• Mystery Shopping your Customer Experience

  • How have virtual exercise classes developed since Lockdown 1.0?

    The Mystery Shop Process

    During Lockdown 1.0, we gave you insights on how the fitness industry pivoted to online classes overnight and who did it best. Well… you’ll be pleased to know the Proinsight team were once again the fitness fanatics throughout the month of November so that we could bring you ‘The Quickest Pivot in Business Part II’!

    Our aim was to establish whether operators virtual offering had changed, improved or even remained static 7 months on from their first online class and the main question we wanted answered: Were the fitness industry more prepared the second time around?!

    We were able to shop 28 of the 50 in November 2020 (LD2) to provide a good sample of how the online product has moved on. It was reassuring to see so many operators monetising their product. Our initial findings were:

    – 24% are now offering ‘members only’ virtual classes, closed to non-members

    – 28% are now selling ‘virtual subscriptions memberships. At an average cost of £16 per month.

    -14% of these offered 7, 14 or 30 day trial subscriptions with bank details to be added in order to qualify


    The Digital Shift

    Facebook was the most popular used platform (38%) in LD1, whereas now the majority of operators are hosting on their own website (35%) shifting towards the ‘on demand’ model. A positive shift to see organisations pushing consumers towards their own brand and embracing their own community.

    76% of classes were ‘live’ in LD1 this dropped to 42% in LD2. Unsurprisingly, the top scoring classes were those which engaged with the consumer and allowed them to become fully immersed in the class. It is no coincidence that these classes were ‘live’, where interaction is greatly improved with shout outs, technical feedback and coaching. Perhaps the move away from ‘live’ towards‘ On-Demand’ is affecting the consumer with the Fun factor dropping 11%.


    The Positive Uplift

    LD2 scores also showed significant uplift in the instructor offering a variety of progressions and regressions; this is a clear benefit to pre-recorded classes, allowing the coach to plan and consider the class and ‘get it right’ before it is uploaded.

    – 66% moving to 100% started and ended on time.

    – 65% moving to 78% offered a range of exercise regressions & progressions


    What’s Next?

    With the news we’ve all been waiting for that a vaccine is now on the way, by Spring 2021 we envision group exercises classes will start to return to full capacity levels again. So where does this leave virtual classes? Will operators continue to develop their online programmes or will we see the virtual offering eventually die out alongside Covid-19? At Proinsight, we certainly hope we can continue to deliver insights on the fitness industry’s digital offering…

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