The Power of Boutiques – Consumer Friendly Pricing

Published: June 8, 2016

The Power of Boutiques – Consumer Friendly Pricing

In a presentation we recently gave at the 2016 IHRSA International Convention entitled, “The Power of Boutiques: Leveraging the Power in a Traditional Club Setting”, one of the powers we highlighted involved offering consumer-friendly pricing.

The Internet of Things, in particular ecommerce and the emergence of mobile as a discovery and purchase platform, has changed the consumer mindset when it comes to pricing. Today’s consumer, especially those of the Millennial Generation, expects to find the price of everything online. Just as importantly as finding the price of everything on line, they also expect to be able to purchase it how they want and when they want it. One outgrowth of this trend for consumer friendly pricing has been the growth of price comparison sites, such as Price Grabber, Shopping.com, TheFind and Kayak. Another outgrowth of this phenomenon has been the rapid evolution of “pay as you go” business models and the decline in subscription-based offerings. Mobile games, online games, and cell phone services have all seen their business model shift from subscription to “pay as you go”.

The boutique fitness studio segment does an outstanding job leveraging these two aspects of consumer friendly pricing; price comparison shopping and “pay as you go”.

  1. Pay as you go. The vast majority of boutiques offer consumers a host of pay and use options from single sessions to five packs to 20 packs to unlimited monthly usage. No annual contracts, and in most instances, not agreements of any kind. Just purchase a single session or package of ten and off you go. It is the perfect blend of pay for what you want to use when you use it rather than subscribe to something you may or may not use. In a survey of boutique operators conducted by AFAS in 2015, it showed that the average boutique fitness studio offered a variety of purchase options, most of which are “pay as you go” models or more appropriately maybe, “pay for what you plan to use” models.
  1. Price comparison shopping. Boutiques fitness studios are transparent in their pricing. Visit any boutique fitness studio site and you can see what they charge for a single class, five pack, etc. A shopper can simply price compare across boutiques because they can easily find the programs they want, and the prices associated with those programs based on varying levels of planned usage. Recently a price comparison site for gyms, including personal training studios, has emerged called Gym Snoop. It probably won’t be long before other sites emerge that leverage the transparency of boutique fitness studio pricing and offer comparisons similar to Kayak. The point is that by making the pricing and packages transparent, boutique fitness studios make it easier for consumers to price compare.

Nearly 150 years ago Oscar Wilde said, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Well today, consumers expect to find the price of everything, and boutique fitness studios make it much easier for them than the more traditional clubs that still require consumers to come in and barter.  On top of that, boutiques don’t require a subscription; you can pay for what you want when you want.

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