With advances in technology beginning to achieve the impossible, there is no denying that tech has become integral in our daily lives. But how should the fitness industry react to this?
Ultimately tech is enabling people to do and achieve more. As we become more intuitive with new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), it will allow us to connect with members in new ways.
Club groups will need to engage with this technology and integrate this into their core offering in order to personalise the consumer journey and stay relevant.
At home, AI is becoming especially prevalent, with the rise of virtual assistants and smart homes. Amazon and Google are establishing behaviour patterns and habitual routines which are central to this technology. For example, Amazon’s Alexa connects with devices in our homes and then responds to our demands accordingly. Eventually our personas will be memorised by such technologies- recognising unique behaviours and then automatically meeting our needs.
But what does this mean for the fitness industry?
To stay relevant, technology needs to be at the core of what we do. As an industry, we need to make it simple for people to experience our services, such as using Alexa to pre-book gym classes, PT sessions etc.
The best club groups are segmenting members and conducting behavioral analysis across the entire member journey. However, we need the same level of insight about members before they reach the gym- which we can do if we extend our offerings outside the four walls of the gym i.e. enabling non-members to use digital content to improve their fitness and increase confidence before they enter our facilities.
By having this insight, club groups are empowered to make their experience more personalised, such as recommending relevant group exercise classes or particular workouts. However, this will only be successful by having clean and reliable consumer data that is analysed frequently. Ultimately then the app can make suggestions on what members should do through algorithms analysing their goals and preferences.
Fundamentally consumer demand for both personalised and digital experiences will continue to grow, therefore club groups will need to adapt and centralise their data strategies to stay relevant.
Personally, I believe that fitness technology will be like electricity, seamlessly interwoven into our daily lives. It will impact everything we do. Together we can maximise these opportunities and remain ahead of the curve.
My advice for club groups:
- Start thinking like a tech company
- Learn from other industries e.g. Google and Amazon
- Integrate best practice into your business
- Connect technologies to provide enhanced data knowledge