Adding Value and Retaining Members Through Shutdowns

When Solv CrossFit in Worcester, UK first shut down in the spring of 2020 they switched to a live Zoom model, offering multiple classes a day. Owner Michael Macleod said everyone enjoyed the classes at first, but he noticed people quickly got fed up with Zoom classes.

Once they opened up again, Michael signed on with Zen Planner to manage his memberships and payments and SugarWOD to handle the workouts and community engagement. Michael said the combination of the two software solutions makes it easy to help new members feel comfortable working out in a new gym — they can go right from the membership information in Zen Planner to the workouts in SugarWOD.

Michael said using SugarWOD and Zen Planner in the second lockdown helped him retain members. Three of his members who initially didn’t sign up for any of the online workouts changed their minds after a week of seeing the level of community engagement and how easy it was to access from their phones. 

The Solv CrossFit team hosts a live workout every Saturday and then pre-records an entire week’s worth of workouts a week in advance, uploads them to YouTube, and pastes them into the SugarWOD app. The members can then pull up the workout, which is customized to fit Solv CrossFit’s branding.

He’s gotten great feedback from his members about the experience, and he said SugarWOD has helped set them apart from other gyms in his area.

“This time around, we’re actually offering a service,” Michael said, “that’s the massive difference here is we’re offering something really good.”

National Trends 

While some gyms, studios, and schools are not able to operate at full capacity, the overall trends remain fairly consistent with last month. With the holiday season upon us and COVID numbers still on the rise, the slight dips we see are not surprising. The numbers show that your members continue to prioritize wellness and fitness as a necessary part of their lives through consistently using their memberships within your communities.

In general, our data from Zen Planner shows steady overall revenue numbers, meaning members are staying engaged in their communities. Based on US customer data in Zen Planner, November revenue is at 77% of 2019 numbers with no month over month change.  Check-ins dropped slightly in November to 71% of 2019 levels, this is just a 1% drop from what was reported in October. Active members are down 3% from last month and are at 76% of 2019’s November totals.

With vaccines slowly being distributed throughout the world, this brings a sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Layer this with the number of studies now available about the safety of fitness businesses and we can all move towards 2021 with a strong fight to the finish line.

Lessons to take from these numbers are to stay creative with ways to keep members engaged and connected with their fitness community as well as to continue to market and promote your business as we head into 2021. Leverage the new year to offer special activities, new offerings, or incentives to encourage your members to keep their memberships active or to attract new members into your community. Remember that increased COVID-19 cases might mean people opt to stay at home instead of traveling for the holidays, which means more opportunities to keep your members engaged.

Increased COVID-19 numbers may also mean attendance restrictions and more aggressive implementation of hybrid or virtual membership models. Lean into the example of Solv CrossFit by using tools and technology to keep your members engaged and connected whether in-person or virtual.

Continue to dig in and guide your community through the season and into 2021 by celebrating wellness and fitness!


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