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App retention: Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

Jean-Michel Fournier
CEO, Les Mills Media

It’s the biggest challenge all fitness platforms face in pursuit of building a sustainable business model – how do you keep your cost of acquired customers (CAC) low, while boosting the life-time value (LTV) of each user? High churn sends your marketing costs spiralling as you’re having to spend more to acquire users, so strong retention really is the holy grail for running a successful digital fitness platform – much like a gym.

Building great retention for your app requires several key pillars – providing world-class content and a frictionless user experience is absolutely essential. You augment this by creating a robust community around your app so that it becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem where everyone gives energy to each other – our LMOD Squad Facebook group has 125k members and the level of engagement in there is insane. And when it comes to keeping people coming back for more, gamification and challenges to motivate and incentivise users are incredibly powerful.

Create a robust community around your app so that it becomes a self- sustaining ecosystem

Equally important is the mindset and culture that underpin your approach. In today’s business environment, where things are changing constantly, speed of execution is a lot more important than perfect execution. Make your solutions “good enough,” ship them, improve them based on market feedback, rinse and repeat. This approach brings solutions much faster, and the snowball effect of iterative learning means your product will constantly improve.

Fournier says gamification and challenges are excellent ways to motivate and engage users
Vicky Hallbauer
Head of marketing, Freeletics

There’s now more digital fitness content available than ever before, and a myriad of different apps are available at the tap of a screen.

Retention comes with trust and results. We promise personal development beyond physical transformation. For some, we are a lifestyle, a discipline or even a sport. For others, Freeletics is a philosophy on how to navigate the world. And for all those who believe in us, Freeletics is a community of like-minded athletes.

We listen very closely to the needs of our users and we continuously adapt user feedback into our app. By implementing new features and offering ongoing, helpful content, we are able to support our community of users throughout their fitness journey.

To grow and expand, we need to truly know our audience down to a personal level. What are they looking for? What support do they need? Which triggers or tone of voice will help them to take the steps necessary to move forwards towards their goal?

To learn about this we not only analyse anonymised data from our millions of users, but also run surveys to better understand their needs. We also run all kinds of testing in the app, which assures we offer exactly what our users demand. In this industry, being able to adapt and change perspectives to continuously fit your audience is a huge asset.

Karin Kaellman
CEO, Barrecore

When it comes to our Barrecore app, and really our overall business, we operate along the lines of the classic 80/20 rule. That’s an 80 per cent focus on retention and 20 per cent on new acquisition. Actually, it’s possibly even 90/10.

When it comes to fitness apps, you are inevitably going to have natural churn. So there’s a constant need to top up your audience in order to maintain a certain number of clients, and to also grow.

But there’s no point spending money and/or effort identifying and converting new clients if they don’t stay with you. You’ll just be constantly chasing your tail.

On the contrary, happy clients allow you to grow your business in a sustainable way. In addition, happy clients create high levels of word-of-mouth referrals, effectively allowing you to outsource much of your new client acquisition to your existing clients – for free!

So the majority of our focus goes towards making sure that our online workouts and general service is the very best it can be. Our Barrecore app is really just a pure press and play solution at this point in time – no high tech functionality or retention tools as far as the eye can see (yet). Still, we have incredibly high retention thanks to the quick and sustainable results that our clients see and feel from our unique method. This ensures that they stick around for years.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
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features

App retention: Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

Jean-Michel Fournier
CEO, Les Mills Media

It’s the biggest challenge all fitness platforms face in pursuit of building a sustainable business model – how do you keep your cost of acquired customers (CAC) low, while boosting the life-time value (LTV) of each user? High churn sends your marketing costs spiralling as you’re having to spend more to acquire users, so strong retention really is the holy grail for running a successful digital fitness platform – much like a gym.

Building great retention for your app requires several key pillars – providing world-class content and a frictionless user experience is absolutely essential. You augment this by creating a robust community around your app so that it becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem where everyone gives energy to each other – our LMOD Squad Facebook group has 125k members and the level of engagement in there is insane. And when it comes to keeping people coming back for more, gamification and challenges to motivate and incentivise users are incredibly powerful.

Create a robust community around your app so that it becomes a self- sustaining ecosystem

Equally important is the mindset and culture that underpin your approach. In today’s business environment, where things are changing constantly, speed of execution is a lot more important than perfect execution. Make your solutions “good enough,” ship them, improve them based on market feedback, rinse and repeat. This approach brings solutions much faster, and the snowball effect of iterative learning means your product will constantly improve.

Fournier says gamification and challenges are excellent ways to motivate and engage users
Vicky Hallbauer
Head of marketing, Freeletics

There’s now more digital fitness content available than ever before, and a myriad of different apps are available at the tap of a screen.

Retention comes with trust and results. We promise personal development beyond physical transformation. For some, we are a lifestyle, a discipline or even a sport. For others, Freeletics is a philosophy on how to navigate the world. And for all those who believe in us, Freeletics is a community of like-minded athletes.

We listen very closely to the needs of our users and we continuously adapt user feedback into our app. By implementing new features and offering ongoing, helpful content, we are able to support our community of users throughout their fitness journey.

To grow and expand, we need to truly know our audience down to a personal level. What are they looking for? What support do they need? Which triggers or tone of voice will help them to take the steps necessary to move forwards towards their goal?

To learn about this we not only analyse anonymised data from our millions of users, but also run surveys to better understand their needs. We also run all kinds of testing in the app, which assures we offer exactly what our users demand. In this industry, being able to adapt and change perspectives to continuously fit your audience is a huge asset.

Karin Kaellman
CEO, Barrecore

When it comes to our Barrecore app, and really our overall business, we operate along the lines of the classic 80/20 rule. That’s an 80 per cent focus on retention and 20 per cent on new acquisition. Actually, it’s possibly even 90/10.

When it comes to fitness apps, you are inevitably going to have natural churn. So there’s a constant need to top up your audience in order to maintain a certain number of clients, and to also grow.

But there’s no point spending money and/or effort identifying and converting new clients if they don’t stay with you. You’ll just be constantly chasing your tail.

On the contrary, happy clients allow you to grow your business in a sustainable way. In addition, happy clients create high levels of word-of-mouth referrals, effectively allowing you to outsource much of your new client acquisition to your existing clients – for free!

So the majority of our focus goes towards making sure that our online workouts and general service is the very best it can be. Our Barrecore app is really just a pure press and play solution at this point in time – no high tech functionality or retention tools as far as the eye can see (yet). Still, we have incredibly high retention thanks to the quick and sustainable results that our clients see and feel from our unique method. This ensures that they stick around for years.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features

Sky x Fiit

Fiit has secured a deal with TV giant Sky, to make its virtual workout platform available through the subscription-based Sky Q service. With 20 per cent of Fiit users now accessing the app through Sky, Fit Tech speaks to Fraser Stirling and Daniel Shellard to find out more

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection

Virtual wellbeing check

Feelings of pressure, isolation and performance anxiety are commonly experienced by athletes, however it isn’t always easy for clubs to identify those who are struggling. Richard Lucas, founder of GoVox, explains how technology can help
interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

We’ve had to create training experiences that show users how to grab handles in the virtual world that are mapped to our real-world machine

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service
Editor's letter

Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more
Hussle HQ
Hussle HQ