The digitalized fitness and wellness industry

With a value of more than 3.7 trillion USD in 2016 and an even higher value expected for 2017, digital health, wellness and fitness trends have become a huge part of the digital industry.

Online studies found that digital health and fitness showed a growth of 10.6% within the last year, while other parts of the global economy shrank by 3.6%. While the U.S. is the leading market in the digital sports and wellness powerhouse, German fit-spending comes in second and is rapidly catching up.

These digital wellness trends can include fitness, clean eating, anti-aging and everything around well-being and beauty. By connecting with customers through online channels exclusively, the growth is now not limited to previous factors that might have restricted customers across the globe to local offers, like language or availability of certain products and streaming services in their region.

The largest and most rapidly growing digital fitness and wellness trends throughout the last two years:

  • High tech fitness devices, like trackers, monitors, etc.
  • Streaming services that offer an enormous library on the subject of fitness and wellbeing (think gaia.com)
  • Online workout programs, like beachbody, bodyboss or many more
  • Platforms for online coaches
  • Platforms for personal trainers online
  • Vitamins and supplements sales online
  • Clean eating platforms and online merchandise (think iTunes news mags)
  • Apps for tracking, sharing, documenting and doing a variety of workouts (think egym.com, myfitnesspal.com, etc.)

 

Digital fitness: now

 The extreme growth of the market covers all areas of fitness and wellness, like using the latest electronic gadgets to keep track of, and manage workouts, like fitness bands or trackers but also involves nutrition and the increase in fitness streaming services.

The VI headset, for example, uses artificial intelligence in order to improve the customers’ workouts (getvi.com) as well as sharing this information with a designated crowd.

Being connected to as many likeminded people and share food, workout or health tips and improvements does not only promote customer happiness with the online experience, but it also creates a feeling of bonding over a certain product, brand or program.

This leads to a very strong increase in the supporting customer service industry surrounding the wellness trends.

This can include customer service support for streaming providers, tech support and online content moderation support for fitness apps or trackers, CRM and data management to manage data collection as well as social media management.

With a large amount of fitness services now digitalized and the emotional factor involved for the consumer (let’s face it, staying on track with a healthy life style is hard), the customer satisfaction aspect is more important than ever. Considering the varying levels of support or service needed throughout a customer’s digital fitness journey, consistency in providing a seamless and positive customer experience is key.

Imagine a customer that has downloaded a popular app to promote and share training, has provided all the necessary data and after a year of logging and sharing workouts the customer might want to upgrade to a different program or runs into technical difficulties after purchasing a new phone and transferring the information. Providing the best customer service possible or tech support available is absolutely vital in order to avoid disappointment or dissatisfaction for the customer, as lifestyle changes often involve emotional factors.

The levels of technology allow us to be present virtually and in real life after at the same time, and while fitness is now mostly digital, the relationship factor remains important. Which explains why many online programs, apps and trackers ask you to share your progress, engage with other likeminded people and be part of an exclusive crowd. Over 60% of people prefer to work out with a friend to stay motivated, and the digitalized fitness world provides this encouragement.

 

Digital fitness: the future

An increased ability to utilize big data to significantly enhance the customer experience might even make the digital fitness trend one of the fastest growing ones for the future.

Many providers now have the ability to offer the correct workout gear through advertisement tailored to their consumer by collecting data on their preferred workouts, lifestyle, location (and climate). Measuring the mileage ran in a week, the calories consumed that were counted with no effort by an app, or the workout ticked off as completed in an app might be really motivating but it also provides valuable information into personalizing the digital journey for fit consumers.

Communicating consistently across all channels and showing high social media presence and social media management is a large part of the digital fitness and wellness industry.  Creating and sharing amazing content has become the key selling point in fitness and wellness.

Influencers drive a large part of this new and rapid growth. Studies showed that influencer marketing has become eleven times more successful than banner ads in the fit-industry.

Influencer support and fitness-logging will provide opportunities for many companies or providers to engage directly and more effectively with customers.

The digital health and wellness industry will likely see further growth, and especially improvements in the surrounding services provided. More data that will be collected will lead to even better, more precise offers and improved services tailored to consumer needs.

What is your favorite digital fitness product? How do you think big data will improve the digitalized fitness world and the customer journey?

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