Businesses must harness technology, trends and target audiences to stay visible in the ever-growing wellness industry

  • Phil Coxon, Managing Director EMEA at MINDBODY, discusses how business can thrive in an increasingly competitive fitness and wellness industry

Whilst this year’s State of the Industry Report indicates the fitness industry is healthier than ever before, what this means for business owners is that there are now more gyms to compete with in the marketplace. This is reinforced by the latest usage data from MINDBODY, the health and wellness booking app and management software, which shows the number of people using the app to find, and book classes is on the up.

It’s promising to see a staggering amount of bookings being made through the MINDBODY app in the UK in the last quarter, because it further indicates the growing appetite there is for wellness services across the country and demonstrates how technology is serving the industry; in this case facilitating bookings and acting as a gateway to a plethora of services that can be accessed all in one place.

In the UK, where ‘boutique’ is becoming a more recognised term and searches for ‘yoga’ on Google are increasing by over 50% year-on-year, it’s not surprising to us to see the numbers of app bookings also increasing year-on-year. As the market becomes more mature and there are more choices for consumers, it’s increasingly important for your business to stay visible.

The app becomes a great marketing tool for our customers, as it puts their empty class spots in this Uber-like marketplace where hundreds of thousands of people are looking to book their wellness services every day. This quarter, the app brought in over 11,500 new clients to our customers in the UK (around 1,000 more than last quarter), which proves it is driving business. What is also encouraging is that consumers are responsive to trying out new classes and studios within the app, as 70% of promoted intro offers purchasers are new to the customer.

We know that London is the city leading the way when it comes to the adoption of the fitness and wellness industry, so what is interesting to garner from the data is the trajectory of the industry. So where next?

Outside of London, where a huge 119,567 bookings were made each month, Manchester booked the highest number of classes – over 10,700 (around 3,000 more than last quarter), followed by Birmingham (8,706), Glasgow (5,900), Bristol (4,616) and Reading (3,987). Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton follow closely behind, proving that there is scope outside of London for wellness businesses to exist and for those looking to grow, they might consider doing so outside of the capital.

What is also exciting is that our app data supports what we know about the wellness industry across Europe. Consumers in France booked an impressive 35,258 classes and appointments through the MINDBODY app last quarter and over 20,700 of these bookings were made in Paris alone. This could be driven by the wider range of products that are becoming available to consumers in this region and the more ways there are to engage in wellness, thanks to the new and unique offering of boutique studios. Germany is not far behind in terms of bookings, with 27,910.

Overall, it is incredible to see how the wellness industry is continuing to grow and expand across different territories. The booking activity through the MINDBODY app generates a vast amount of user data that we can analyse and use to evolve our product to grow our customers’ businesses in these regions. As we see the wellness revolution continue to spread throughout Europe, we’re excited to be able to equip wellness businesses with the suite of digital tools they need to run their facilities.

To find out more about MINDBODY, visit https://uk.mindbodyonline.com/business