More Americans than ever are making time to incorporate regular gym workouts into their weekly routines. But that means the fitness industry is becoming more and more competitive, with the average club experiencing an estimated 50% client churn annually. Every fitness chain and independent club is on the lookout for what will keep their members happy and loyal. And that’s where RFID technology comes in.
Club managers observe that members prefer to walk into the club with as few personal items as possible. Many are already moving beyond barcoded membership cards in favor of lightweight, flexible, waterproof silicone bracelets for use in the pool or steam room. NFC tracking via RFID chips embedded into these bracelets deliver multiple advantages to club members during every workout.
RFID Wearables for Club Members
- Members swipe their bracelets over an NFC scanner to breeze past the front desk for easy admission (digital fingerprint scanning, another alternative to barcodes, still requires a wait in line).
- Fitness classes and other add-on services can also be better organized via members’ bracelets.
- In the locker room, patrons no longer need to bring their own heavy padlocks, the bracelets can be used to securely lock or open RFID-equipped day-use lockers with a single swipe.
- In-club retail stores generate more revenue when members are given a cashless option, using their RFID bracelets, instead of digging into their pockets for money, to conveniently buy that tempting frosty bottle of sports drink after a rigorous session on the treadmill.
- Each purchase is automatically tacked onto the next monthly membership charge.
More club members are also investing in their own wearable fitness devices or they simply cannot part with their smartphones while working out. Mobile apps for these devices can be designed to interact with RFID-tagged equipment on the club floor to develop a customized fitness plan for every networked patron, prescribing a rotation of machines and weights, with recommended reps for each.
RFID Benefits Health Club Operations
RFID tracking can be useful for important back-end health club operations to enhance their bottom-line profitability:
- Many health clubs are attaching laundry tags to their towels, tracking individual towels issued to members and discouraging them from taking them home.
- Equipment maintenance staff can easily track every machine on the floor via a UHF tag from a distance without stopping and searching for a barcode to scan, instantly reviewing repair records and checking part availability.
- Club managers can monitor which floor machines are used most frequently, helping them determine which unpopular equipment should be replaced.
Syrma recognizes the emerging RFID opportunities in health clubs, and we’re already consulting with companies in the fitness industry to incorporate our RFID solutions into the next generation of health club equipment.
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