ClassPass is a subscription that lets you take a variety of different fitness classes in specific clubs without having to be a member of the gyms. You pay a monthly ClassPass fee to get credits and you use those credits to sign up online for classes that you like. ClassPass consistently gives you a wide variety of exercises and classes to choose from every week such as boxing, yoga, cycling, martial arts etc. You can try the ClassPass 14 days free trial to take up to nine free classes. You could pay as much as 50% less every month for specialized fitness classes and have access to a wider variety and convenience in your options. ClassPass also provides class recommendations and reviews to let you see what’s good before you book a new class.
Due to coronavirus fitness studios are shutting their doors and adapting to the new reality. This is a challenge unlike any other that the wellness industry has seen. ClassPass platform has been hit hard because its booking fitness and wellness appointments can’t function very well if there are no classes being offered. Almost 90% of the 30,000 gyms and studios that ClassPass has partnered with in 30 countries, have indefinitely closed their physical locations. The company has a few advantages though, because as a global firm it had a front row seat watching this unfold in Asia at the start of the year, particularly in China. ClassPass, which has raised more than $500 million, is well capitalized to deal with the storm. However, the company’s success relies on the health of its partners, so it is taking efforts into its own hands to help the fitness industry survive the pandemic. In response to COVID-19, ClassPass has removed its reactivation fees, has made it possible that members pause their memberships and scaled its customer services team for more support.
ClassPass was working on its digital presence vision a couple of years ago. The company launched a live video streaming product called ClassPass Live for the first time in March of 2018 with a full broadcasting studio in Brooklyn. To be able to have access to it users had to have a new subscription specifically to the online workout repository. ClassPass Live eventually was stopped as the company reorganized its priorities. However, thousands of workouts from that product have remained on the app for subscribers as an on-demand workout from home option. Those 2,000 video and audio workouts are now available for free to anyone who is signed in to the ClassPass app.
ClassPass studio partners are able to offer live streamed classes on the platform. The company system allows the studios to set their own prices, date and time, and share a link to the streaming platform of their choice for their class. Through June 1, 2020, one hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to the studios and fitness instructors due to COVID-19. For partners that are hosting online classes for the first time, ClassPass will offer training and resources on best practices and help them get started through the platform. The company has also created a Partner Relief Fund, where people can donate to their favorite studios directly through the app. ClassPass will match all contributions up to USD $1 million.
All of these initiatives are not enough to save the fitness industry. The government needs to intervene, in a big, end-to-end way. ClassPass has joined forces with CEO’s of fitness businesses and sign a petition to the government asking for immediate intervention. The petition gathered thousands of signatures within an hour of going live. The coalition calls for help in the following areas: rent, loan, tax and interest relief, financial assistance to support the workforce, and leveling up incentives for employers to invest in employee wellness. The petition asks for policy intervention to effectively force private landlords, their mortgage providers and the mortgage providers insurers to all get onboard for a three or four month rent free. After rent relief is accomplished, there is a whole lot more that should be happening: moving faster on financial assistance; offering loan, interest or tax relief; and then post-recovery creating more incentives for employers to invest in employee health and wellness.
After COVID-19 the primary business for ClassPass will never be online since the real-world experience is difficult to be experienced digitally, that is another reason why the online workout videos published in 2018 were not that successful. But in the future, people will want some offline offerings across a variety of things and some of the brick and mortar fitness industry will disappear. In an already crowded industry, the coronavirus will set the successful apart from the mediocre.
ClassPass has followed a very detailed plan that other companies can learn a lot from. First of all, they chose to fully support their partners and customers and prioritized to help them instead of pocketing the money for their finances. This will help more studios be on the platform after the pandemic is over and increase the positive correlation to the brand name. There will be more customers choosing ClassPass because of how easy it was to deal with the membership if you want to cancel or roll over and how easy it is to reach customer service. Secondly, they joined forces with other players in the industry to petition to the government. The more coalition there is, the higher are the chances of the government helping the companies. Thirdly they put into use whatever content they had digital and offered it for free. On the top of that created a system where each partner can stream live any workout in any platform they want. The partners can also decide on the structure and the payments.
In conclusion the best way to come out winners from the COVID-19 is to be very flexible and give your customers plenty of options to choose from, offer your products in a consumable way during social distancing, help your partners if you can and create a coalition with other players in the industry to ask government for more help.