ClassPass Study Reveals What Consumers Want From Fitness Studios

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NEW YORK, United States   In the first of a series of industry reports, ClassPass has revealed what keeps its users returning to their favourite fitness studios.

Looking at utilization trends across their network, the first report, which analyses data taken during 2015, examines the factors ClassPass says have the biggest impact on class utilization – the percentage of a studio’s available inventory on ClassPass that is booked.

Aimed at helping the industry continue to grow, evolve and flourish, ClassPass hopes the information found in the report will be used by its partners in order to help boost retention rates and grow their businesses.

“We’re helping our studios open new locations. We’re also helping them as consultants and experts in the market when it comes to hiring, merchandising and everyday tasks that they need to be doing, because we can aggregate that across the entire industry,” ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia told Upstart Business Journal earlier this year.

Keen to show how ClassPass is utilising its position to support its partners, the global booking platform says it is in the unique position to analyse and infer, the variety of trends developing in the boutique fitness space.

And with direct access to the taste preferences, time preferences and consumption habits of thousands of fitness enthusiasts, it hopes to help studio owners reach more customers.

But what does the report uncover? Here, we highlight the findings:

The Power of Amenities

Proving that amenities really do count, according to the report, boutique fitness studios with showers enjoyed an increase in utilization rates of between six to eight percent, while those with lockers enjoyed an increase in utilization rates of between seven to nine percent.

And when it comes to driving brand loyalty, for studios offering higher intensity classes such as cycling, barre and strength training, providing showers had a 25 percent to 28 percent overall positive impact, with the greatest impact found in the Los Angeles market.

Class Length Matters

According to ClassPass the shortening of class lengths had the most significant impact on utilization.

Comparing 45, 50 and 55 minute classes against class lengths of 60 minutes to 90 minutes in five minute increments, in almost every instance ClassPass saw between a 10 percent and 40 percent lift in utilization.

Additionally, the study found that in the Los Angeles market, a 45 minute to 55 minute class experienced an even greater impact, with utilization rates increasing by up to 60 percent.

For example, Classpass says in an hour-long class with twenty spots, on average a studio will fill ten spots (a 50% utilization rate). However, by reducing the length of the class to 45-55 minutes, the studio could see up to two additional reservations through ClassPass, thereby driving their class utilization by up to 60 percent.

But while the report focuses on the positive impact these changes could have on utilization rates, it is also quick to stress the various impediments to seeing the potential gains in investing in these amenities or altering the lengths of classes.

The fact the report urges studio owners to balance the needs of their clients with those of ClassPass members, as well as take into account potential costs and other inconveniences, highlights the brand’s caution when it comes to positioning itself as a voice of authority.

Following months of controversy surrounding its relationship with studio owners and the sustainability of its business model, ClassPass is taking carefully planned steps to increase its perceived value.

However, expanding its client services is likely to be one of many new directions the business plans on taking over the coming years.

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