Millennials spent over $600 billion in the United States last year.
As their earning potential increases, by 2020 millennials are forecasted to have spent $1.4 trillion. The combination of high spending power and a focus on health and fitness will make knowing how to capture — and retain — this generation of gym-goers increasingly important. The key to the millennial buyer is to understand they are situational; how they want to be treated changes during each stage of the member lifecycle.
During discovery and purchase, transparency is key. A millennial will do their research independently when deciding on which facility to join. They must be able to easily find the information that is important to them — without having to actually speak with someone. And while they don’t want to interact with a salesperson, they will pay close attention to customer reviews. They won’t read the fine print, but they will pay attention to how flexible your membership options are and the perks associated with each one. They need to know any membership they sign up for will have the flexibility that their rapidly changing lives require. Lastly, registration has to be as easy as a click of a button. Keep the registration process as simple as possible and only require information you absolutely need. If Google doesn’t auto populate all the form fields, you have created friction in the checkout process that millennials will notice.
Once a millennial joins your facility, remember they aren’t paying a monthly fee for a gym membership; they are paying for an experience. Experiences can only come from human interaction either with staff or with other members. The group exercise room is the best place to create connections without requiring additional investment from a member, so focus on getting people into a class. Once they are in a class, make sure your instructors are well trained in engagement and how to build community within the group exercise room. Another interesting thing about the experience millennials are paying for is it isn’t confined to the four walls of the gym; leverage email and social media to keep them connected and remind them what they are missing when they aren’t there.
Upon departure, just like during discovery and purchase, the millennial member has already done their research. It’s important to understand they have reached a decision before they have notified you of their intent. Of course you should incentivize them to stay, but don’t push too hard. By definition millennial buyers are young. Make sure to allow them to exist with ease and respect so you have a chance of winning them back down the road.
The millennial member is complicated but also highly valuable. Understanding them and evolving your membership management processes will be the key to capturing more of their ever-increasing disposable income.