There is a lot of chatter now-a-days about everyone wanting to improve fitness levels and enrolling themselves at gyms/health clubs. However, only a small percentage (only 18%) of such enrolled members regularly show up at gyms – the vast majority gradually lose interest in working out and end up not renewing their membership.
Why is that? The answer mostly lies in lack of personalized user engagement and experience at the fitness centers which causes people to drop out.
Why is personalized user experience lacking at the gyms? Reasons include but are not limited to lack of monitoring, preferred trainers, availability of equipment & lack of personalized communication to members – which combine to reduce motivation level of the users.
What about Fitness apps/devices? There has been a flood of fitness apps and devices (fitness bands etc) in the market that seek to provide personal fitness solutions by recommending workout programs, gym selections, monitor health metrics etc. However these are still limited to providing information, rather than actively engaging with their users. Additionally, they often lack context when communicating with the users.
How can we improve Engagement? Enter proximity technologies that provide real time context to gym operators as well as users leading to enhanced experience and value for all stakeholders.
From measuring active attendance of gym members, to monitoring usage of equipment, to providing workout program based on user’s past workouts, to sending offers & promos to potential customers – proximity sensors like beacons provide many real time contextual use cases that enables fitness centers to engage continuously with their members. Some of the applications of proximity sensors are described below:
- Monitor attendance: As soon as a member walks into the gym, s/he can get checked in automatically, increasing the level of convenience for them. Once the member is checked in, s/he can receive updates about the activities happening within the gym. Similarly, once the member leaves the gym, s/he is automatically checked out, and the system records time spent at the gym.
- Personalized Messaging: Gyms can send welcome message to the members on their smartphones when they enter the gym along with their schedule or fitness regime or workout plans, etc. For e.g. with the use of the database, sensors can use the information to tailor messages. If a member has frequented Zumba classes in the past, the beacon can send a push notification prompting them to sign up for more classes next time or provide information complementary to what people have done in the past to keep this interesting.
- Equipment Availability: Gym operator can locate open machines and dwell time of the members on each machine; this can be later used to send out personalized messages to the members with their work out plans along with the time that needs to be spent on each machine based on their past work outs. Even when the member walks in, they can inform members about the slots/machines (e.g. treadmill, cross-trainers etc) that are available. Furthermore, when the user is next to the equipment, s/he can get instructions on how to use the machine on their smartphones
- Heat Maps: Using sensors to detect real time occupancy at the gyms, fitness centers can alert users about equipment availability in the real time, and thus manage peak hour gym usage. Furthermore, they can also monitor which sections of the gym are more in demand relative to others. Additionally, during lean operating hours with fewer footfalls, gyms can send offers/notifications to nearby consumers for “walk-in” fitness sessions or trial membership programs
- Loyalty Programs: When members of the gyms are passing by, then the gyms can send push notifications with the offers or discount renewal coupons for those loyal customers based on their past behaviour. To avail new customers as well, the gyms can send notifications which can increase their subscription for membership
- Hassle Free Training: Members can view if their personal trainers are available when they enter the gym. Trainers can also keep tabs on their clients, allowing them to constantly monitor their client’s food intake, the amount of calories burnt/consumed, allowing them to structure their forthcoming gym regime accordingly, thus leading to a more efficient and hassle-free session for both
- Third-party promotions: Fitness companies, health brands, wellness brands can promote their products along with any offers or discounts or coupons in the gyms. These promotions can be personalized or targeted to individual members based on their profiles and workout history.
- Retargeting: Proximity technologies enable gyms to collect rich data about their users (workout times, equipment used, frequency of visits etc). Such data can be used effectively to retarget users online and showcase them attractive offers or promotions.
BeaconsTalk is currently working with various gyms and fitness app partners on the above use cases, which has resulted in gyms getting additional customers as well as increased app engagement by fitness app users.
If you are a gym operator or a fitness app developer, and want to add proximity technologies capabilities to your offering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.