With the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly changing the face of virtually every industry, staying abreast of trends has now become more crucial than ever to survival in the fitness industry.
While some trends are fast-changing due to the social and economic uncertainties resulting from efforts to stem the virus, some trends are here for good. The online fitness market is growing at an unprecedented rate. This reinforces a trend that’s been brewing over the last few years.
In 2019, the global online fitness market size was worth about $6 billion, according to expert estimates. With a CAGR of 33.31%, the market is expected to clock $59 billion by 2027. In line with the market trend, data consumption for virtual fitness purposes is also rising sharply – a trend projected to continue beyond the pandemic.
As a confirmation of the role of the pandemic on this increasing growth, the demographic worst exposed to the outbreak – the seniors and elderly – are spearheading this trend.
In this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look into trends that will shape the virtual fitness industry this year. We will take a keen look at the best-performing market sub-sections as well as the key challenges trainers should be prepared for in the coming future. We’ll show you how best to leverage these trends to maximize your exposure and increase your bottom line.
An Overview of the Online Fitness Market in 2021
Since inception, virtual or online workout has disrupted the fitness industry. It’s provided a more convenient, cost-effective alternative to training sessions in fitness facilities.
Fitness enthusiasts can have as many intensive training sessions as they want from the comfort of their home, without spending time commuting to and from a gym. Fitness trainers can serve a wider base of customers besides those who frequent their training ground.
Virtual fitness platforms like WOFH provide simple interfaces where trainers can upload training videos for clients to watch live or download. Like WOFH, some advanced platforms integrate various fitness applications that track performance and vital signs during training sessions.
The rise in demand for virtual fitness programs is also being met by a flood of new programs. Customers have become more selective than before. They now opt only for services that are tailored to their unique needs – unlike before when there was a shortfall of choices.
People can now select programs based on their schedules and personal needs like one-on-one professional guidance, or specific types of training like yoga, meditation, HIIT, etc.
As such, it’s become more crucial than ever for professional trainers to streamline their offerings on virtual training platforms. They need to create content based on a thorough-going understanding of the unique needs of their target market segment.
Top 4 Trends To Lookout For in the Online Fitness Market
Data Consumption for Online Fitness Purposes Rapidly Increasing
The facts are glaring. Since the onset of the pandemic, people have become more pre-disposed than ever before to burn data for online fitness programs. This is perhaps the main driving force behind the unprecedented surge in the demand for online fitness solutions.
Among many new studies proving this, one of the most remarkable is the Virtual Media Ireland report. This study shows a sharp increase in user dwell times on virtual fitness platforms, which translates to a 40% increase in data consumption among the users.
The report also shows that some 40% of people are now die-hard fans of health and fitness-related videos, podcasts, and online programs. The number of people who’ve opened their doors to online fitness programs in recent times is even greater – nearly two-third.
“Our homes have become schools, universities, offices, cinemas and, according to this research, gyms and fitness studios,” noted Paul Higgins, the vice-president of Virgin Media Ireland.
“Seeing data usage increase by 40 per cent shows our customers are using their service more than ever before but what’s fascinating is what people are using it for…”
“The research shows more people engaging with live fitness classes taking place over Zoom and other platforms, which is also driving some of this increase,” he added.
“Broadband and connectivity have a key role to play in the country’s ongoing renewal, recovery and future continuing success.”
Another interesting bit of the report shows that 60% of people are more frequently teeing off with family and friends in fitness competitions using smartwatches and other connected performance trackers.
Increasing Elderly Participation in Online Fitness Programs
Some experts argue that this trend is resulting from the increasing restrictions on the movement of the elderly during this pandemic. Others argue that it’s because they’re now becoming more inclined to a healthy lifestyle.
Whatever the case may be, it’s quite interesting to see the elderly spearheading the adoption of next-generation fitness solutions to stay fit and healthy.
Ultimately, this points to how fast online fitness programs are gaining widespread acceptance. Virtual fitness services are now being ranked among mainstream solutions like in-person health consultations with health experts and regular medical checkups.
If you’re offering any health or wellness solution specifically geared towards the elderly, now’s a great time to make them accessible via online virtual platforms like WOFH.
The Live Streaming Leads Other Market Segments in Increasing Demands
Reports also show that people prefer live streaming to other types of online fitness regimen. While many instructors have put up great video recordings streamlined to specific techniques, difficulty levels, and other criteria for people to watch at their convenience, people still prefer real-time interactions during their online fitness classes.
With the Live streaming segment projected to experience the highest CAGR over the next few years, people will be more likely to tune into your live training sessions than your recorded sessions. To leverage this trend, you need to be as flexible as possible with your live streaming schedule to enable clients with different lifestyles living in different time zones to achieve consistency in their routine.
An Increasing Demand for Subscription-Based Coaching
Reports also show that online fitness service providers witnessed a greater increase in the purchase of subscriptions compared to other products. People have become more drawn to subscription-based coaching due to its greater cost-effectiveness and flexibility compared to in-person coaching fees.
Subscriptions allow people to access high-performance fitness coaches from distant parts of the world cost-effectively. This implies that you’ll most likely see an increase in your bottom-line if you switch to subscription-based pricing models for your programs, whether it’s live training, recordings, or fitness apps.
Preparing For The Journey Ahead
Online fitness programs are helping more people overcome hindrances to consistent workout routines, from the high cost of in-person coaching programs to challenges with visiting training facilities frequently. The elderly population appears to benefit the most from online fitness programs, combining them with healthy eating, expert medical advice, and other mainstream health solutions.
However, the forecast for the industry is not all rosy. The rising popularity of subscription-based coaching and live streaming still faces many drawbacks, including downtimes and interruptions from tech failures and difficulties in scheduling live interactions. There’s also a shortfall of advanced fitness programs that address unique conditions more efficiently than regular fitness regimens.
But these challenges will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to advanced virtual fitness platforms like WOFH with features that facilitate top-draw, efficient, and reliable fitness coaching.