Friday, 14 March 2014

Wearables - the panacea for member retention, or another placebo?

In 2014, it looks like the whole world is going wearable. From Google Glass, to Apple’s iWatch, we will be more connected than ever before. As a tech fan, this is really exciting, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is going make significant in-roads into member retention at your club.

Guess what; the early adopters who are already plugging in to track their health and fitness are the 20% of your members who are least likely to drop out. You could spend less time and effort on them and they wouldn't notice, as they’re self-motivated, and don’t need that extra attention.

The members that are at a higher risk of leaving would probably run a mile (not very fast) from fitness tech, especially when you try to sell them a "device". They're harder to sell to (more sceptical) and they require simplicity and ease of use more than a long list of features. There is a big market for this kind exercise tracking (in the less active), and devices like FitLinxx's Pebble are ideally suited to this market. It’s unobtrusive (worn on a shoe or belt), and uploads data as you pass an upload point, which could be at the gym, or other public place (library, surgery, etc).

If you’re looking for a more feature rich solution, there is a plethora of fitness tracking apps in whichever app store you prefer. Many of these run standalone on your smart phone, while others connect to a device that monitors more than movement or activity. The Nymi Wristband and FitnessSHIRT are a couple of the latest, and the Pebble Watch (not to be confused with the FitLinxx Pebble!) is appearing on more wrists every day.
And for those of you wanting to start your health and fitness monitoring early, check out these smart nappies from PixieScientific.

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