The One Metric Your Fitness Boutique Is Forgetting to Measure

There’s one metric that some of the biggest business in the world such as Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and Snapchat are obsessed with.
It’s the reason they generate so much revenue and the reason why you probably spend so much time on their platforms.
The metric we’re talking about is Time On Site (TOS).
By mastering the art of maximising TOS these companies command hours of our attention every single day, often without us even realising it.
And despite TOS typically referring to time spent on a website or in an app, you can apply the same strategies for maximising TOS to help grow your Fitness Boutique.
So throughout this article we’re going to explore:
  • How companies such as Facebook maximise Time On Site
  • Whether it’s ethical to command so much attention from customers
  • Fitness Boutiques who have mastered TOS.
  • How you can start applying the principles of TOS to your Fitness Boutique.

The War For Attention

There’s a mobile App named Moment that tracks your app activity so that you can attempt to reduce the amount of time you’re glued to your phone.
‘Put down your phone and get back to your life’ is their rather compelling tag line.
They partnered up with non profit organisation Time Well Spent to survey people about which apps they are happiest spending their time in and which apps they regret spending time in.
The results showed that the apps people regretted spending time in the most were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
These were also the apps that people used the most.
Which is kind of crazy when you think about it.
Can you imagine repeatedly returning to an author whose books on reflection you regretted reading?
You just wouldn’t do it.
So when people regret spending their time in these apps, what makes them return time and time again?
It’s because these social media platforms are armed with an array of tools and techniques that hijack your attention.
Let’s use Facebook as an example.
How do they maximise the amount of time you spend on their platform?
  • Auto play videos
  • Related videos
  • Photo tagging suggestions
  • Limiting the reach of external links
  • Maximising the reach of internally hosted videos
  • Showing you content from people who you often engage with
We could go on.
The entire platform is designed around maximising your time on site.
Because the more time you spend, the more money they make.

A Question Of Ethics

This obsession with maximising TOS has resulted in questions arising about the ethics of these companies.
Because while they may argue that their platforms bring people closer together, there’s something far more insidious and self serving at work.
They're controlling our attention for as long as possible so as to maximise the the amount of advertising revenue they generate.
And what do users get in return for the hours spent on these platforms every day?
Very little.
The value trade off is completely imbalanced.
So how can you go about maximising TOS in an ethical way?
Well it completely depends on the service that you offer.
If the more time a customer spends with you, the more value they get then ethics should never be brought into a question.
Which explains why in the previously mentioned study one of the apps that people were happiest about spending their time in was My Fitness Pal.
Because they’re aware that it’s good for their health.
So as a Fitness Boutique you’re in the luxurious position of being able to apply many of the strategies that increase TOS in a perfectly ethical way.
And a number of Fitness brands are already taking full advantage of this.

Masters Of Time On Site

The principles of TOS can be applied to offline activity as well as online and for the best example of a Fitness brand that has mastered these principles you need look no further than Equinox.
For starters, they have a spa.
Which means that once you’ve finished working out you’re encouraged to spend more ‘time on site’.
They also have a Creche, meaning that not only are your kids now attending Equinox in some capacity but you’re indebted to them for childcare.
They even offer Sleep Coaching.
So if you have a good nights sleep the second you wake up you’re thinking of Equinox.
They want you to breathe their brand at all times.
And the way that they achieve this is by extending the reach of their services way beyond that of a typical Fitness Studio.
Another Fitness Boutique that maximises TOS is 1Rebel.
Luxurious changing rooms, a smoothie bar, haircuts and a blow dry bar all invite and encourage customers to spend far more time with their brand than they would with a traditional gym.
And you can understand why this is so effective as a means of increasing customer retention and maximising customer lifetime value.
If a customer relies on you for their morning green juice and their haircuts as well their workouts, they’re far less likely to suddenly cut you out of their lives.
You can also increase TOS in far more subtle ways too.
Instagrammable studio decor, high end products in the changing rooms and talkative instructors are all great ways of increasing the amount of time that customers spend with you.
If you start seeing your boutique as not just a place to work out but a place to spend quality time in many capacities, you’ll soon see an increase in customer retention.

Ways to increase TOS:

  • Seating areas for people to check emails/do work
  • On site food and drink facilities
  • Luxurious changing rooms
  • Notice boards
  • Spa facilities
  • Body composition machines
  • Clean, calm spaces
  • Treatment rooms
  • Workshops/talks
  • Encourage instructors to engage with customers after classes
  • Sell clothing/accessories
  • Have great music playlists
While you may not be able to apply all of these to your boutique, we urge you to try and increase your customers time on site in some capacity and measure whether it helps to increase your customers lifetime value.
Let us know how you get on!