The Impact of COVID on today’s Fitness industry

By M Science   |   August 11, 2022 10 MIN READ

Data indicates changing consumer behavior, pointing to an evolution in the fitness industry

The fitness industry, like many other industries driven by the on-demand mentality, has become more accessible. Today, fitness customers are flooded with options of in-gym or at-home workouts. COVID lockdowns drove trends toward at-home options, but with the economy reopening, customers are returning back to in-person facilities.  Undoubtably, the pandemic has brought volatility in consumer behavior.

A lot of the leading gyms, in class studios, connected fitness brands, and digital subscription fitness services are investing heavily in acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and growing their market share in a shrinking economy .

Despite the uncertainty in the industry, many companies are making critical business decisions without consulting consumer data to inform their decisions. These brands lack insight into customers’ wallet, preferences, and where they spend their money.

COVID’s impact on In-Gym and At-Home Fitness trends

In the three years prior to COVID-19 (Q1 2020), the fitness industry was growing steadily, with in-gym taking over 92-98% of both spend and unique customers compared to at-home alternatives.

Image of chart comparing at home vs gym subscribers

Comparatively, at-home spend has grown to 15% in Q1 2022, mostly driven by expansion in connected fitness spend . Interestingly, as the economy reopened and more gyms welcomed back customers in-person, the connected fitness spend did not forfeit its newly won share of dollars.

Image of chart comparing connected fitness spend with other trends

Although several companies moved quickly to capitalize on the trend, the undisputed winner was Peloton. Their subscribers and subscription dollars appeared to grow exponentially during the early years of the pandemic, challenging other industry players to keep pace.

Image of chart comparing Peloton revenue with other brands

The rise of Peloton, the demise of others

Many gyms and class-based studios are asking themselves, how is Peloton affecting my new customer acquisition? Are my gym goers and class attendees buying connected fitness products, and should I be concerned for an associated loss of business?

According to our data, the connected fitness companies are mostly winning new customers to the fitness world, and not necessarily taking customers away from in-gym or in-class spend.

Image of chart showing home fitness gross add breakdown

Analyzing data by components of spend yields insights into consumer behavior.

About our data

M Science’s Corporate Fitness data helps strategy, analytics, and market intelligence teams in the Fitness industry track consumer spend across all sectors. Our clients employ this data for benchmarking, market research, product marketing, and positioning their offerings for success through data-driven decision making.

How M Science can help

M Science is a global data-driven research and analytics firm, with nearly 20 years of experience uncovering new insights for some of the world’s largest corporations and financial institutions. We revolutionize research by discovering new datasets and pioneering methodologies to provide actionable intelligence. Learn more at: intelligence. M Science is a portfolio company of Leucadia Investments, a division of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF).

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