Technology is a powerful tool that can enhance a company’s overall success and inner workings--even in traditionally non-digital fields. For the health and fitness center, technology continues to revolutionize the way fitness is delivered to clients and members. The rise of SaaS cloud-based platforms, smart devices, and interactive fitness classes offers fitness clubs the ability to upgrade their services to a new level.
As the sector continues to grow, fitness companies will see a plethora of new tech tools and capabilities--and with so many options available, finding the best ones can be overwhelming.
Read on to learn about the top IT trends for health and fitness clubs you need to know about, and how they can benefit your company.
Top Trends for Health & Fitness Sector
1. Wearables 2.0
Wearables aren’t new to the market, but better technology and improved capabilities, like data tracking, greatly elevates their appeal. In fact, wearable smart device sales are projected to double 2022 and develop into a $27 billion market. These devices, like watches or wristbands, can help boost fitness member engagement and experience. With wearables collecting metrics like heart rate, steps, and step length, gyms that implement these devices can offer an elevated workout experience. By providing wearables to your members, or even syncing their personal devices with your clubs app, you can better engage your members--and entice them to remain loyal to your club.
AI is another upcoming trend the fitness sector can benefit from. Like wearables, AI has been around for a while--but it’s implementations into gyms and fitness centers is still relatively new. Using AI can help streamline and automate a number of processes and procedures, like class registration, answering services, online chatbots, and even financial insight to optimize company sales. Another desirable benefit of AI is that it enables your company to be available 24/7 to your members and prospective clients. For example, if a prospective member is interested in registering for a free trial, they can do it at any time of day, any day of the week. This allows your gym to provide around-the-clock customer services, and gives your IT team and staff the ability to optimize their time.
Gyms can also consider investing in AI-powered fitness apps, which help users properly work out and serve as a virtual trainer. In addition to physical training, AI-powered apps can also provide customized nutritional guidance, recommendations, and even meal planning, which is an important component of health and fitness. The reality is, fitness is not a one-size-fits-all approach-- and for some members, a different method of personal training may better suit them and their preferences.
3. CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) is another growing IT trend for the health and fitness sector. By 2024, the CRM market is expected to grow to $43.5 billion. CRM is widely used by many sectors, and is easily adaptable for fitness clubs. Implementing a CRM can help gyms manage prospective and current members, data, and workflows. It allows fitness clubs to streamline their marketing and sales efforts by offering email, social media, text, and even ad configuration.
On a more personal level, CRMs can enable gyms to nurture their individual members with contact profiles. For example, some clients may be more interested in cycling classes and other, yoga. By updating contact profiles in a CRM, fitness clubs can better segment information and promotions to their clients. CRM automates many processes, which also give staff more time to focus on other needs and tasks--like your members.
4. Smart Fitness Equipment
Smart fitness equipment can revolutionize the way your fitness clubs provide service. Unlike a treadmill or elliptical that tracks metrics like calories burned and distance, smart equipment aims to provide better insights in performance and workouts. They’re built to better read and track member performance, with a more accurate summary of metrics. For example, some smart equipment can provide weight lifters an automatic “spot” when struggling to complete a rep, or provide helpful feedback in real-time.
Built to better read and track client performance, smart fitness equipment provides helpful insights and metrics. The capabilities of smart equipment can give your gym an edge over other competing gyms by providing members with elevated service and fitness options. Internally, smart equipment is often cloud-based, which can help clubs keep track of member metrics, equipment use, and notify of any equipment needed. All of these features benefit both your members and your staff, while improving the service and amenities of your club.
5. Live Streaming Classes
Live streaming fitness classes are another upcoming IT trend for the fitness and health sector. Already implemented by some organizations, like Peloton, live streaming classes offer your members another way to connect when they aren’t at the gym. It also allows you to retain members by offering streaming classes, given that some people don’t have the capacity to physically make it to the gym. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 percent of Americans spent more time doing fitness routines online. Live streamed classes can also serve as a powerful method of building community amongst your members.
Live streaming offers fitness clubs the ability to keep track of attendance and analyze metrics in real time of participants--especially if they use wearables. Additionally, live streaming your classes allows you to expand your member base without putting a strain on your staff (and your budget).
6. Virtual Reality
Although VR has been around for a few years already, implementing it into the world of fitness is still a new concept. VR is popularly used for games and leisure--but it can also be utilized to promote a unique fitness experience. Fitness clubs can expect to see more gyms lean into the use of VR, especially because VR already carries a reputation of being exciting and interesting. VR could also improve workout performance of users, according to a University of Kent study--which could be a major draw for club members looking to level up their workouts.
7. Cloud-Based Backup
Lastly, the health and fitness sector can expect an increase in cloud-based backup platform use. With fitness clubs transitioning toward cloud-based CRMs, apps, and overall service, they need an effective backup and data management strategy in place. Additionally, when using cloud-based platforms and apps, company and member data can fall victim to cyberthreats, accidental deletion, and even malicious insiders. It’s essential that clubs backup the following:
- Class schedules
- Client leads
- Staff and member financial information
- Internal and marketing communications
- Gym equipment biometrics
Fitness clubs can rely on backup platforms, like Backupify, to ensure their data stays secured, protected, and always backed up. Read on to learn about how Backupify can help your club below.
Elevate Your Data Security & Management with Backupify
Protecting your club and member data should be a top priority for fitness clubs and centers. As the world continues to move online, so do risks and threats. That’s where Backupify can help you.
Backupify offers automated, customizable data protection, backup, and restoration capabilities. Our private cloud ensures your data stays secure and safe from cyber threats, as do our robust security regulations. Whether you’re using SaaS platforms like Microsoft 365, Google Workspaces, or even FitBit, all your data remains protected with Backupify.