europe and specifically with single club owners, franchisees and small fitness chains up to 10/15 sites.

 

The candidate must make sure clients experience smooth transition from purchase to having a fully functional Web Player for their facility/club – and assist with any support.

 

  • Contacting, winning and developing new potential clients, specifically among the single club owners and franchisees
  • Contact for franchise and single sites Sales & Services in the European market
  • Assist the HBD with Key Accounts and large accounts on pre- and post-sales activities on the Web Player
  • Reporting of Sales statistics to HBD
  • Review new business revenue targets on a monthly basis to ensure achievement is on track and produce a profit and loss analysis
  • Communicate with the HBD on a weekly basis to ensure all business opportunities are being closed in line with sales strategies and agreed KPI’s
  • To ensure all progress is reported on in a clear and consistent manner

 

Skills/Aptitude

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Work well to deadlines and targets
  • Works with minimal supervision
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to determine the needs and requirements of potential partners offering suitable solutions and overcoming objections as and when required
  • Meets and demonstrates Wexer values
  • Additional languages are a benefit but not essential

 

Essential

  • Degree level qualification or equivalent
  • Has substantial experience communicating effectively with key decision makers including; owners and franchisees
  • At least 1 years previous sales experience in SaaS solutions
  • Proven experience in sales, meeting and exceeding KPIs and targets
  • Proven commercial acumen of driving a revenue line within a business
  • Has experience in producing sales plan, setting targets and producing budgets
  • Strong organisational skills with excellent attention to detail

Preferred Experience:

  • Detailed knowledge of Fitness Industry
  • Salesforce experience

 

To apply please send CV and covering letter to: info@wexer.com

We’re hiring! Business Development Executive, London

JOB DESCRIPTION

 Job Title: Business Development Executive (BDE) – Web Player

Reports to: Head of Business Development (HBD)

Place of Work: London, United Kingdom

Line Management Responsibilities : None

Employed by: Wexer Virtual

Organisational Context: Business Development / Account Management

 

 

Main Purpose of Role

To be responsible for managing, implementing and driving the company’s European Web Player sales both commercially and operationally, creating robust, positive relationships and generating new business in the franchise, single site operator and small fitness chains 10/20 sites markets.

 

About Wexer…

Our vision is to create a healthier and happier planet by delivering a partner-centric business approach. At Wexer we don’t have customer, only partners and we work vigorously to earn and keep partners’ trust and to secure long-term relationships.

As digital fitness market leader, our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to more people through the use of technology – at the same time ensuring traditional fitness operators remain at the very heart of this experience.

Our technology creates a bridge between the digital and physical worlds. It enhances our clients’ in-facility products and experiences; it broadens the audience for their expertise, talent and programming via new ‘always-on’ channels; and it enables every user touchpoint to be shaped by data and personalised insight.

Our technology isn’t there to replace operators. It’s a vital tool to guarantee their future.

 

About the Role…

To be successful in this role, you will be a sales ace with a partner centric mind-set. You have a good understanding of selling SaaS solutions. You will become part of a hard-working, high performing, young and dynamic team. We set the bar high and so do you.

 

Direct Responsibilities: Sales and After Sales Services

The main task is to generate sales from new and existing business, and help building/growing for our Web Player business. The focus is in Europe and specifically with single club owners, franchisees and small fitness chains up to 10/15 sites.

 

The candidate must make sure clients experience smooth transition from purchase to having a fully functional Web Player for their facility/club – and assist with any support.

 

  • Contacting, winning and developing new potential clients, specifically among the single club owners and franchisees
  • Contact for franchise and single sites Sales & Services in the European market
  • Assist the HBD with Key Accounts and large accounts on pre- and post-sales activities on the Web Player
  • Reporting of Sales statistics to HBD
  • Review new business revenue targets on a monthly basis to ensure achievement is on track and produce a profit and loss analysis
  • Communicate with the HBD on a weekly basis to ensure all business opportunities are being closed in line with sales strategies and agreed KPI’s
  • To ensure all progress is reported on in a clear and consistent manner

 

Skills/Aptitude

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Work well to deadlines and targets
  • Works with minimal supervision
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to determine the needs and requirements of potential partners offering suitable solutions and overcoming objections as and when required
  • Meets and demonstrates Wexer values
  • Additional languages are a benefit but not essential

 

Essential

  • Degree level qualification or equivalent
  • Has substantial experience communicating effectively with key decision makers including; owners and franchisees
  • At least 1 years previous sales experience in SaaS solutions
  • Proven experience in sales, meeting and exceeding KPIs and targets
  • Proven commercial acumen of driving a revenue line within a business
  • Has experience in producing sales plan, setting targets and producing budgets
  • Strong organisational skills with excellent attention to detail

Preferred Experience:

  • Detailed knowledge of Fitness Industry
  • Salesforce experience

 

To apply please send CV and covering letter to: info@wexer.com

We are excited to announce a new strategic alliance with Wellbeats

We have entered into a strategic partnership with virtual fitness innovator Wellbeats that will make Wellbeats’ on-demand fitness classes available to gyms and health clubs through the Wexer platform.

 

Content sharing is the basis of this new alliance, as Wexer CEO Paul Bowman explains, “This important new partnership allows us to offer the excellent content Wellbeats has produced to our approximately 4,000 gyms across more than 50 countries. This is exciting for us as it sits perfectly with our mission: to make world-class exercise accessible to everyone, getting more people active by harnessing the power of technology.

 

The strategic alliance will give our clients access to a collection of classes from the Wellbeats’ platform, across all categories; cardio, conditioning, cycling and mind & body.

 

Wellbeats has many years’ experience in creating compelling content, with particular expertise in appealing to those new to group exercise. This is therefore an incredibly valuable addition to our content portfolio: our virtual classes already act as a confidence-building stepping stone for many, with 32 percent of people currently using them to prepare for live classes. The availability of Wellbeats classes on our platform will no doubt push these figures even higher.

 

On-demand, virtual fitness is a new, but rapidly growing category that can help club owners engage members and contribute to member retention efforts,” said Jason Von Bank, president and CEO of Wellbeats. “Together, Wellbeats in the US and European-based Wexer play significant roles in that growth and bringing virtual fitness into the homes across the world.  We are excited to be able to bring two powerful and influential brands together in this way.

 

The Wellbeats content will be available on the Wexer platform from 1st May 2019.

 

For further information please contact us at: info@wexer.com

Carpe diem – why the fitness future doesn’t have to be futuristic

The future of fitness is digital. You’ve no doubt heard that said a million times.

But the problem with this sort of comment is that it seems so, well, futuristic and intangible – hi-tech to the point of feeling like science fiction. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality… It all seems a million miles from the nuts and bolts of running a health club.

In actual fact, the fitness present is also digital – and it isn’t anywhere near as confusing as all these alternative realities suggest.

Our advice is this: Don’t look too far ahead. Don’t worry about all the future possibilities being dangled in front of us by the start-ups of Silicon Valley. In short, don’t let yourself be intimidated by tech.

Instead, look simply at what’s happening right now and identify ways in which it can enhance and complement your business today.

We thought we’d share four key trends that are here and now, relevant to the way people are choosing to consume fitness, and immediately applicable to the health club model:

 

#1 – Be mobile

Consumers are used to doing everything from the palm of their hand, whether it’s booking a holiday, ordering groceries or buying tickets for an event.

Increasingly, they’re also seeing the internet as the first port of call for their fitness needs – but this doesn’t have to be a threat to your health club model. Instead, make your programming and expertise available through your website or app too, and embrace the mobile phone as a bridge between the physical and digital facets of your club’s offering. Allow members to access your products, services and expertise either in-person, or through digital channels, or both; let them mix and match to suit their needs. Own the entirety of the fitness experience, both in and out of the club.

The Wexer Web Player is a great starting point: a password-protected portal that offers on-demand access, through any internet-enabled device, to 500+ top-quality virtual group exercise classes. It gives consumers what they want – 24/7 access to great fitness content that allows them to work out whenever they like, wherever they may be – but, by integrating with a club’s existing website and/or app, the club retains clear ownership of the experience.

 

#2 – More content, on-demand

In today’s on-demand economy, consumers don’t expect to wait. Just look at how television is being consumed nowadays: instead of waiting for your programme to start at its scheduled time each week, we all binge on a whole box set via providers such as Netflix and TV channels’ own catch-up players. And there’s so much to choose from!

Fitness need be no different, and again Wexer can help. Its in-club virtual group exercise offering allows operators to leave on-demand periods in their studio timetables; members can choose their own classes from a pre-recorded library of over 1,000 titles during these times. Meanwhile, as noted above, the Wexer Web Player provides on-demand access to 500+ classes, anytime, anywhere.

 

#3 – Live streaming

There’s one name that’s really driven the visibility of live streaming, and that is of course Peloton. But while Peloton could ultimately replace gym workouts, Wexer’s technology enables operators to harness the power of live streaming for their own gain.

It’s the perfect tool to maximise the reach and retention-boosting influence of your best instructors, at the same time creating an additional buzz of excitement around classes in those shoulder periods where you want to offer a little more than a standard virtual class.

Even better, going back to the on-demand economy, our ‘Wexer Broadcast powered by Fortë’ package means that – in addition to live streaming popular classes across your estate, or even to other studios within a club – the best classes can also be saved into an on-demand, pre-recorded library, effectively turning your club into a virtual class content provider.

 

#4 – The Quantified Self

Exercise is always more motivating when you can see how you’ve progressed and can understand how your workouts have driven these improvements. This has driven a boom in fitness trackers and apps – but what role does your club play here?

Health clubs are certainly a veritable treasure trove of member data, but – particularly with the advent of GDPR – the emphasis is on recognising that members own their own data.

That said, you still have the option to improve members’ training experiences, by providing opportunities to capture valuable training data in-club. This is where Wexer Beat comes in: a highly accurate, and crucially brand-agnostic, heart rate monitoring system developed in partnership with the experts at Motosumo. Provided a member’s existing heart rate device has an open Bluetooth signal, it will work with Wexer Beat. Your members therefore get an enhanced experience in-club, and get to choose where the data is sent at the end of the workout; you get loyal members who attribute their success to your club.

 

Could some, or all, of the above be applied to your business?

At Wexer, we often talk about ‘digital transformation’, but you don’t have to transform your club overnight. Look strategically at the tools at your disposal, work out which could help you – and how – and take one step at a time in incorporating them into your business.

We’re here to help. If you’d like to discuss potential strategies to get started on your digital transformation, please get in touch: info@wexer.com

Harness the power of your rockstars – go live!

Live streaming of group exercise classes is creating a real buzz across the sector, both for the end consumer – it’s a fantastic way to add excitement to classes in those shoulder periods, just outside of peak times, when you still want to offer them a little more – and for operators who, quite rightly, have identified a strong opportunity to maximise the reach and retention-boosting influence of their best instructors.

But it can be very expensive to set up and run a production studio that creates class footage of high enough quality to engage exercisers.

This is why Wexer has partnered with live streaming specialist Fortë to bring a new, cost-effective live streaming solution to market.

Wexer Broadcast powered by Fortë has been designed to make high quality live streaming accessible to smaller operators who may not be able to afford to set up their own production studios.

Ideal for mid-sized chains – operators who could gain significant value from live streaming superstar instructors’ classes across the rest of their estate – the new product offers a turnkey solution to make a studio ‘streaming-ready’.

A minimum of three cameras provide different angles on the action for dynamic, engaging content. In-depth instructor training and specialist choreography is also provided to ensure the best possible results on-screen.

Operators need only set up one studio for recording and streaming, as Wexer and Fortë’s software and hardware fully integrate to live stream to any club or studio in the estate that has a Wexer Player.

The Wexer-Fortë integration also means that – in addition to live streaming popular classes across an estate, or even to other studios within a club – the best classes can also be saved into an on-demand, pre-recorded library, effectively turning the operator into a virtual class content provider.

It’s the perfect way to harness the crowd-pleasing power of superstar instructors and celebrity partners and maximise their impact across the business.

Share the excitement in real time. Live stream your classes!

For more information please contact info@wexer.com

Intelligent Cycling powered by Wexer: A new, influencer-led workout every time

When it comes to the member experience, one of the biggest issues with group fitness can be the repetitiveness of the class content – all those pre-choreographed workouts that are the same each week until a new release comes out.

Given you can now go online and, in just a few clicks, find a new workout to do each day… well, why would your members settle for same-old same-old?

It becomes particularly challenging in a hi-tech digital world, where continued advances in technology mean there’s no perceived excuse for repetition. Nowadays, consumers quite simply expect dynamism, innovation, excitement, variety. Jumping on a bike and seeing exactly the same virtual footage rolling away in front of you every time isn’t going to inspire or motivate in the way such futuristic footage could – and should.

Step forward Intelligent Cycling powered by Wexer, a revolutionary new system that uses AI to deliver a unique member experience every time. And when we say ‘unique’ – that much over-used term – we actually mean it.

 

So, how does it work?

 

In a nutshell, Intelligent Cycling’s immersive classes use futuristic on-screen footage – footage that directly correlates with the intensity of the workout – to motivate participants.

So far, so familiar perhaps. But here’s where it differs.

First of all, the workouts are designed by your instructors, for your members – and that in itself means four things.

 

  • Firstly, you’re tapping in to your instructors’ fan-bases within the club; the rides can be attributed to specific instructors and will appeal to members who follow those instructors.
  • Secondly, because classes are designed by instructors who know them, your members know they’re getting a workout that’s tailored to their requirements, not a generic ‘catch all’ programme designed by a remote head office.
  • Third, there’s infinite scope for the creation of new classes – no waiting for a new release to give members something new to get their teeth into.
  • And finally, instructors get a great new tool to inject even more excitement into their live classes – a motivational backdrop that’s perfectly tailored to the workout they’ve designed.

 

The second, equally exciting, USP is that every on-screen journey is different. That’s right. Members need never cycle through the same terrain twice – even if they loved the workout they got last time and want to benefit from it again.

Here are the nuts and bolts of it.

Instructors log in to a password-protected portal to build their own workouts. They choose the intervals and intensity they want for their class; Intelligent Cycling then uses AI to overlay appropriate footage, creating what we call a ‘journey’ – an on-screen route that travels through futuristic virtual worlds of water, air and space, all perfectly synced to the intensity of the workout.

This journey is uploaded into the Wexer Player for seamless delivery into the studio, ready for the instructor to use as a highly motivational backdrop to their live class. It’s the perfect marriage of live instruction and virtual entertainment, adding a whole new dimension to live classes.

And if a member can’t make it to the live class, that’s fine. The workout itself – the intervals and intensity that sit behind the journey – are stored in the system, accessible at any point as an on-demand class. Even better, each and every time that workout is called upon – whether by an instructor or a member – Intelligent Cycling overlays new footage to ensure every single class experience is different, fresh… unique.

What better way to enhance the member experience in your cycling studio: constantly fresh, engaging workouts that harness the power of your influencers – the very people who drive member loyalty to your club – all delivered reliably and seamlessly by Wexer’s market-leading technology.

This is the retention-boosting strength of Intelligent Cycling powered by Wexer.

 

For more information please contact info@wexer.com

What will happen to your business if you don’t embrace tech

We talk about ‘digital transformation’ of the fitness industry – but what happens if it doesn’t transform?

Having recently watched a fascinating video by Jack Delosa, in it, he stated that Amazon didn’t kill retail – poor customer service did. Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster – slow delivery and high customer effort did. And Uber didn’t kill taxis – waiting times and poor customer service did.

Technology, he explained, is not the disruptor in itself, but rather the vehicle through which we can do one thing: enhance the customer experience.

This absolutely echoes what we’ve been saying for a long time now: technology is not the strategy in itself, but the tool through which you can future-proof your health club business by making it more customer-centric.

Without wanting to sound like doom and gloom merchants, we thought it might help bring this to life if we shared three things we see happening to the health club industry if it doesn’t digitally transform.

 

#1 – The product will become too hard to consume

As customer effort goes up, customer loyalty goes down – and that opens the gates to competition coming in to undermine you.

In this digital age, we all have to make it absolutely frictionless to consume our product. In a gym context, that can mean anything from online joining to promoting last-minute PT availability through your app to enabling RFID payments on vending machines.

It can also mean making your club’s expertise and programming available to members when they’re away from the club, via an app for example, for those days when they can’t make it in for a workout.

Fail to do this and customers will seek easy-access alternatives that deliver what they want – fitness programming and advice – without any of the barriers they currently associate with gyms.

 

#2 – The product will be viewed as impersonal

Consumer demand for personalisation is growing: we expect tailored offers from retailers, we expect airlines to remember our preferences, we expect recommendations based on our previous behaviours.

And the fitness industry isn’t immune to this: we increasingly expect our programmes to be bespoke to us, reflecting our goals, our preferences, our interests, our progress to date. The challenge for many gym operators is this: the technology brands are responding, and they’re getting there faster than the health club brands.

Health clubs therefore need to take a big step forward, and that means embracing data. Put simply, the more data we collect – the more we know about our member – the more we can personalise and add value in an affordable way, having insight-based AI ‘conversations’ that will deepen their relationship with our brands and our products both inside and outside the gym, as well as driving significant upsell opportunities.

And the key to gathering data to enable this sort of initiative? Technology, and especially members’ round-the-clock mobile phone usage.

People often say tech is impersonal, but when used properly that’s far from true: it’s the primary facilitator of personalisation. Ignoring tech is the thing that will render your product impersonal.

 

#3 – Gyms will be undermined by businesses with better margins

Just as the low-cost clubs challenged and ultimately undermined the mid-market, so other competitors – quite probably not even health clubs – will continue to emerge, offering just enough value and service to exercisers at a price point they like, all enabled by technology.

Let’s go back to the previous two points to remind ourselves what tech can help us deliver: a frictionless, easy-access, personalised product. Ultimately, if a customer looks at your gym but perceives there to be a better, more responsive product on the market – at a lower cost thanks to its use of tech – which do you think they’ll choose?

In the end, a tech-enabled business will be able to deliver higher service levels at better margins. Fail to embrace this opportunity and your business is at risk of being swallowed up by those who have.

Ultimately, technology holds huge potential to strengthen and grow your business – but unharnessed, it will become your competition.

Importantly, though, this won’t happen because technology is there champing at the bit to steal your customers. It will happen because you’ve failed to seize the opportunities to focus on the customer and address their changing needs.

All of which might seem daunting, but remember, you don’t have to immediately go to market with a product as powerful as Netflix or Amazon’s. The important thing is to make a start – and there are providers out there, like Wexer, who can help.

 

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further: info@wexer.com