At this time of year, when we’re all being asked to predict what the next 12 months have in store, it’s so easy to fall into one of two traps: looking too far ahead and painting an idealistic picture that might actually take 10 years to realise; or else reframing existing trends, positioning them as the future, and in the process accepting more of the same.
But here’s Wexer’s prediction, which does neither of those things.
2020 will be the year of digital execution – the year when the balance finally tips and we see fitness following the lead of other industries, dovetailing digital and physical at scale.
The thinking isn’t new: Wexer has for a long time been saying that a hybrid model, a blended experience of physical and digital, is the future of fitness – the way for operators to build truly connected communities of members.
Indeed, we’ve built our technology around this insight: a digital ecosystem of integrated products that keeps fitness facilities at the very heart of things, but that allows people to consume world-class fitness however and whenever they choose, with a digital journey that supports individuals along a continuum from ‘no exercise confidence, help me get started’ to ‘I’m there, now inspire me!’
The difference now is that this vision is becoming a reality, and the proof is in the numbers.
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. Meanwhile, our mobile revenues grew by 59% last year – a figure that looks set to rocket in 2020, with a number of major clients already set to roll out mobile offerings in collaboration with Wexer.
If we could offer one piece of advice along the way, it would be to look at tech with a human-centric viewpoint. Ensure consumers can engage with your product whatever their confidence level. Harness tech to maximise the power, reach and influence of your greatest assets: your people. Tech is not here to replace them; used well, it can turn them into superstars. Indeed, it is your people who will take technology and make the execution great.
This – a year of digital execution founded on the perfect blend of physical and digital, people and technology – is our prediction for the fitness sector in 2020.
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