Spending on fitness classes and gyms grew just over 5% last year, but on-demand fitness spending jumped nearly 59%, according to research by purchase intelligence platform Cardlytics.
And that’s not all. Data also shows that, by the time autumn rolls around, traditional gyms and studios lose more than three-quarters of the customers who joined in January. Meanwhile, on-demand fitness programmes retain about half of their customers through the nine-month mark.
These are just two of the notable findings outlined in a fascinating article by CNBC last month.
Driven by the consumer
The boom in on-demand is admittedly from a comparatively small base: these online providers still account for just 6% of the market, set against the 72% share still enjoyed by traditional health clubs. But the growth of on-demand is exponential, with CNBC reporting a surge in spending since 2017: up 129%, compared to a growth of just 6% in spending on traditional gyms.
These findings echo our own at Wexer. In 2019, we saw a 66% growth in the number of Wexer Virtual classes being run around the world, up to almost 10 million from 6 million in 2018 – and that growth was predominantly driven by on-demand, that is, by the classes members were actively choosing to organise for themselves.
That’s exciting, because it means the end user – the gym member and fitness consumer – is spearheading the growth. The technology has bedded itself down into people’s exercise routines, becoming a more familiar, go-to workout option for exercisers across the globe.
Meanwhile, our mobile revenues grew by 59% last year, and that figure looks set to rocket in 2020, with a number of major clients already set to roll out mobile offerings in collaboration with Wexer. Why? Because of the surge in consumer demand for flexible, convenient fitness offerings that they can access wherever and whenever they choose.
A hybrid model for health club relevance
We’ve been saying for a long time that a hybrid model – a blended experience of physical and digital – is the future of fitness and the way for operators to build truly connected communities of members. But this is now becoming a reality.
And we’re ready for it, with Wexer’s entire digital ecosystem built around the hybrid model – a model that’s designed specifically to keep health clubs at the heart of things even as on-demand specialists try to lure exercisers into the online-only space.
By making world-class fitness accessible to more people, allowing them to consume it however and whenever they choose – and all under the banner of their trusted health club – we’re keeping health clubs relevant in an increasingly on-demand world.
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