Hundreds of people are choosing to lead an active lifestyle in recent years. This caused business people to flock into the health and fitness industry.
They are all hoping to take a piece of the success seen by those who opened businesses like gyms, health centers and yoga studios. However, you can only win the competition by offering something your competitors don’t have.
Service aggregators offer new, and even existing, businesses a chance to get a piece of the many benefits offered by the health and fitness industry. These services can help grow your massage studio location, or just fill up unused class space for a successful studio.
Entrepreneurs, however, need to properly understand the ups-and-downs offered by these tech companies. Only with such knowledge and preparation can they take advantage of the industry.
In this article, you will learn about ClassPass. It will focus on advantages and disadvantages that comes with the service, as well as whether it is best for your massage practice.
ClassPass: An Introduction
ClassPass is monthly subscription service that offers its customers pass to various gyms, martial arts, pilates, and massage therapists. It also includes access to health clubs and spas across the country.
According to its website, the service is the largest health club aggregator in the world by the number of club partnerships. It revealed that is partnered with 15,000 health clubs in 11 countries all over the globe.
The company started in 2011 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate Payal Kadakia after she got frustrated over the lack of available ballet classes near her area in New York City. ClassPass initially started as a company dedicated to offering health and fitness businesses a better registration system, but it did not fair well among business owners.
She then moved to another idea based on the Groupon. The latter is an e-commerce marketplace that offers coupons to its users. These coupons allow its customers to get discounted products and services in businesses partnered with the company.
In this setup, ClassPass offered a deal for 10 classes a year for $49. Its success is what convinced the company to switch from a yearly basis to a monthly subscription model.
The model adopted by the company can be described by what newspaper New York Times described it. The leading periodical called it as a middleman between consumers and health and fitness clubs. It is the best explanation of how ClassPass and businesses work together.
The former entices people to try its packages who then allows them to use “credit values” that comes with their packages to partner health and fitness centers around the world.
How Do ClassPass Work?
In order to take advantage of what ClassPass has to offer, businesses should know how it functions. The service is available for a minimum cost for anyone looking to have a variety of choices when working out. For that monthly fee, they can access any kind of health and fitness center during the period of their subscription.
Gyms, indoor cycling centers, massage practices, and pilates classes are among those included when you get a ClassPass subscription. The following process is undertaken by your customers who are subscribed to ClassPass:
1. An individual can get a ClassPass subscription. Monthly subscription fee depends on the location of the client.
New Yorkers can get a package, starting at $49. This tier allows them to access 2-4 classes. A higher tier is also available at $159, which allows them to book 10-15 classes. New members are offered a free trial. The trial period lasts for two weeks and gives them access to 4-6 classes.
2. After purchasing a package, clients are assigned credit values. For example, the $49 package in New York City comes with 27 credits. The number of classes that can be taken is dependent on several factors, which includes the hour of the class, studio equipment, and studio space.
3. A ClassPass subscriber will tend use these credit for classes offered at their local gym, massage practice or health center. It is a must that these establishments are connected with ClassPass to use that credit.
4. Once credit is consumed, a ClassPass subscriber can earn more credit value by purchasing the same package or a higher tier package.
Benefits and Disadvantage When Using ClassPass
After knowing everything about this subscription service, the next thing business owners should know are the benefits and shortcomings of ClassPass.
The health and fitness-focused subscription service bring a lot of benefits to its users.
First, it allows them to have a wide-range of choices. It gives them the power to choose whether they want to work out in a regular gym today or explore yoga or pilates the next day.
Lastly, it’s cost-effective. It allows them to have access to several health and fitness centers without spending a lot of money to try and have a variety on their fitness regimen.
However, businesses looking into adopting the service could be at lost on what’s in store for them if they embrace ClassPass.
The following are some of the advantages shared by business owners who are part of the ClassPass package:
It can easily fill up your classes.
Filling up time slots is one of the biggest challenges when running a massage practice. Business owners often complain on how they shoulder expenses supposedly covered by students when classes are not fully booked.
As massage therpists are operating in the service industry, it is not a great excuse for any establishment to tell students that classes were canceled because it was not fully-booked.
ClassPass provides a solution for this problem. The service aggregator allows more students to come into your studio at a discounted price.
While businesses’ shouldering expenses is still on-going debate, it cannot be denied that, despite the discounted price paid by students on ClassPass, it eases the burden of business owners to shoulder what should have been paid by an actual student.
It is an advertisement for your business.
ClassPass offers its potential subscribers free trial of its services. Using ClassPass in your massage practice can somehow be compared to that.
A ClassPass subscriber who previously does not know of your business can learn and experience it first-hand. Should he/she be satisfied with the quality of your amenities and the level and quality of classes offered at your studio, he/she is sure to come back for more.
Additionally, a satisfied ClassPass subscriber who booked classes at your studio can bring along his/her friends the next time they come over. This means there is a greater chance for your business to be known around the community and nearby cities and towns.
Greater chances of attracting new students
Clients are what keeps massage businesses alive and active. They should be your inspiration for putting up your own massage practice. That said, it is a great sign that a new client shows up in front of your massage practice frequently to keep the community thriving.
It also allows your classes to be more dynamic and diverse. But how do ClassPass help in getting you new clients and keeping them loyal to your massage practice?
ClassPass founders said that they created the service as a way for people to be introduced to their local gyms, yoga centers, massage therapists, and other fitness facilities in their areas. Though, it shouldn’t replace having a great marketing plan in place for your massage business.
They added that once introduced, they hope that their subscribers do patronize the packages offered by their partner institutions. It is with this arrangement that ensures ClassPass will not be a threat to the longevity of the health and fitness business.
However, ClassPass also comes with its own disadvantages. The following are some of the common complaints and issues faced by partner establishments with ClassPass:
Loss in profit
This is the most serious disadvantage that comes with ClassPass. It is especially a big concern for those who just started with their massage business. Yes, while the subscription service allows you to fill your classes, it does not promise that your pockets will also be filled. It can be a short term solution, but you’ll definitely want to find other solutions to get more massage clients to your practice.
ClassPass and its partners negotiate on how credit values can be applied to their the latter’s services and products. In massage practices, these credit values can be used to book massage sessions.
The rate for this can be lower or higher depending on the type of class, its hour, and the amenities offered by your studio.
It does not promote customer loyalty
ClassPass allows its subscribers to be exposed to a wide range of establishments offering the same service as you. Given such, it would be a hard sell to win the loyalty of your students. These customers are exposed to a wide variety of classes and amenities.
Also, they are more conditioned to book classes according to their free time and not by which massage practice offers the best classes. That said, great class quality and amenities can still convince them use your membership and stay loyal.
Will It Work for Your Massage Practice?
ClassPass is a subscription service that offers both good and bad things to your business. Its monthly subscription service offered at an attractive price can easily persuade anyone to purchase a package.
It is a great strategy for those looking to have their business introduced to the local and surrounding communities. For established health and fitness businesses, it is an enticing tool to gain the attention of new and former students. The credit values offered by ClassPass can allow these potential loyal students to experience what your studio has to offer.
But there are also disadvantages that comes with partnering with the monthly subscription service. ClassPass acts as a middleman between consumers and businesses. As a middleman, it takes percentage out of the profit of any business.
This means that while your massage practice is fully booked, it does not ensure that your profits are soaring above the roof. This is one of the most important thing business owners should ponder upon before being part of the ClassPass network.
In the end, it all depends on your vision for your massage practice. Each business that partnered with ClassPass has their own reason for doing so. It is best that you go through everything above and take them side-by-side with where you envision your massage business to be in the next few years.