Drawbacks of white label Apps
You should, of course, not overlook the drawbacks of this option. The biggest problem here is that in terms of requirements you are “tied” to the possibilities that its developer grants you. Once a feature has been programmed and released it is offered to all users of the white label solution. If too few companies used a specific feature, it would not make commercial sense for white label developers to develop it, and they would decide not to. Quality providers will, as a rule, listen to you and give a lot of thought to your improvement proposals, but if it is discarded you as a user of such a solution will have to put up with this decision. The only alternative would be a time and cost-intensive change of supplier.
No App whatsoever - also a solution?
It almost seems like a statement from a different era but no App can in fact also be a solution. To establish whether this is so, studying your target group is key. Looking at statistics you will learn that App use declines as age goes up. Especially in the group of 50+ year-olds 72% state that they never use smartphone Apps. For this target group App use is not necessarily the most customer-focused option.
Seen in the long run, however, App usage should be rising in all target groups. This means it will also increase in importance among older target groups. So whether you want to play for time when establishing your club App or jump on the bandwagon early to immediately acquire some experience needs to be decided by each club operator individually. Over the short or long term, however, there will definitely be no way around it for clubs.
Tips for establishing an App
Now you know about your two options available for implementing a club App in your fitness facility. Of course, there are still quite some obstacles in your way. To smooth your path I would now like to share some tips to take into consideration when realising an App.
1. Define the budget available
A decisive factor for an App is the budget at your disposal. You should therefore decide how much you are prepared to pay for this from the outset. Here you have to stipulate not only the one-off initial investment but also the on-going amounts you are willing to pay. As stated above, an App does not only cause one-off costs for development or subscription but also running costs.
2. Define your necessary requirements
Even before scouting the market for potential partners, you should lay down your requirements for an App. What does your club App have to deliver? Which functions should it have and which functions would be nice to have rather than must-haves? The compilation of these requirements is called a brief and will help you to select the right partner.
3. For white label Apps: Look at the beta version
One advantage of white label Apps is that they are “off the shelf” solutions. This means, it is possible to have a corresponding beta version demonstrated. A quality provider will not have a problem placing a demo-version at your disposal so that you can “play around” with it and try all relevant functions yourself. If the provider does not proactively offer this to you, ask him; after all, you want to know what you are in for.
4. Ask you members to test the App
Whether you have decided in favour of your own club App or a white label solution, be sure to also get likely users of the App to test the solution before going live: your club members. Ask your members whether anyone wants to try out this App beforehand.
These tips hopefully mean nothing now stands in the way of successful App implementation at your club. But always be aware: the App can streamline processes and increase service quality but it definitely does not replace quality support. Good support is still the be all and end all of a fitness club. Without providing quality support for your members as a basis an App is useless.
Club Apps will assert themselves over the short or long term. There may be individual concepts out there that can really manage without them for the time being, but for the majority of fitness clubs there is no way around it. You do not always have to opt for a custom-programmed App to be used in your club. White label Apps can also be a low-cost solution for your club. In the final analysis, the requirements and the budget will primarily decide what is the right choice for you.