Key focus areas:

  1. Current Trend (declining memberships)
  2. Financial Impact of Current Trend (How much money was lost)
  3. Silver Lining (Companies found creative ways to survive and new startups have emerged)
  4. What upside is currently being seen by the alternative route to markets?
  5. Expert Ecommerce can help your business.

The world has been rocked to its core and the need for e-commerce solutions is on the increase due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. This is blatantly clear for all to see. One industry that has been on the receiving end and felt the impact of Covid-19 more that some others, is fitness industry. Memberships to gyms and fitness centres have plummeted in recent months as customers cancelled their contracts. 

When New York-based fitness studio chain, Fhitting Room, closed its doors last March, founder Kari Saitowitz didn’t imagine virtual corporate clients would become their fastest growing segment throughout the shutdown. Almost a year later, the eight-year-old company’s online live classes are gaining popularity with employers, including Estee Lauder, JP Morgan and Pandora.

Fitness and wellness brands are taking advantage of corporate clients’ interest by adding these large accounts to offset the loss of physical visits. In turn, studios like Fhitting Room and Equinox, along with fitness class marketplaces like ClassPass and Gympass, are gaining appeal among employer wellness programs. 

In the United States, Vitual gym sessions have become the trend as a lifeline for gyms as they’ve struggled throughout the pandemic. According to recent data by the International Health, Racquet & Sports club Association (IHRSA), the fitness industry as a whole lost $7 billion in revenue as of last July, and continues to lose revenue throughout the second wave of non-essential business shutdowns. 

Planet Fitness, for example, saw year-over-year revenue decrease by 36.8% to $61.4 million during during the third quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, digital fitness itself has benefited from at-home customers. The virtual workout industry hit $5 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to $30 billion by 2026, according to Global Market Insights. And according to IHRSA’s 2020 Health Club Consumer Report, 20% of health club members are currently using a premium online fitness service. 

For gyms and specialized studios, it’s the perfect time to market their group fitness services as alternatives to happy hours or virtual game nights, said Saitowitz. The company’s on-demand and Zoom-enabled HIIT and strength training classes have been especially popular among groups of employees. As of January 2021, 10% of Fhitting Room’s revenue comes from private corporate sessions, with half of those being recurring classes. Prior to the pandemic, corporate clients were only considered on a case-by-case basis, as it was an area Fhitting Room wasn’t focused on at the time, Saitowitz said.

These trends due to the pandemic, spread globally as there is no end in sight to the ever-lasting crisis. As doors continue to close, the need to stay healthy gives Ecommerce companies an added revenue stream by focusing on personalised fitness training ecommerce website development, to cater for fitness trainers needs for an income as a result of job losses in the industry.

Mark Nelson is the main author of this article and heads up the sales and marketing for Expert Ecommerce. His passion to see customers sell more is what makes him do research and share insights.  Feel free to reach out to Mark anytime for advice or to setup a consultation.

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