Gym owners face a constant challenge in the world of fitness: staying ahead of the curve. To do so, it’s important to understand what consumers want in a gym membership and what will make them stand out.

That’s why we have conducted our latest fitness consumer survey to highlight valuable insights that can help shape strategies and make a real impact in the fitness market.

Let’s dive into the findings and discover how gym owners can use this knowledge to succeed:

Appeal to an Audience Already Planning to Switch

We asked in our survey where these consumers prefer to exercise, and although at home or outdoors is still a popular option, it came in second (29.6%) to exercising at a big box gym (41.37%), while boutique and specialized studios (—CrossFit, boxing, private) account for the remaining 29.02%.

Despite the growing popularity of home and outdoor workouts, a large majority prefer working out in an established fitness center.

The report also underscores a golden opportunity: nearly half (46.11%) of our survey respondents are actively contemplating switching gyms. This significant percentage represents a pool of motivated individuals seeking a new fitness home, allowing you to stand out and seize this market share.

Amenities and Factors for Winning Over New Members

Based on our survey findings, we’ve identified the top factors that consumers prioritize when choosing their fitness home.

Take a look at what our respondents ranked as the number one factor when choosing a gym:

  • Location and Convenience (35.96%) – Proximity matters, and members want a conveniently located gym, making it easier to incorporate into their daily routines.
  • Sanitation and Cleanliness (22.50%) – Consumers are much more health-conscious and wellness-driven than ever before. This ongoing shift has made cleanliness a non-negotiable for many.
  • Price and Value (21.15%) – Beyond just the membership fee, this also encompasses the perceived value of amenities, classes, and services.

The most important amenities when choosing a gym included childcare services (with 25.20% ranking it as number one) and group fitness classes (with 22.66% ranking this offering as number one). Access to a sauna or pool and personal training were also similarly important to the surveyed audience.

When asked about what amenities would convince them to switch, an impressive 54.27% said lower membership fees, while 35.67% wanted a larger selection of classes.

Unlocking a High-Value Member Base

It can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, yet it’s often a constant struggle to retain gym members once you have them. That’s why it’s so important to uncover key audiences that will bring the most value and return on your investment.

According to our survey, more than 38% of respondents have remained loyal to their current gym for 1-3 years, while 16.13% have been with their gym for 3-5 years, and 9.3% for even longer. If you can retain a majority for 1-3 years, you will have ample opportunities to introduce them to additional services, such as personal training, nutrition coaching, or premium memberships. This can significantly increase their lifetime value and even turn satisfied members into powerful advocates for your fitness brand.

Maximize Your Marketing with UpSwell

The findings from our survey have shed light on the crucial factors influencing gym-goer decisions and the untapped opportunity of those actively considering a switch.

However, it’s not enough to acquire new members; shift your focus towards building lasting relationships and fostering loyalty. With the right marketing strategies in place, you can transform satisfied members into passionate advocates for your brand.

Consider the insights we’ve shared from our survey and contact the fitness marketing experts at UpSwell to maximize your success.

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