Fitness Brands Should Lean into Hybrid Offerings for Better Retention, Here’s Why
It’s no secret member retention is a challenge for fitness brands. From scheduling conflicts and financial constraints to injury and lack of motivation, there are a myriad of reasons a person might cancel their membership. Some claim the increasing demand for virtual fitness is a similar threat to retention; at Mindbody + ClassPass, we see it as a tool.
Today, fitness enthusiasts are “yes, and” consumers. Many of those who frequent boutique studios and gyms also invest in at-home equipment and programming. According to the 2023 Wellness Index, more than half of American consumers have a hybrid fitness routine. That’s good news for your brand’s bottom line and retention rate. Here’s why:
An object in motion stays in motion
Virtual workouts help keep consumers in a movement routine. They also allow for more variety and, as a result, less boredom. Whether your members are jumping on a bike for a livestream ride or tuning in to an on-demand class, when they stay consistent and engaged with fitness—even from home—it’s a win.
Has your brand leaned into virtual? Even better. Multi-location brands are particularly well-positioned for virtual success. Why? Access to top-notch technology and equipment at corporate ensures quality and brand consistency across each of your locations. The result? Members get a cohesive and branded experience without additional extra work for your individual locations.
It’s simple to give your locations, and their members, a virtual experience that's just as seamless as what you offer in person. Mindbody's Virtual Wellness Platform fully integrates within your software and keeps members connected to your brand wherever they are: at home, at the office, or on vacation.
Inconsistent schedules, budget constraints, varying levels of comfortability—virtual services offer solutions to these very real challenges as they’re typically more accessible than their in-person counterparts.
A few real-life examples:
- If a member can’t make it to a regularly scheduled afternoon class, they can tune in to one of your brand’s on-demand classes in between work meetings.
- If a member has decided to cut back on expenses, they can opt for a more budget-friendly virtual option you offer.
- If a member is just getting back into a fitness routine and feels intimidated (17% of Americans say they’re too intimidated to go to a fitness facility), they can start off from home and attend in-person workouts at one of your locations once they feel more confident.
Without virtual offerings, you’re leaving money on the table. A hybrid service offering meets the unique and evolving needs of your current clientele. It opens your brand up to a whole new member base, too.
Movement for the long haul
Recent research suggests mixing up workouts could have a positive impact on longevity. With a growing number of consumers who say they exercise to lead long and healthy lives, offering variety will become increasingly important.
Virtual classes provide an easy and relatively inexpensive way to test out new services, like recovery-centered classes or workshops (protecting members from injury is key to retention too!). Automated tools like Marketing Suite and Messenger[ai] can help your brand get the word out and gather vital member feedback about new offerings. The best part? Communications can be created at corporate and enabled at individual locations to maintain your brand integrity.
Hybrid fitness isn’t going anywhere. Consumers expect options—and are looking to support fitness brands that raise the bar both in person and online. Those that do will continue to reap the ultimate rewards: stronger revenue and retention across locations.