We’ve all been there.
‘New year, new me’ – plans to ditch the fast food and turn that beer belly into something that would make an Instagram model envious.
But pricey drop-in fees, inflexible schedules and usage patterns can often leave gyms empty on weekday afternoons.
Enter POPiN: a fitness app which aims to solve these problems. With the app, New Yorkers just pay-per-minute for their exercise while the gyms welcome users who otherwise wouldn’t be there.
The Christmas holidays – all the decadence associated with it – usually bring about the New Year’s resolution to work out. The most courageous even buy an annual membership for a gym.
Another returning pattern, however, shows that after a month of enthusiastic January workout, the visits go rapidly downhill. The ones that get a two-month membership feel relieved. And those with an annual membership feel screwed. Whether they are annoyed with themselves or with the gym, they swear to never make the same mistake again.
Gyms are craving for signing up people who want to get in shape but probably won’t stick to an exercise routine for more than a few weeks. By designing their lobbies like cocktail lounges and providing benefits that don’t involve exercise, they are able to convince these people who won’t use their facilities.
In general, it looks like gyms don’t want you to pay for the amount of time you actually spend in the gym – but the amount of time you think you’ll spend in the gym.
For this strategy to work, gyms need to incentivize long-term commitment. This is why drop-in fees often start at $20, even if you only intend to use the gym for 30 minutes.
Launched in August, POPiN allows users to pay by the minute at participating gyms in Manhattan and in Brooklyn. This can cut the price for a 60-minute workout in half.
Han began developing the app with his co-founder John Wu, in the summer of 2016. They knew that if the app wanted to have any chance of success, they would have to convince gyms it wouldn’t eliminate their ability to sell memberships.
Gyms are too optimistic about their ability to convert occasional customers into full-time members. Rather than taking away potential revenue from unsold memberships, POPiN would bring the gym new customers.
People who know they won’t use the gym enough to justify a membership and can’t be convinced otherwise would generate a new revenue stream.
Han believes his app is better suited to small, boutique gyms. They don’t have brand names or large marketing budgets but need a special experience to attract members. POPiN would allow them to demonstrate that value to people who would never try them without a low-cost, no-commitment option.
The current per-minute rates range from $0.14 to $0.26, which means that a sixty-minute workout at an affiliated gym costs $10.80, instead of the $20 one would have to pay for a day pass.
But, on the other hand, if you do that sam 60-minute workout four times each week, you’d be paying more than an average rate for a monthly membership. If a user visits a single gym often enough, POPiN will recommend that user buy a membership.