Payments as in getting money from clients or, in gyms' case, members, are the most critical aspect for any business. We don't have to explain why is that, right? Then why would you not simplify as much as possible the way your members can pay for your services?!?
According to recent studies, e-commerce in Europe is valued at €717 billion in 2020. Though fitness is an industry that relies significantly on face-to-face interactions with members, that doesn't mean you cannot digitize some aspects of your business, including the payment process.
Just like any store, your fitness center can sell memberships and services online. Implementing online payments means a lot less work for your team and a convenient way for members to renew their memberships or purchase services.
Online payments mean that anyone can purchase a membership to your gym on the spot, no matter the time or place. Because this action is immediate, the client has virtually no time to change their mind ar be discouraged by the fact that they have to go to the gym for this task.
An online payment system for gym services can be easily implemented, and the return on investment is surprisingly large.
In short, an online payment system means that your gym can sell memberships and services online. More precisely, anyone can purchase a membership on your website or using a mobile app. That person fills in their contact information, chooses a service or membership type, stets its start date, and then pays for it with their bank card, through an online payment processing platform.
This system must be integrated with the gym management platform so that when someone performs the task described above, the management system will automatically create a member profile in the database with their contact info, and allocate the membership or service that was purchased.
The system should also activate that membership or service and email the person the invoice and member contract. Ideally, all these tasks are done automatically and are not managed manually by a gym employee.
The most important benefit of online payments for a gym is increasing the retention rate. Online payments for memberships make renewals so much easier for members. They receive an automatic notification about their membership expiring and a quick way to renew it on the post, without going to the gym in person
How many times haven't you had to deal with this scenario: a member rarely uses their membership, and when it expires, they constantly reschedule their next visit when they should renew it. And then you lose another member.
On the other hand, the online payment option is a lot more persuasive for any member, because they won't have too much time to change their mind. Renewal is an action they can perform on the spot, at any given time, wherever they are.
Selling services online also means that new clients can create their member account online. That way, they don't have to visit the gym, fill in forms and documents just s they can finally purchase a membership.
For those with no experience working out at a gym, this habit can seem complicated and intimidating. But with online payments, they cand create their member account at home and decide on their own which service or membership to purchase without feeling roped in to buy something they don't want.
Whether we are talking about campaigns on social media or offline, for a gym, these offers are strictly connected to the person showing up at the gym. More precisely, someone cannot take advantage of your special offer of a free month for any membership purchased, if that person doesn't visit the gym and makes that purchase.
What do you think the result of such a campaign would be if the person who finds out about the offer from a Facebook post and clicks on the link embedded in the post can purchase said membership right away?
No matter what kind of sales or marketing campaigns you are running, it's imperative to measure your results to understand if your investment was worth it. With an online payment system that is appropriately set up, these measures are straightforward, because all your campaigns can translate in an exact number of memberships or services purchased. That way, you can immediately figure out the most effective marketing channels, and you can increase sales without significant investments.
What is the most complicated and long task your team at the reception desk must perform when it comes to members? I am sure selling a membership takes a lot of time and patience for both your employees and members. How about when you deal with a new member? It takes even more time, right?
Online payments eliminate these headaches. As long as the system is automated, your team at the front desk doesn't have to do much.
Depending on the way you run your gym, it's possible that when a new member visits the gym for the first time, your employees take their picture for their profile and activate a member card for them. If your gym also has a dedicated app with a digital member card, then the last task is no longer necessary.
Therefore, for each new member, your employees only have to take their picture for their member account, give them a tour of the facilities and answer any questions they might have.
This aspect is even more useful when most members renew their memberships when they also want to work out, usually during peak hours. That's an excellent way to overload the front desk with members checking in, attending a class, and on top of that, your employees must also sell memberships. All this a top speed, with no mistakes.
Considering the changes this year, you have certainly contemplated the idea of launching virtual workouts for your members. These services are very attractive to members, but it is crucial to get revenue from this investment. It's not enough to simply publish some workout videos on Facebook. If you want to make money out of these virtual workouts, you should provide them based on subscription, just like regular gym access.
Most people interested in virtual workouts are not very comfortable at the gym and are looking for alternatives. Therefore, you'll have a hard time convincing them to visit your gym with the sole purpose of purchasing a membership for virtual workouts — particularly those that don't live in the same city.
Only with an online payment system for memberships, you can successfully deploy virtual workouts and actually see a profit from that investment.
The fitness industry is competitive by definition. And on a saturated market with gyms and fitness studios, with the same equipment and group fitness classes, it's challenging to stand out.
That is why investing in digital tools that streamline members' activity is the most natural solution. The option of becoming a member online, at any moment, cand be more appealing than any fancy machine in the gym.
Anyone interested in joining a gym will look for information online before taking a tour of all the gyms in town. An online registration system will significantly contribute to an excellent first impression and will persuade easier that client to join your gym.
An online payment system for gym memberships and services has multiple benefits for your business and your members. The public is more and more used to purchasing products and services online, which means this is expected in any industry.
A well-configured system will automatically perform most tasks, from creating new member accounts to activating memberships purchased online and emailing invoices and member contracts. All these tasks are very time consuming for your employees, particularly if members renew their memberships during rush hour when the front desk is already crowded.
Because online payments can give the client a precise action they can perform right away, your sales and marketing campaigns will have much better results.
The purpose of your special offers, both online and offline, is to sell memberships. If those campaigns promote a particular link where the client can make the purchase online, and not the action of visiting the gym, your results will be a lot easier to measure.
Gyms and fitness centers must always be preoccupied with their members' experience, not just in the gym and in classes, but outside their walls too. Investing in digitization and automation is the smartest solution to provide members with the best possible experience, no matter the circumstances.
There is an easier way to get more members! Communicate efficiently with them through automated emails, provide them the option to purchase memberships online, delight them with a professional mobile app and member account, and surprise them with fast services at the reception desk.
With UPfit.cloud, everything is done quickly, and you can start seeing results in a matter of days. Find out the advantages of our platform in a 20-minute demo session.
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We have created a series of free guides that will help expand your gym: advice on increasing sales, lead management, optimising your online marketing strategy, creating a corporate program, and so much more. There are dozens of e-books and guides with useful information and ideas for ambitious gyms, that are willing to use all the tools available to grow their business and recruit more members.