COVID-19 Impact on Virtual Fitness Market
COVID-19 Ignites Virtual Fitness Boom
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our day-to-day lives have transformed; one especially notable shift was in our workout routines. When the world shut down, we were forced to stay in, so people turned to their virtual fitness for an escape. There’s no doubt that the pandemic shifted the way that we exercise; according to Mindbody, a popular online booking platform for gyms and studios, between March and July of 2020 “73% of consumers are using pre-recorded video versus 17% in 2019; 85% are using live stream classes weekly versus 7% in 2019” (Cording). Not only did people consume more online content, but people worked out more in general because they had more time. For example, with no commutes and far fewer social gatherings, It’s no surprise that people had more time to stay in and get their workout in.
Virtual Boom Beyond the Pandemic
The pandemic ignited the growth in the virtual fitness industry, but virtual fitness is here to stay as they predict the growth to soar far beyond the pandemic. Mindbody surveyed customers and found that “46% of survey participants stated that they intend to make virtual classes a regular part of their routine, even after studios reopen” (Cording).
Beyond that, research shows that the Virtual Fitness industry will grow 30.1% CAGR by 2026(Market Research Future). While the pandemic set fire to the flame, there are a few other vital considerations why the market is growing rapidly. Factors influencing the growth include:
- Busier schedules
- A more fitness-conscious population
- Desire to live a healthier lifestyle,
- Growing popularity of online fitness programs
- Surge in demand for AR and VR fitness games
- Increased interest from health insurance companies to reduce healthcare costs (Market Research Future)
Market Share & New Opportunities
In a growing market like the Virtual Fitness industry, there is ample opportunity for innovation and new players to enter the field. In turn, leading to higher competition in the market as there will be more players. In a highly competitive market, those that set themselves apart through product differentiation rather than price have a greater chance of success. To gain or increase market share, you’re going to have to be very strategic in how you set yourself apart from the competition in this highly competitive market. So as an individual fitness trainer, consider how you can capture some of this growing virtual fitness market and stay on top of the direction the industry is moving in. Here are some considerations on how you can take advantage of this growing market:
- Online subscription for your workouts
- YouTube Channel
- Virtual Live Workouts
With more and more people looking for convenience in their everyday lives and in their workouts, we as fitness professionals have to seriously start considering how we can adapt our businesses to capture this growing industry. We’re living in a world where the convenience and accessibility of your product or service are becoming more and more imperative. Fitness has started to make this transition as it moves away from physical gym and studio storefronts to virtual training and products for in-home workouts. While I do believe that physical locations will always maintain a significant presence in the fitness industry, I think it’s evident virtual fitness will be a more staple part of people’s workout regimen.
Cording, Jess. “How Covid-19 Is Transforming the Fitness Industry.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 July 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/jesscording/2020/07/13/covid-19-transforming-fitness-industry/?sh=27093c9a30a7.
Market Research Future. “Virtual Fitness Market Is Expected to Register a Growth of 30.1% Cagr BY 2026: Virtual FITNESS Rising Due to Increasing Use During Covid-19 Pandemic.” GlobeNewswire News Room, Market Research Future, 7 June 2021, www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2021/06/07/2242769/0/en/Virtual-Fitness-Market-Is-Expected-to-Register-a-Growth-of-30-1-CAGR-by-2026-Virtual-Fitness-Rising-Due-to-Increasing-Use-During-COVID-19-Pandemic.html.
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