Business is booming in the fitness and wellness industry, and examining what worked in 2019 helps predict what we’ll see in 2020. Read a preview of our 2020 fitness trends e-book and download it below to get all the trends instantly. Check out other e-books and webinars at our ClassPass Partner Resource Center.

Automated Technology

2020 Fitness Trend: Automated technology is gaining strength

Automation frees up time and can help maximize revenue, allowing fitness businesses to thrive.

Tech to save time
If you’re running a fitness or wellness venture, you’re likely always on the lookout for ways to optimize your most precious resource — time. The past year saw an influx in automations to make life easier and more efficient for business owners in the health and wellness industry. Especially for small business owners doing it all themselves, or with a small team, the need to automate has become clear. Automating technology takes the strain out of everyday tasks — from facilities management to operations and marketing.

ClassPass has introduced SmartTools to automate and optimize tedious tasks for partners. SmartSpot is ClassPass’ intelligent spot management tool, designed to help studio partners fill spots they are not likely to fill on their own. It looks at a studio’s fill history and real-time reservations to predict the spots they are not likely to fill directly and automatically lists them with ClassPass. To read more about one studio’s experience with SmartSpot, check out this Q&A.

Tech for revenue optimization
Dynamic pricing has become more widespread in the fitness industry — and for good reason. Another aspect of ClassPass SmartTools, SmartRate uses the power of machine learning to dynamically price classes automatically. SmartRate was designed to help maximize studio revenue by dynamically pricing class spots. By charging users less for low-demand spots and more for popular ones, SmartRate aims to drive reservations to less popular spots and earn partners more overall — an automation meant to make this admin task a thing of the past.

Industry Crossover

2020 Fitness Trend: Learn and grow by noticing wins in similar industries

Inspiration can come from anywhere and strike at any moment. Exploring successful practices from other fields can help the fitness industry innovate and grow.

Delight more customers, make more money
Applying learnings from other industries can help fitness studios and gyms improve the member experience and generate more revenue. By learning about how to connect and engage with customers online from best in class retail brands and about how to implement pricing strategy from top hotel and airline businesses, the fitness industry will be able to make significant strides. 

Retail and e-commerce
Discovering and attracting new customers is key for the growth and longevity of any business. Leading brands in the consumer retail business do this particularly well — they leverage engaging content and powerful technology to create personalized user experiences. Like fitness businesses, retail businesses often have both online and offline presence and need to maintain brand standards and keep customers engaged across both. 

  • Use personalization to maximize your digital marketing 
  • Remove friction to propel business
  • Engagement is essential

Hotels and airlines
Applying revenue management principles to the business of fitness and developing a longterm revenue strategy can help studio and gym owners increase their revenue-generating potential. The goal of revenue strategy is to sell as many spots for the highest value possible — whether that’s a seat on a plane, a bed in a hotel or a spot on the mat in a yoga class.

Smart Targeting

2020 Fitness Trend: Data-driven business decisions can target customers where they are

Finding a target audience is an integral step in any business plan; but getting smarter about how to hone and reach those potential clients is where we’re headed. More fitness businesses are already using some kind of data to tailor their offerings. Knowledge is power, so understanding your market, your demographic and how to tailor your business to fit those needs, with the help of user behavior insights, is trending. Working with a fitness marketplace like ClassPass, businesses can gain valuable information about what’s hot to offer — and when — based on extensive user data.

By the numbers
According to ClassPass user data*, the most popular time of day to work out is 5:30 p.m. — and fitness enthusiasts are most likely to attend a sweat session on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Put these trends into action at your studio or gym in 2020 and ensure your schedule is packed with post workday options, especially during the weekdays.

Strength training proved to be the most popular fitness genre of 2019 (check out our full round-up of 2019 fitness trends here), with meditation leading the wellness category. Could it be time to think about offering options to strengthen both body and mind at your venue heading into 2020? Read the blog post, “Should You Add Another Workout Genre to Your Studio?” to learn more. Another way to try out this trend could be adding mindful moments or a short meditation session to cap off your HIIT class.

Community Experience

2020 Fitness Trend: Reach beyond traditional marketing with a next-level community experience

Tribe, squad, fit fam, team — fitness businesses and instructors throw these phrases around all the time in their marketing and in class. Creating community is the ultimate way to build a loyal membership base in fitness

Members want to belong
A sense of belonging is a human, psychological need that being part of a group or team can help fulfill. Building community helps build commitment— bonds with other people can serve as motivators as well as drive happiness. When your clients connect to your studio or gym on a personal level based on interactions with your brand, your team and other members, they’ll keep coming back for more.

All about inclusivity
These activities and unique moments are memorable experiences for members that bond them to each other and your brand — ultimately creating a strong, vibrant community. Moving into 2020, consider who makes up your community. Ultimately, your community is each individual who steps through your door, hops on a treadmill or clips into the bike. Fragmenting your community, or making anyone feel excluded is outdated. The way forward is uniting your community, ensuring everyone feels welcome and accepted.

Instructors are community leaders
Instructors are the cornerstones of any fitness community. They are the leaders in the classroom that inspire, motivate and engage members. They set the tone for your studio’s culture based on the energy they bring to the classroom, their playlists, what they post about online and even the athleisure they wear. Studio communities can stem from members leaning into your brand’s culture, so it’s imperative to hire instructors that represent your brand well. Selecting and managing talent is essential for the growth of a fitness business.

Evolving standards
Instructors are also a key part of what a fitness business would consider to be supply — it doesn’t always matter which equipment you’ve selected or which yoga mats your clients practice on. They show up because of the person leading the class and pushing them to be their best. An instructor’s role is to create an inclusive environment and make sure that everyone in the room has a great, safe workout. They can do this through their programming and offering progressions and regressions in the movements. However, strong, positive cueing and the ability to connect with each member during the class is what sets great instructors apart from
good ones.

A talented instructor that can facilitate connections between members of a class through partner or team drills provides for the most powerful types of experiences. High-fiving members and remembering their names are also highly impactful as physical touch (though only with consent) and personal encouragement foster connection. The combination of connecting one on one and bringing a class together as a team creates a sense of loyalty and accountability that keeps the client coming back to class.

Engage members with events
Hosting events isn’t a new idea — it’s always been a great way to create more engagement with your clients. It enforces the idea that your studio or gym is a gathering place for the community and clients are more inclined to spend time there outside of class. The power of these events, and the need to think outside the predictable happenings, will be important in 2020. Examples of events a gym or studio could host include theme classes, contests, pop-up shops, happy hours, and outdoor experiences. Joining in local events can also be another way to expand your brand’s reach and connect with new, like-minded members that could fit into the fabric of the community you’re building.

Having your instructors volunteer or coach at a wellness pop-up or fitness festival also helps your studio connect to the community that it’s located within. Events are an excellent way to surprise and delight your clients and they are also a great way to help clients start thinking of your venue as a “third place” — the place other than home or work where they would want to spend a significant portion of their time.

Staying on top of trends in the fitness and wellness industry is key for business owners. Using technology and data to work smarter, thinking outside the box to build community and looking to established industries for best practices are trends we’ve seen grow — and we predict will be on the rise in 2020.

*Data is based on an average of all ClassPass user reservation data from January-November 2019

Want more? Fitness business owners, download our free e-book to get all of the 2020 fitness trends.