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features

Tech series: Need an app?

With Millennials viewing their smartphones as an extension of themselves, apps are becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a must-have. But who can health club operators turn to if they want to create an app for their members? Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Booking classes on the go is still the most popular app function / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Booking classes on the go is still the most popular app function / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Alex Peacock,

VP international,

Netpulse

Alex Peacock
Alex Peacock

Netpulse offers white-labelled apps which can be launched with the club’s own branding and user interface in under six weeks. We’ve invested heavily to ensure our platform can integrate with all member management software, fitness equipment and wearable devices, offering clubs maximum flexibility.

We work with thousands of health clubs worldwide, from single sites to some of the largest fitness operators in the world including 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, Orangetheory, DW Sports, Nuffield Health and énergie Fitness.

Netpulse is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) product, so clubs can pick the features that are right for them without paying any upfront development costs – just a monthly licence fee for the app as a fully managed service. Clubs wanting to build their own unique features can just add them on top of the standard platform. Packages for individual club operators start from £200 a month.

We’ve seen clubs triple their referrals by having a quick, frictionless way of referring friends digitally. Another powerful advantage is that, because mobile devices are location-aware, your app will know when members are in the club and will be able to send them targeted push messages based on their behaviour.

Tim Williams,

Business development,

Innovatise

Tim Williams
Tim Williams

Innovatise launched myFitApp in 2010. An off-the-shelf, customisable app, it has broad functionality including easy updates for news and the option for members to share information on social media and recommend friends. It can also market to users based on their location.

Depending on requirements, it typically costs a few thousand pounds to set up the apps and then around £100 per site, per month, for multi-site operators to run them. It’s well worth the investment, because an app can play a major role in retention, branding, new member acquisition, new revenue sources and building and monetising an audience.

Our customers are worldwide but mostly in the UK, US and Europe. We have over 330 sites in the UK using Innovatise technology with over 250,000 downloads.

Hugo Braam,

CEO,

Virtuagym

Hugo Braam
Hugo Braam

Virtuagym started out as a consumer app, so our system has been designed for ease of use.

We offer seven software solutions in one integrated offering, for which the apps serve as a mobile interface: membership management and billing, access control, point of sale, scheduling, nutrition coaching, exercise prescription and an online community.

But an app must be aligned with the goals and needs of the business: clubs should ask themselves what their members need and expect from the app and how it could improve the customer journey.

With that in mind, alongside our default app options, we can also customise the experience like we did for Dutch gym chain Trainmore. Trainmore has a great business model that rewards people who go to the gym more often, by discounting their membership based on how regularly they attend. Trainmore clients can see how much discount they’re getting in real time thanks to a discount tracker in our mobile app.

We call our license model ‘pay-as-you-grow’, which means smaller businesses pay less than larger ones. A trainer can offer a branded app experience from €39 a month. Clubs typically pay around €150 to €250 for our full solution, depending on size and modules used.

Antony Davies,

National sales manager,

Gladstone

Antony Davies
Antony Davies

The Mobile Pro app can be bespoke branded for the club and enables customers to book and pay for classes in real time. Easily managed via the web cockpit, it includes a full schedule module, with opening hours and class timetable.

Soon to be released will be a news feature with push notification functionality, which will allow an operator to publish a news article and send to all members in less than a minute.

Members can tag favourites and share bookings, news and information across social media platforms, and the ‘refer a friend’ lead generation module allows operators to promote offers to members in return for referrals.

When The University of Portsmouth launched the app across its three leisure centres, it saw a dramatic boost in online transactions and a drastic drop-off in phone call bookings, freeing up its customer service team for other duties. Class bookings are the most popular use, accounting for 64 per cent of hits.

Paul Bowman,

CEO,

Wexer

Paul Bowman
Paul Bowman

The success of a fitness-focused app lies in its ability to track everything in one place, and then extract meaningful insights. We work hand-in-hand with clubs to ensure the app is integrated into their digital ecosystem. The Wexer app is also compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit, so integrates with any health or fitness app linked to these platforms.

Our app has been designed to engage members and encourage behaviour change. For example, members can live-stream group exercise classes from the gym to their mobile device, allowing them to take part wherever they are. They can also create personalised workouts based on factors such as skill level, equipment availability and workout length.

For members who require feedback, there are a number of ways clubs can celebrate success, one of which is through the ‘challenges and leaderboards’ feature.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
It’s possible to live-stream classes from the gym to people’s mobiles / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
It’s possible to live-stream classes from the gym to people’s mobiles / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/705655_196517.jpg
With the majority of Millennials owning a smartphone, apps are becoming a must-have tool for businesses. So who should operators turn to if they want to build one? We talk to the developers.
Kath Hudson, Journalist, Leisure Media Alex Peacock, Netpulse: VP international Tim Williams, Innovatise: Business development Hugo Braam, Virtuagym: CEO Antony Davies, Gladstone: National sales manager Paul Bowman, Wexer: CEO,myfitapp,health club operators, Alex peacock, netpulse, tim williams, innovatise, myfitapp, hugo braam, virtuagym, antony davies, gladstone, paul bowman, wexer
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features

Tech series: Need an app?

With Millennials viewing their smartphones as an extension of themselves, apps are becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a must-have. But who can health club operators turn to if they want to create an app for their members? Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Booking classes on the go is still the most popular app function / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Booking classes on the go is still the most popular app function / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Alex Peacock,

VP international,

Netpulse

Alex Peacock
Alex Peacock

Netpulse offers white-labelled apps which can be launched with the club’s own branding and user interface in under six weeks. We’ve invested heavily to ensure our platform can integrate with all member management software, fitness equipment and wearable devices, offering clubs maximum flexibility.

We work with thousands of health clubs worldwide, from single sites to some of the largest fitness operators in the world including 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, Orangetheory, DW Sports, Nuffield Health and énergie Fitness.

Netpulse is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) product, so clubs can pick the features that are right for them without paying any upfront development costs – just a monthly licence fee for the app as a fully managed service. Clubs wanting to build their own unique features can just add them on top of the standard platform. Packages for individual club operators start from £200 a month.

We’ve seen clubs triple their referrals by having a quick, frictionless way of referring friends digitally. Another powerful advantage is that, because mobile devices are location-aware, your app will know when members are in the club and will be able to send them targeted push messages based on their behaviour.

Tim Williams,

Business development,

Innovatise

Tim Williams
Tim Williams

Innovatise launched myFitApp in 2010. An off-the-shelf, customisable app, it has broad functionality including easy updates for news and the option for members to share information on social media and recommend friends. It can also market to users based on their location.

Depending on requirements, it typically costs a few thousand pounds to set up the apps and then around £100 per site, per month, for multi-site operators to run them. It’s well worth the investment, because an app can play a major role in retention, branding, new member acquisition, new revenue sources and building and monetising an audience.

Our customers are worldwide but mostly in the UK, US and Europe. We have over 330 sites in the UK using Innovatise technology with over 250,000 downloads.

Hugo Braam,

CEO,

Virtuagym

Hugo Braam
Hugo Braam

Virtuagym started out as a consumer app, so our system has been designed for ease of use.

We offer seven software solutions in one integrated offering, for which the apps serve as a mobile interface: membership management and billing, access control, point of sale, scheduling, nutrition coaching, exercise prescription and an online community.

But an app must be aligned with the goals and needs of the business: clubs should ask themselves what their members need and expect from the app and how it could improve the customer journey.

With that in mind, alongside our default app options, we can also customise the experience like we did for Dutch gym chain Trainmore. Trainmore has a great business model that rewards people who go to the gym more often, by discounting their membership based on how regularly they attend. Trainmore clients can see how much discount they’re getting in real time thanks to a discount tracker in our mobile app.

We call our license model ‘pay-as-you-grow’, which means smaller businesses pay less than larger ones. A trainer can offer a branded app experience from €39 a month. Clubs typically pay around €150 to €250 for our full solution, depending on size and modules used.

Antony Davies,

National sales manager,

Gladstone

Antony Davies
Antony Davies

The Mobile Pro app can be bespoke branded for the club and enables customers to book and pay for classes in real time. Easily managed via the web cockpit, it includes a full schedule module, with opening hours and class timetable.

Soon to be released will be a news feature with push notification functionality, which will allow an operator to publish a news article and send to all members in less than a minute.

Members can tag favourites and share bookings, news and information across social media platforms, and the ‘refer a friend’ lead generation module allows operators to promote offers to members in return for referrals.

When The University of Portsmouth launched the app across its three leisure centres, it saw a dramatic boost in online transactions and a drastic drop-off in phone call bookings, freeing up its customer service team for other duties. Class bookings are the most popular use, accounting for 64 per cent of hits.

Paul Bowman,

CEO,

Wexer

Paul Bowman
Paul Bowman

The success of a fitness-focused app lies in its ability to track everything in one place, and then extract meaningful insights. We work hand-in-hand with clubs to ensure the app is integrated into their digital ecosystem. The Wexer app is also compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit, so integrates with any health or fitness app linked to these platforms.

Our app has been designed to engage members and encourage behaviour change. For example, members can live-stream group exercise classes from the gym to their mobile device, allowing them to take part wherever they are. They can also create personalised workouts based on factors such as skill level, equipment availability and workout length.

For members who require feedback, there are a number of ways clubs can celebrate success, one of which is through the ‘challenges and leaderboards’ feature.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
It’s possible to live-stream classes from the gym to people’s mobiles / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
It’s possible to live-stream classes from the gym to people’s mobiles / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/705655_196517.jpg
With the majority of Millennials owning a smartphone, apps are becoming a must-have tool for businesses. So who should operators turn to if they want to build one? We talk to the developers.
Kath Hudson, Journalist, Leisure Media Alex Peacock, Netpulse: VP international Tim Williams, Innovatise: Business development Hugo Braam, Virtuagym: CEO Antony Davies, Gladstone: National sales manager Paul Bowman, Wexer: CEO,myfitapp,health club operators, Alex peacock, netpulse, tim williams, innovatise, myfitapp, hugo braam, virtuagym, antony davies, gladstone, paul bowman, wexer
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Company profile: Absolute Performance
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Company profile: Spivi
Spivi is an immersive fitness gamification platform that helps gym operators to achieve better retention ...
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Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Zoom Media press release: Zoom Media UK partners with Your Personal Training to expand rewards platform to PT clients
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ABC Trainerize press release: How RockBox Fitness is energizing members with fitness challenges powered by ABC Trainerize
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