Reasons it’s a Great Time to Enter the Fitness Industry By Starting an Online Fitness Business
By: Bailey Holtz
Have you noticed there has been a massive boom in fitness culture over the last decade? From the rise of health clubs to specialized boutique fitness studios, evidence of the obsession with healthfulness and fitness is everywhere.
As reported in the article, “The Six Reasons The Fitness Industry is Booming” by Forbes, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, says “The health and fitness industry in the U.S. is a $30 billion industry and has been growing by at least 3 – 4% annually for the last ten years.” They continue by adding, “The industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If anything, it’s accelerating.”
This is great news for national health, but also great news for entrepreneurs! If you’re seeking to start a business venture, the fitness industry is a fertile and welcoming place to do so. There is plenty of demand, innovation, and growth in the market. That makes starting an online fitness business a great idea!
That’s why at Pure-Ecommerce, we like to provide potential ecommerce entrepreneurs with information on the industry which interests them. That’s why we’re here to provide you with the history of the fitness culture in the U.S. Plus, exploring some of the current fitness trends. All this is healthy and nutritious “food for thought” as you contemplate your very own fitness business!
The Rise of the Gym
Since the days of the Greeks who spent time in outdoor gymnasiums, training for the Olympic Games. Humans have been drawn to physical fitness and how it benefits their lives. While now in modern times, there is a more institutionalized incarnation of our quest for physical prowess. This can be traced back to the first Gold’s Gym, which opened in Venice, California in 1965, according to the Washington Post. Once that gym rose to prominence, thanks to the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron, which featured a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gyms began to enter the mainstream. By the 1980s, the average American found themselves being pulled into one of the many gyms sprouting up around the country. By the 1990s, exercise had veritably exploded as a national pastime, according to Toptal.
The desire to attain physical health shows no sign of letting up! Americans continue to invest heavily in their personal fitness. According to IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet, & Sportsclub Association, 70.2 million Americans own health club memberships. That’s a growth figure of about 33% since 2008, with no sign of a slow-down in sight.
Boutique Fitness Classes
Once Americans had become accustomed to the idea of visiting a gym regularly, entrepreneurs and fitness gurus sought to redefine what fitness could mean for modern audiences. Rather than repeating the same exercises day in and day out. The development of specialized and boutique fitness centers started to offer up fun and exciting programs that made working out glamorous and community-oriented. According to the Washington Post, one of the earliest trends was Jazzercise, started in the late 1960s. This was quickly followed by a swath of others: Aerobics, Tae Bo, Zumba, Spinning, Hot Yoga, CrossFit, Barre, Pilates, Peloton, SoulCycle…and the list goes on!
Nowadays, according to Toptal, modern boutiques cater primarily to millennials, who want to feel immersed in a community. They are for people who seek out a specific workout culture, and those who desire the flexibility to participate whenever they want to.
Classes like this have a higher price tag than most gym memberships, yet they continue to accrue loyal audiences. According to Fitt Insider, between 2012 and 2015, membership at boutique studios grew by 70%, a massive increase.
This is good news for independent retailers and online fitness businesses! Each of the most successful fitness studios—CrossFit, SoulCycle, OrangeTheory, etc.—occupies a unique niche. In each fitness niche, there is a different type of fitness gear required for that particular form of exercise. Therefore, this creates certain niches in the retail market as well. For instance, the exercise equipment for a pilates class is completely different from that of a HIIT class. This requires a member to acquire one or both. You will find a great many different needs in the exercise community. This will give you the ability to tailor your business to meet one or multiple. Since trends are always evolving, there will be an endless supply of customers seeking the latest, greatest exercise accouterment!
At Home Fitness
While gym memberships continue to grow, at-home fitness programs, have also grown tremendously in popularity. Whether gym-members use it as a supplement to their regular workouts. Or if they do all their training from the comfort of their own homes.
Research shows Americans love the option of getting their daily exercise right in their living- or bedrooms. According to Augusta Free Press, 65% of Americans prefer working out at home to working out at the gym. For 45%, this is because the cost of a gym membership is too high. 32% claim getting to the gym is too much of a hassle. While 24% don’t like working out next to the intense exercise junkies. All this points to the home becoming the next big exercise spot.
Many fitness companies have capitalized on the movement of the gym into the home. Nowadays, there are so many programs to choose from some people might need help selecting the one that’s right for them. The good news for online fitness business owners is that regardless of the program consumers select, they will very likely need exercise gear to be able to participate fully in all types of exercises. There is a multitude of fitness products that at-home fitness enthusiasts will need to have at their fingertips. For instance, necessary accessories, like mats, weights, jump ropes, elastic bands, foam rollers and more. All of which you can provide to home-fitness junkies will seek out when you own your own online fitness business!
The portmanteau “athleisure wear” entered the mainstream a few years ago when the comfort and style of yoga pants transformed from simple garment into a way of life. Since then, the yoga pant has spawned an entire industry of fitness-oriented clothing that can (and should!) be worn outside of the gym. According to Forbes, active bottoms and leggings are now a $1 billion industry unto themselves.
What sets athleisure wear apart from other types of clothing is not only the form and function but also the incredible and unstoppable growth it has experienced. Again according to Forbes, most new clothing products have a period of explosive growth, until the market becomes saturated and growth slows. This has not been the case of athleisure wear, which continues to grow, promulgated by both big and small players alike. This means that you, too, can jump on the athleisure wear train, and profit from the booming popularity of this garment niche. After all, will there ever be a time when humans don’t seek out clothing that is as comfortable as it is stylish? Not likely!
Now Is the Time
Regardless of whether you’re a fitness buff yourself, or just someone interested in starting an online business with growth potential. The fitness industry can help make your ecommerce business dreams come true. With plenty of niches to enter, and demand showing no sign of slowing down, fitness is your ticket to successful new business ownership!
Now is the time to think about starting your own online fitness website for sale. Why? Because there will be a spike in new gym memberships and fitness consciousness once the first quarter of the year rolls around in January through March. That is when everyone will be thinking even more about their health and fitness. This leads consumers to shop for all the fitness essentials they need whether they are entering a local gym, fitness class or choosing to work out at home. Buying a fitness website now gives you the time to get your business up and running for that very busy first of the year!