By Paul Bowman
The word ‘app’ is on the lips of every health club operator nowadays, and with good reason: according to recent research by mobile analytics firm Flurry, health and fitness app usage in the US alone grew by 330% between 2014 and 2017.
So how should you go about creating your own app? What are the strategic pillars that should underpin its design, ensuring it has all the necessary components for long-term success?
At Wexer, we believe an app that caters for the fitness industry has to deliver on three key points: Reach, Relevance and Revenue. These are inextricably linked, with one feeding into the next.
By having an app, you can of course reach members beyond the club, creating a 24/7 relationship.
With a content-rich app like Wexer Mobile you can go further, offering digital memberships that complement the in-club offering and even allow you to serve new, non-gym members.
If the right partnerships are struck, Reach can also be about harnessing new platforms and channels that get your offering in front of even more people.
All of the above is encompassed by ‘Reach’.
But this is just the first step where Reach is concerned; it has to be turned into engagement. This is why, for us, Reach also embraces the need for a friction-free experience, whereby getting started on your app is a simple, hassle-free, positive experience.
The Wexer Mobile app is built with all facets of Reach in mind: user-friendly, content-rich, and architected in such a way that it can be developed for multiple distribution channels – from mobile phones to Apple TV – allowing more users to access the content and features we offer.
This is about having truly great content that appeals to, and resonates with, app users. Content that’s relevant both inside and outside a health club, with something to meet any user need at any given exercise moment and in any exercise environment.
So what sets your app apart in this respect? What fitness content are you offering that will add real value to users?
Crucially, we believe some of this content needs to be offered for free – and not just the standard, entry-level content. Let users experience the true value that lies in your app, giving them a chance to embed it into their workout routines, building trust to the point that they want to know what else they can access through the app. Don’t immediately put up the barrier of paid access.
If you let the relationship grow naturally in this way, there will eventually be opportunities to push paid-for services within the app, which is where we finally arrive at the final point….
Many apps include opportunities for secondary spend, promoting and facilitating the purchase of in-club services.
Wexer Mobile builds on this, driving a whole new revenue stream for operators through the creation of digital memberships that serve both current and non-gym members.
But as noted above, Revenue also encompasses other in-app opportunities in the shape of premium add-ons.
Think of it like a gym member who, having established an exercise habit through an induction and a complimentary workout programme, now wants to get more from their training. They might at this stage be willing to pay for the services of a PT – someone who can take them that bit further.
So it is with an app. Give good quality content for free. Allow users to form a bond with the app. Then, and only then, consider nudging them towards premium, paid-for elements.
Ultimately, revenue will ensue as your loyal app users begin to seek further opportunities, but putting Revenue before Relevance will simply stop engagement before it even starts.
If you’d like to understand how Wexer Mobile can bring together Reach, Relevance and Revenue to benefit your business and your end users, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org