The national government have neglected the leisure, fitness and activities sectors in the past few years. Leaders in the sector remain, however, steadfast in their representation of the necessity and economic value of their businesses. Outlining the importance of national health, economic growth and key sector support across the UK.
Trends include targeted customer retention strategies and strengthening sustainability models with a view to combating concerns of economic downturn and the cost-of-living crisis. The sector is driving innovation to retain customers, improve national health and embrace models that are essential for economic growth, especially in leaner times.
Customer retention and insight
A key concern for the physical activity and fitness sector in the UK is operationally navigating the cost-of-living crisis. At the Sweat Conference, the theme was summarised by keynote speaker, personal trainer and presenter, Laura Hoggins. Echoed by other panellists present, they stressed the importance of customer retention through operational consistency.
Customer service and engagement have also been labelled as an area that would benefit from a forensic focus on customer data. This was the core of a “fireside” conversation between the CEOs of Heartcore Pilates and Gladstone Software. Focussed insights were a recommended tactic for customer retention to combat a leaner economy.
The necessity, however, reaches far across the technology sector with leaders of MyZone, Brand Xchange, and Endurance Zone discussing the importance of customer insight and wearable technology. Creating membership reward programmes with clear reward systems would create incentives and encourage cross-sector collaborations.
Accessibility and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion trends have continued to draw considerable attention in the sector. The latest consumer report on disabled people released last month examines the impact of the “purple” pound on the UK economy. In the UK, 81% of disabled people have indicated they want to do more physical activity, with the Everyone Can initiative supporting gyms and leisure with this £249bn economic opportunity.
Currently, there is a sizeable gap between the perception and the actual accessibility of equipment, facilities and support in the sector. The report concludes that increased staff support, upskilling, and employment opportunities would create avenues for sector expansion for operators. Between communicating accessibility measures and customer support, the sector can enhance national fitness and increase customer retention.
Want specific insights from the activities sector? Check out The Drive Phase podcast for the organisations and leaders that matter!