Meet the Innovators Transforming Fitness and Get Tips for How You Can Too
The global digital fitness market will be valued at almost $30 billion by 20221. Digital fitness companies around the globe are growing by offering on-demand content services and subscriptions to connect with consumers who no longer have access to fitness centers.
Wearable fitness technology, streaming content platforms, and new forms of ‘fit tech’ are capitalizing on consumers’ changing exercise preferences. Many businesses now provide access to highly personalized health and fitness data through a subscription service.2
How Fitness Companies Around the Globe Capitalize on Digital Demand
In India, CureFit provides users with nutrition tips, machine-free workout classes, and mental wellbeing programs — all tailored to its audience of mobile-first fitness enthusiasts.3
In China, the Keep social exercise app serves a growing audience who prefers to exercise at home instead of visiting gyms or paying for personal trainers. Keep has integrated with Chinese payments titans WeChat Pay and Alipay to allow users to buy fitness equipment within the app.
Joe Wicks, the U.K. fitness instructor and cookbook author has built a large and loyal daily following for fitness classes he streams on YouTube for free. Millions have watched his live streams in recent months. The YouTube advertiser payments for his Body Coach sessions have raised more than￡200,000 to help healthcare workers address the pandemic. Wicks’ program is an example of how digital fitness entrepreneurs can use live streaming to nurture audiences and customers.
Large businesses, such as Peloton and FIIT TV, are expanding their health and fitness content too. According to J.P. Morgan4, Peloton’s non-cycling content now represents 35% of classes, an increase from 22% from 2018.
Companies that embrace digital fitness have escaped the harshest impacts of recent lockdowns, traditional brick and mortar gyms and fitness centers have been hit hard and are scrambling to adjust their business models by offering digital services. Product leaders must explore new and innovative ways to compete with so many businesses entering the digital domain at once.
Three Ways Digital Health and Fitness Business Can Innovate Online
1. Grow communities through digital content strategy: Fitness businesses that analyze viewer download and interaction data can use that information to continually improve their offerings. By integrating with apps and wearables, such as the Nike Run Club on Apple Watch, businesses can gain a more personalized view of their users and tailor their products, reports and advice to better meet their customers’ needs and goals.
2. Develop ecommerce and influencer partnerships: Digital fitness businesses, like Keep, are also becoming ecommerce platforms for other fitness brands. This creates a new revenue stream from sales and in-app advertising. Influencer partnerships offer another way to connect with new audiences and grow online viewership through endorsements, sponsored workouts and influencer-instructed or curated workouts. Brands should engage with influencers, but to be successful they must select those influencers based on talent, knowledge or expertise — rather than just a following.5
3. Localize offerings to grow cross-border sales: Customers want to use multiple apps and services to keep workouts fresh. Reaching consumers in local markets means making sure that languages, fitness coaches, websites and payments are all localized to meet their cultural preferences. When it comes to localization, offering the right payment options is just as important as offering the right workouts. Digital fitness businesses need to offer payment methods suited to local audiences while ensuring people can access content across borders.
How do you grow your Digital Content Business Cross-Border?