November 2, 2022

5 Fitness Studio Trends That Will Dominate in 2023

Boutique fitness is at the cutting edge of the booming wellness industry. Here are some of the hottest trends to watch out for in boutique fitness to look out for in 2023.

Another year has come and gone. As new trends emerge, it is hard to differentiate between fad and gospel. At Mariana Tek, we work closely with some of the fastest growing brands in boutique fitness—and it’s through this work that we uncover holistic insights into the industry.

Boutique fitness is at the cutting edge of the booming wellness industry. Here are some of the hottest trends to watch out for in boutique fitness to look out for in2023.

Trend 1: Amped-up member experiences

Don’t underestimate the importance of personalizing and optimizing your customer journey to your studio experience. Understanding this concept means you will learn their loyalty—a vital part of any retention strategy. Since Covid-19started, customizability and flexibility in memberships has proven quite popular, and there is no sign of this trend slowing down into 2023.

Kickboxing franchise 9Round announced new changes for members in September 2022. They changed Daily Workout Screens, added music provided by FitRadio, and new membership options to participating studios. The changes are “set to expand members' options and enhance the workout experience, whether in-studio or at home.

Trend 2: Empowered instructors

Your instructors get the most FaceTime with members, and at the end of the day, are largely the reason many will come back to the studio. Most studio instructors are magnetic people who find engaging with others effortless.

In 2023, we predict that instructors will be even more engaged in the sales process, setup with goals and benchmarks to be rewarded with premiums. In summer 2022,SoulCycle announced big changes to its salary structure, called a move to“rebalance the pay structure”. This followed a review that showed some differences between bonuses and premiums for instructors.

Need to go even deeper into these trends? Get all the exclusive data on these trends, straight from Mariana Tek’s research team, in the 2023 Boutique Fitness Trends & Predictions Report!

Trend 3: Lead quality vs. Quantity

What’s more important to have: more leads, or fewer leads with higher quality? While the first is the more intuitive choice at first glance, what we’re seeing more frequently is an emphasis on lead quality and referral marketing. This contrasts to broader and more traditional lead-generation marketing.

2023 maybe the tipping point of lead quality trumping lead volume. Businesses have more visibility than ever online now; the studios that know their most profitable customer and choose only to market to them waste less time and turn a bigger profit than choosing to market to everyone.

Trend 4: The generational divide

Age tells us a lot about buying behavior, as does the generation they grew up in along with their peers. Millennials are to thank for the meteoric rise of boutique fitness; memberships soared 121% between 2012 and 2017. A big reason may be because this generation is much more health-conscious than their elders, and aging into more disposable income and financial security.

The 2019Les Mills Global Consumer Fitness Survey showed that 80% of all gym goers are millennials or Gen Z. In other words, in the year 2023, the core group of boutique fitness consumers will be anywhere from 40 to 18 years old. This is the core group many of us imagine are most engaged in fitness.

Trend 5: Hitting the right (musical) note

Whether it’s to pump us up and get the energy flowing, or to calm us down to unwind, music plays a huge role in setting a scene—especially in a boutique fitness environment. In 2023, industry leaders will need to prioritize playlists and their impact on the customer experience.

Small steps in your music strategy can amount to huge, noticeable impacts on member performance and enjoyment. Hire a professional to install and set up your AV system, experiment with lights that sync with the music, and invest in tech that can work, even in sweat or water.

Join our webinar on November 30 and let the fitness industry experts at Mariana Tek teach you 5 emerging trends bound to set studio owners apart next year. Ask your questions during the Q&A period at the end or save your spot and watch the recording later.

What’s Next?

Where else are things heading in 2023?

Prediction 1: Innovative fitness

In a competitive market such as boutique fitness, you must stand out or you’ll sink.Studios are getting more and more creative in how they set themselves apart with their branding, services, and business model. We think this trend will take over, and we’ll see more of this play out in 2023.  

Industry trends

·  Restorative fitness: An interesting counterculture of restorative fitness has also taken hold. This includes stretching, meditation, and float tanks that take a passive approach to wellness, as opposed to traditional boutique fitness that puts the act inactive wellness.

·  All-in-one: A Boutique fitness doesn’t have to be left out of the market for multi-purpose facilities. Heimat, located in Los Angeles, CA, is an all-inclusive resort of sorts, but specifically designed for fitness. It hosts a free weight room, bootcamp, cycling, cardio, Pilates, stretching, and yoga areas.

Prediction 2: Augmented/virtual reality

Augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) has been gaining popularity for at-home use, but we think 2023 will become the start of their mainstream, in-studio use. It drives member engagement, gets your name out there by word-of-mouth, and gets you into a whole new stream of revenue.

Industry trends

·  Data visualization: Give real-time metrics to encourage members to keep going, including miles, calories, RPM, and more. Then, they don’t have to stop their workout and check on their wearable fitness watches to see where they’re at.

·  Gamification: Adding game elements to the workout drives healthy competition and makes the workout more fun. When you’re having fun working out, you’re more likely to come back and do it again.

·  Holographic instructors: Studios are using immersive VR to simulate an in-person workout, but remotely. Even better yet, users can walk around to see all angles of the instructor as they guide through the workout – an experience that is a bit harder to get when in a crowded class.

Prediction 3: Integrated fitness tech

The studios that were able to embrace the new landscape of hybrid in-person/virtual fitness during Covid-19 shutdowns were the ones who remain strong today.Heading into 2023, it appears that fitness technology such as smart watches and smart mirrors are going to take off.

Industry trends

·  Smart equipment: Smart mirrors and bikes have leveled up in lockdown, but there’s no sign of that slowing down into the new year. We’re excited to see what other kinds of equipment become smarter and smarter in the years to come.

·  Wearable tech: Fitness trackers and other wearable tech are great for hosting a challenge at your studio, using the member data available that it keeps on record. This is a great way to also keep members accountable for the goals they have set.

·  Intuitive health tracking apps: We keep track of their workouts, but these apps keep tabs on everything about health and wellbeing, including nutrition, sleep, and hydration. An increasingly holistic perspective on fitness will help bring other forms of health tracking to the forefront.

Don’t forget to download your copy of our 2023 Boutique Fitness Trends & Predictions e-book! In here, you’ll get extensive on-going research and the scoop on what 150+ boutique studio owners like you are doing in the new year to get ready for 2023.

Innovation at Mariana Tek

Technology helps any business grow fast and efficiently; it forms the foundation of how your members interact day-to-day with your studio. If you feel that your growth options are already limited by your current technology platform, then it's time to consider something new.

But you'll never be limited by your technology stack with Mariana Tek. There are countless options to create unique experiences through our best-in-class APIs and a vast network of integration partners.

Mariana Tek is a platform that will grow with your business—no matter what your journey is. Request your demo today to start 2023 the right way!