October 2020 Club Industry Trends

Marissa Meyers

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November 13, 2020

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category

minute read

PUblished

November 13, 2020

The Club Division Health and Wellness Industry Trends for October   

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In a year full of uncertainty and change, club leaders are looking for ways to navigate uncharted waters. When approaching the future, it’s helpful to know where you stand. How is your club or wellness center trending in comparison to your peers, and what does the data say about the health of months to come? 

That’s where we come in. You need trusted information to inform decisions and tackle whatever may come next. Our monthly Insights and Impact report offers valuable insight into the state of the industry. From new member joins and check-ins trends to member holds and cancellation tracking, we’ve got the information you need to drive your club to succeed in the coming months.

October Overview

As we move into the last quarter of 2020, October’s story is one of continued recovery. With increased check-ins and decreased cancellations, there’s a lot to be hopeful for in terms of sustained revenue and improved industry health. While new joins decreased slightly in October, the small downtick is consistent with yearly seasonal trends. The trend we’ve witnessed toward membership stabilization and a post-pandemic recovery looks to be on its way. As we near the close of a particularly turbulent year, stay flexible and continue to put your members first; success is sure to follow.

Check-Ins

Member check-ins continue their trend of gradual increase since August. Member check-ins help assess industry health and forecast revenue sustainability.

Key Takeaways

After seeing record low check-in numbers in April due to shutdowns caused by COVID-19, check-ins in October were the highest they’ve been since. However, with positive COVID-19 cases beginning to rise again across the country, the percent increase in check-ins from September to October decreased slightly from what it was from August to September.

How to Use It

To bolster your check-ins, it’s essential that you make your members feel safe inside your facility. Make your cleaning and sanitization processes known to your members with push notifications, video walk-throughs, and ample communication. A live capacity counter gives members confidence when visiting your facility by allowing them to see how busy your club is before checking in. Continue implementing member surveys to keep a pulse on member sentiment and be ready to adjust to serve their needs.

Joins

New joins decreased slightly, mirroring 2019 trends. Member joins help assess industry health and forecast revenue growth.

Key Takeaways

Compared to October of 2019, clubs are seeing a better overall trajectory for new joins in 2020. Last year there was a 7.3% decrease in new joins from September to October; this year that decrease dropped to just 2.3%. Despite COVID-19, clubs are experiencing the same seasonal decrease in new joins that typically accompanies the beginning of the holiday season, just at a smaller rate. Something to note: This data could be slightly skewed by clubs who have begun counting renewed memberships as new joins.

How to Use It

To COVID-proof your potential new joins, it’s imperative that you show prospective members the value of your club that goes beyond facility access. While traditional in-person visits may be altered by capacity restrictions and shutdowns, virtual classes and hybrid memberships are not. A sophisticated waitlist and reservation system also are good tools to guarantee value to those looking to join your club.

Cancellations

Cancellations saw a sharp drop. Cancellation data helps forecast financial health and map the road to recovery.

Key Takeaways

Following an increase from August to September, cancellations took a sharp dive in the month of October, fully mimicking the 3-month trend from 2019. This drastic drop in cancellations coupled with a sustained increase in check-ins indicates that club revenue is slowly and steadily recovering. As club members return to their clubs and begin visiting more regularly, we expect these indicators of positive revenue to continue.

How to Use It

State fitness alliances have played a huge role in advocating on behalf of the fitness industry. As public sentiment shifts regarding the importance of clubs in keeping communities healthy, we project that cancellations, joins, and check-ins will improve. Keep utilizing your state fitness alliance as a resource and advocate for your club and the numbers will follow.

Holds

Membership holds are the lowest they’ve been since May. Hold data informs general member sentiment and can predict future recovery.

Key Takeaways

Over the last year, membership holds have seen the most erratic month-to-month change, with dramatic peaks and valleys alternating every few months since February. In October, the number of membership holds reached its lowest point since May. When considered alongside higher check-in rates and lower cancellation numbers, this indicates that more and more members are returning to their clubs.

How to Use It

A higher percentage of holds over cancellations shows that members are hopeful and eager to return to their clubs. While they’re away, continue to foster your relationship with on-hold members. The more you can keep them engaged, the more likely they will be to re-start their membership. Not only should you keep them informed about the latest happenings and new from your club, you should also provide value, resources, and communication that shows just how much you care. Send free nutrition e-guides or at-home workout plans. Schedule virtual community gatherings, or utilize a Member Engagement Assistant, powered by Conversica, to check in on absent members. These personal touches are easy to execute and will go a long way in improving member retention and loyalty in the long-term.

Chargebacks

Chargeback percentages increased for the first time in two months. A chargeback is any transaction that has been disputed by your customer for being unauthorized or incorrect. Chargebacks largely indicate whether or not members are accepting their membership fees. 

Key Takeaways

The chargeback percentage showed a slight increase in the last month, moving from 0.21% in September to 0.24% in October.

The drop in membership holds that we have seen this month is a great indicator of members beginning to return to clubs; however, the drop in holds also indicates that nationwide, many clubs are beginning to unfreeze memberships or re-activating hold fees for membership hold requests, which results in a higher chargeback percentage. To prevent chargebacks at your facility, communication with your members is key. The better you can inform them of the changes you are making to their memberships, the less likely you are to face the inconvenience and additional fees caused by chargebacks.

Know what’s happening in your industry. Explore the Insights and Impact Report today!

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