Fitness Aggregator Changing the Landscape of the Indian Fitness Industry
From cloud-based software for centre managers, trainers, consumers can track performance and fitness schedules, Fit-tech aggregators have it all
Fitness, as we know, has undergone a change in the last decade. Breaking many perception barriers, health & fitness have become integral and actionable conversations of our day to day lives.
It is integrated with more awareness and deliberation into the lifestyles choices of today's consumers. For instance, reading the nutrition facts of a product, choosing vegan or organic fresh produce, or counting the steps we are walking in a day is simply evidence of how much premium today's consumer puts on personal health & fitness.
Fit times ahead
Not just tier 1, the extension of the optical fibre network and increased penetration of wi-fi, has allowed for the adoption of tech-based fitness platforms in tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well. In fact, 33% of our users are from these cities.
More consumers are Smartphone savvy today, allowing the fit-tech companies to increase awareness and user base. AI or Artificial Intelligence today is fuelling market penetration by turning our iPhones into personal trainers and dieticians, addressing the consumers' pain point of the paucity of time and inconvenience of travel. Statista's prediction is no surprise than that in the Apps segment; the number of users is expected to amount to 158.4m by 2023.
Revenue in the Indian fitness industry is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2023) of 7.2%, resulting in a market volume of US$2,083m by 2023 according to Statista.
Aggregators paving the path ahead
The tide is certainly in favour of the fitness sector. A Mckinsey report encouragingly predicts wellness to be the next trillion dollar industry, but we still have a long road ahead to cover in a nation as diverse and vast as India.
Cultural mindsets, the short attention span of the user, verifiability of trainers, member retention, and fast-changing trends remain real, on the ground issues for this growing industry to tackle. Aggregators entering the online space hold promise, separating these concerns, to adjust the offerings according to the customers' individual requirements. They are set to work as accelerators in the next phase of growth for the following reasons:
Target variety of market segments
While the teenagers and younger audience are motivated towards achieving good looks, the main motivator for the older population is staying healthy. A platform that showcases a variety of possibilities, tailor-made fitness options for the customers, attracts business from all quarters. For instance, personal training sessions for customers with physical or health limitations, senior citizens' outdoor yoga classes or spinning classes for young mothers during school hours- all carry a unique inbuilt solution keeping the customer's pain point in mind.
Discoverability & Equal Opportunity
Smaller facilities and big clubs alike can be found in a single online marketplace. This gives the service providers a vast consumer base and a new channel to showcase their business, multiplying their sales outlets. Alongside it creates a level playing field for big clubs and individual training specialists alike.
Quality of service
When service providers are put through stringent checks for quality and qualification before the on-boarding process, it creates greater trust in the minds of the user, eliminating another deterrent to making fitness a part of their daily routine. Also, creating such an ecosystem for the health & fitness providers pushes them to bring their best in terms of offerings & service quality.
Better Industry retention rates
In the fast-paced lives of modern times, customers get bored easily. Even if it isn't a short attention span fuelled by aggressive advertising of new techniques, it could be because customers are not enjoying what they are doing. With aggregator platforms, the user can choose from a variety of fitness options to keep boredom from setting in. CrossFit, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Bootcamp, Suspension training, fighting sports, Aerobics remain the common favourites with new additions to the menu. Aggregator sites also offer tech-based provisions for providers, to be able to use in order to push personalized motivators. For instance, gamification & reward programs can be used to drive user engagement.
Online is not just the way to shop for the new age Indian. Going forward, the digital market space is where all the business shall happen. Customers also prefer aggregator sites as opposed to provider sites when weighing their options. This is already evidenced by the many successful travel or food aggregator sites.
Alongside, moving away from the full-service gyms, users are showing a preference for portable consumer fitness tech apps to stay fit in an online way. To tap this segment, Fit-tech aggregator platforms, which offer cloud-based software for centre managers, trainers and consumers, can track performance and fitness schedules to make for a more engaging customer experience.