Gyms are a perfect example of a business that’s combined retail and hospitality to deliver a better customer experience.
A gym or fitness studio primarily sells their product (fitness classes, space to exercise, equipment, etc.), but, in addition, they offer hospitality (nutritionists on staff, meal plans, journaling classes, and even healthy meals delivered to your home). All of which are related to their core product.
Today, when a consumer chooses a gym membership, it’s not only about which one has better classes or the best equipment. If a consumer picks Gym X, they do so because they get the services and products that matter to them—in addition to a great workout—all under one roof.
An experience leads the decision-making process for the consumer, and the product (a gym membership, in this case) comes second. Gary Bacon, global managing partner (Retail Store Transformation Practice) at NCR, suggests using experiences and social interactions to encourage repeat customers as much as possible.
“[Gyms have] always had the same challenge, which is that a customer pays for a membership, then the gym has to get that customer to renew,” he said. “And your likelihood of renewal goes up the more social interaction you have within that membership.”
The same principle applies to retail and hospitality.
Positive customer experiences enable repeat visits and loyalty. And since repeat customers often lead to increased profits, experience-based strategies are a theme that all merchants can take advantage of.