Don't Miss ABC Fitness at IHRSA 2024 - Find Out More

RESOURCES / Blog


Transform Your Member Experience: Why Your Fitness Business Needs a Club-Branded App 

January 12, 2024

Table of Contents:

  1. Why Your Gym Needs a Mobile-Friendly Member Experience 
  2. Why a Club Branded App is Better 
  3. The 5 Features of the Best Gym Apps 
  4. How to Get Members to Download Your App 
  5. Engage Your Members and Deliver Exceptional Experiences

Why Your Gym Needs a Mobile-Friendly Member Experience 

When it comes to the modern gym, technology plays a key role in enhancing the member experience. The integration of new software has reshaped how people join, engage, and commit to their fitness journeys. From the surge in online joins to seamless member self-service, the incorporation of technology is vital for a successful gym. 

This is why gym owners need to consider introducing a club-branded app to their business plan. A club-branded app can serve as a powerful tool for gym owners to connect with their members, streamline operations, and create a more engaging and personalized fitness experience. It can also contribute significantly to member retention, satisfaction, and overall business success. 

Some other reasons why it’s important for gym owners to invest in a branded app include: 

1. Online Joins: A Digital Onboarding Revolution 

Over the past few years, online joins have experienced a staggering 39% increase, with a notable 62% belonging to the tech-savvy Millennial and Gen Z demographics.

The beauty of online joins lies in their simplicity; prospective members can initiate their fitness journey without the need for face-to-face interactions. This digital onboarding trend signifies a shift towards a more convenient and accessible joining process. 

2. Member Self-Management: Empowering Fitness Journeys 

Member self-management is at the heart of the tech-enabled gym experience. The demand for 24/7 self-service access is met through dynamic web portals and user-friendly mobile apps.

From scheduling classes on-the-go to managing payments effortlessly, the modern fitness enthusiast seeks control when it comes to their fitness routine. This not only fosters a sense of empowerment but also allows for a more personalized and tailored fitness experience. 

3. Blended Classes: Bridging Physical and Digital Realms 

Gyms that successfully bridge the gap between their physical location and digital presence are bound to see success. As the world embraces blended classes, 88% of gym members express their intent to continue digital workouts post-pandemic. Strikingly, 59% of consumers prefer a 60:40 split between in-gym and digital workouts.

This shift signifies a need for flexibility, and gyms that offer both options are twice as likely to engage their members, highlighting the importance of adapting to evolving consumer preferences. 

Check out our recent webinar, Embrace Tech: Unleash Your Growth and Member Experience, during which we share some of the latest and greatest enhancements and features from our gym management software platform, including: 

– Enhancing the online join experience 

– Empowering members to manage their accounts 

– Maximizing member engagement 

– Expand your collection efforts 

You can watch the full recording here

The Benefits of a Club-Branded App

While generic fitness apps offer a broad range of features and cater to various fitness businesses, a club-branded app can offer several advantages tailored to the unique needs and identity of a particular gym. The decision between a club-branded app and a generic one depends on a club’s overall goals, branding strategy, and the level of customization that management is comfortable with. 

Here are some reasons to consider a club-branded app instead of a generic fitness platform: 

  • Branding and Identity: A club-branded app allows you as a gym owner to reinforce your facility’s brand identity. This consistency in branding creates a cohesive and recognizable image for your gym, fostering a sense of loyalty among current (and future) members. 
  • Personalization: Club-branded apps such as Ignite Engagement can be customized to align with the specific services, classes, and features offered by a specific gym. This level of personalization enhances the user experience and caters to the unique needs of a gym’s community. 
  • Member Engagement: A club-branded app can be designed with your gym’s community in mind, offering features that encourage member interaction, such as forums, social feeds, and challenges. This fosters a stronger sense of belonging and engagement compared to generic platforms. 
  • Tailored Features: Specific features such as class schedules, trainer profiles, and facility information, can be seamlessly integrated into a club-branded app. This in turn enhances the app’s relevance to your members and provides easy access to any specific information they may need. 
  • Seamless Integration: A club-branded app can usually be integrated with existing management systems, making it easier to manage memberships, track attendance, and gather data specific to the gym’s operations. This level of integration isn’t as seamless when it comes to generic fitness apps. 
  • Exclusive Offers and Promotions: Gym owners can use a club-branded app to offer exclusive promotions, discounts, or rewards to members. This personalized approach contributes to member retention and satisfaction. 
  • Consistent User Experience:  Members using a club-branded app are able to experience a consistent look and feel across all touchpoints with the gym, including the physical space, website, and any promotional materials. This consistency enhances their overall member experience. 
  • Direct Communication: A club-branded app provides a direct communication channel between your gym and its members. Push notifications and in-app messages can be tailored to the gym’s communication style, ensuring that members receive relevant and timely information. 

The 5 Best Features of Gym Apps

The top fitness apps include a wide variety of features to deliver a holistic, personalized, and engaging experience for their users. This approach not only attracts users but also encourages long-term engagement. 

Enhance Your Gym Membership Software with An Integrated App 

Extend the reach of your club outside the walls of your facility, with a mobile experience that’s seamlessly connected to your gym membership software and billing platform.  

Request a demo of Ignite Engagement today

Features commonly found in the top club-branded apps include: 

1. Class Scheduling and Booking

Most club-branded apps allow members to view class schedules, book sessions, and receive reminders. They may include real-time availability updates, waitlist management, and the ability to book specific trainers or class types. 

2. Workout Tracking and Progress

The top club-branded apps often include features for members to log and track their workouts. This can include exercise history, performance metrics, and progress tracking, providing a comprehensive overview of their fitness journey. 

3. Virtual Classes and On-Demand Content

Virtual classes and on-demand content have become increasingly popular. Increasingly, gym members want the ability to access pre-recorded workouts, follow virtual classes in real-time, or choose sessions that fit their schedule, providing flexibility in their fitness routines. 

4. Social Integration and Community Building

Social features such as community forums, activity feeds, and member profiles contribute to a sense of belonging. Your members can connect, share achievements, and participate in challenges, which in turn fosters a supportive fitness community. 

5. Push Notifications and Alerts

Apps often leverage push notifications to send reminders, updates, and personalized messages to keep members engaged. This can include reminders for upcoming classes, promotions, or other relevant information.  

How to Get Members to Download Your Fitness App 

17 Templates to Streamline Communication With Your Members in 2024

E-books

Encouraging members to download and use a club-branded app can significantly enhance engagement, communication, and overall satisfaction with your club. And with three million members actively using Ignite Engagement’s club-branded app, it’s clear that implementing a mobile strategy for your club is vital for success. 

The key is to add value to your members’ fitness experience while making their interaction with the gym more convenient (and enjoyable). 

Here are five strategies we recommend implementing to promote the download of your club-branded app among members: 

1. Incentivization  

The most straightforward route to getting members to download your club-branded app is to motivate them with exclusive discounts, promotions, or even special access to your latest content. Implementing a loyalty program within the app to reward members for consistent use is also an effective way to increase downloads.  

2. Useful and Valuable Features

It’s vital that your club-branded app provides features that will enhance the overall member experience, such as workout tracking, class schedules, nutrition tips, and payment management.  

3. Gamification 

Incorporating gamification elements into your club-branded app is another fantastic way of encouraging member downloads. For reference, ABC Fitness saw 37,000 members dive into challenges over 2023.  

So, whether it be through creating challenges, leaderboards, or rewards for completing certain tasks, gamification is an excellent way to encourage engagement within a club-branded app.  

4. Personalized Content

Personalization also adds value to a club-branded app. Consider delivering personalized content to your members, such as customized workout plans, nutrition tips, curated streaming, video workout libraries, habit coaching, and even virtual personal training calls. 

Some club-branded apps are even capable of helping to motivate members with personalized notifications and challenges based on custom behavioral triggers. 

5. Free Trials

Finally, another way to encourage your members to download your club-branded app is by offering a limited-time free trial or exclusive content within the app. This will help foster initial interest and can lead to long-term engagement. 

Engage Your Members and Deliver Exceptional Experiences with Ignite Engagement 

The decision to choose a club-branded app or a generic platform depends on you and your facility. While generic apps can be a quick solution, club-branded apps offer a more tailored and immersive experience for you and your members. 

By embracing self-service options through a club-branded app, gym owners can adapt to changing communication preferences and create an efficient digital—and in-club—fitness experience. 

With Ignite Engagement, you’ll be able to extend the reach of your club outside the walls of your facility, with a mobile experience that’s seamlessly connected to your gym membership software and billing platform. Plus, the administrative capabilities of the software will save time for your members, your staff, and you.  

Request a demo today and learn how Ignite Engagement can take ABC Ignite’s gym membership software capabilities to the next level.