The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the landscape of businesses across the world in the last few months. Now businesses are preparing to reopen amidst a multitude of unknowns. As studios, gyms, and sports facilities begin reopening, an important element for owners and operators to know–in order to set their business up for success– is new expected consumer behavior.
We surveyed 1,200 consumers who frequently train at local sports or fitness businesses to gain insights into their thoughts and feelings about reopening.
Changes in Consumer Behavior after Businesses Re-Open
Biggest Concerns About Returning to Train at Studios and Gyms
When asked to rank their top two biggest concerns in returning to train at their local studios or gyms, the majority of respondents chose “cleanliness” and “fear of getting COVID” out of a list of options. By knowing clients’ and customers’ biggest concerns, you can tailor your messaging and communications to ease these fears by defining your protocols to combat these elements.
For example, we know that facility cleanliness is by far the biggest concern of most respondents. In your messaging, be sure to clearly spell out what you and your staff are doing to keep your studio or gym clean and sanitary for when your members return.
Plans to Return After the Business Re-Opens
The largest percentage of respondents answered that they would return to their local sports or fitness business within one week of doors reopening. Another 47 percent answered that they would likely return between 2 and 4 weeks after doors reopened. Only 5% answered that it would take a full year before they return, and 3% of respondents answered that they will not be returning in the future.
Video Training Post-COVID Re-Opening
Not surprisingly, when asked if they used video and/or virtual training with their studio or gym during the COVID shutdown, 67% of respondents answered that they did often or very often. Likewise, 72% of respondents said that they would use video and/or virtual training with their studio or gym after their doors reopen to the public again.
Supplementing in-person training with virtual options is an example of a trend that will continue to benefit sports and fitness businesses both now and in the future. By offering a hybrid in-person and online approach to training, you create an additional revenue stream for your business, as well as provide additional value to your clients and members.
Comfort Level Returning to Similar-Sized Groups Post-COVID
When asked how comfortable respondents would be in returning to similar-sized groups as before the shut down, answered varied. 37% answered that they would be comfortable with this, and 26% said that they would be uncomfortable with it. 12% were somewhere in the middle.
Because your clients may or may not be comfortable returning to train in the same size groups as prior to the shutdown, err on the side of caution and safety. Many industry sources recommend decreasing class and group sizes in sports and fitness facilities.
These charts illustrate just a few of the questions we asked consumers. Download the free Post-COVID Consumer Behavior report to see the full responses and prepare your business for the new consumer behavior trends in a post-COVID landscape.