Brick-and-mortar fitness outlets had their shutters closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost immediately, technology kicked in to provide a replacement through increases in at-home exercise sessions and home exercise and health equipment purchases online. eBay, for example, witnessed a 1980% rise in the sales of dumbbells during the 2020 lockdown period compared to March and April of 2019. As per Marketing Strategies Research posits that the most popular items were dumbbells and activity trackers. The global fitness equipment market, in 2020, stood at USD 11.6 billion and is expected to touch USD 14.8 billion by 2028.
Impact of COVID on the fitness industry
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted life across the board, as we all know it. And yet, fitness and sports equipment purchases witnessed a 23% increase since the Coronavirus outbreak. The number is in tandem with people resorting to makeshift gyms and taking to live-streaming classes as their new normal. Not only individuals but even big and small businesses took to Omnify and Zoom Integration.
In response, the GYMS Act (Gyms Mitigation and Survival Act) in the US has since received 130 sponsors. Moreover, the Covid Era Fitness Consumer reported that people with a higher risk of Covid-19 are doubling down on health club commitments as 60% aim to be more physically active.
Yet another aspect is the most popular workouts amid the pandemic. Yoga stands as the top contender. According to Mindbody, 32% of virtual bookings were for yoga. According to Mindbody, yoga will continue to retain its popularity even when the studios reopen. Following yoga, the virtual bookings had High-Intensity Interval Training at 15.6%, Pilates at 8.3% and Barre at 7.9%.
Is digital fitness here to stay?
According to a survey, 46% state the intent to make virtual classes an integral part of their routine, even after studios reopen. About one-third also plan to visit more studios after trying new workouts virtually. Also, about 40% of consumers are booking sessions with studios that they did not visit physically earlier. Given this, the growth of the eCommerce share can be anticipated to grow even further in the coming year.
How can you scale your fitness eCommerce business this holiday season?
Data and analytics are a big part of the business ecosystem. With that said, fitness eCommerce brands can scale up their businesses through real-time insights and automation. A classic example is Lululemon. The technical apparel retailer used real-time data to amp up ‘yoga at home’ content and ads for its YouTube channel. The approach saw its YouTube channel subscribers count go up by a whopping 89% and registered an awe-inspiring 950,000 of watched YouTube content.
Another approach is keeping a tab on consumer habits. For instance, most turned to online shopping. According to The Monitor, during the lockdown, the demand for fitness products has increased multifold.
Five marketing strategies to get your ROI in shape
Give something away
A freebie is very enticing. Such offers propel positivity and hope towards the brand. Think of this as a free or trial period. It is common for software and subscriptions. So, why not with fitness products? What’s more, holidays are filled with excitement and exhilaration. So make a good day even better for the customers. You can offer a complimentary holiday meal plan, a free personal training visit or even a free exercise class.
Create a challenge
While holidays are about going all-out and enjoying, you can flip the narrative by creating a challenge. It could be for weight loss or healthy eating. These are in tandem with resolutions and post-holiday resets.
- Build the rules and framework for the challenge
- Advertise it to your current customers
- Offer discounts (or freebies) if they get new signees, friends and family
Alternatively, you can also allow the members to share and post their workout regimes.
Engage in Cross-Promotion
The gamut of health and fitness includes other related services such as nutrition coaching and diet management. If you are a fitness eCommerce aggregator, you can collaborate with nutritionists to create a health package for the customers. The essence here is that of bundled deals. These tactics can help you reach out to larger audiences than a solo campaign. Influencer marketing is yet another way. You can get some guidance at Grin or Wodsites.
Send Holiday Cards (with a Promotion!)
Sending holiday greetings using cards is an effective way to pander with your customers. While the likes of customer cards are a cliché, they still work! So, get some creative minds on board and carve out some animated and quirky images, if you may. The point is to make your greetings relatable and relevant to your audiences. If done right, holiday cards make for an excellent way of forging emotional bonds and connections. You can use some tactics from Tinyprints and The Blueprint.
Client Reactivation Campaign
Here’s where leveraging technology is crucial. You can send reminders to customers when they haven’t been on your digital platform for a long time. In this instance, enquire about the reason and give an incentive to return. If there had been an issue earlier, make sure it is resolved or an alternative solution made available. Keep the unique needs and circumstances of the user in mind. Next, focus on clarity, not something flashy. The latter can make you come off as pushy and overselling. Last, be consistent across all channels.
It is in the best interests of fitness institutions to take to online forums. Even in the post-pandemic days, virtual sessions are here to stay! It is no aberration! The move marks a paradigm shift and will be integral to the 2020s new-normal.
You can accentuate your digital journey with us at Adapty. We help you scale up customer engagement through a reimagined interface, delivering mobility solutions that reach your audience right where they are. Talk to one of our fitness eCommerce experts today.