New data reveals Sydneysiders have been using gyms less frequently since they reopened as the risk of COVID-19 lingers.
Research from location marketing firm Near found that since gyms reopened on June 13, visitors are most likely to visit the gym and then take a break.
This is despite the fact 38 per cent of gym-goers visited a gym on the first day they reopened.
According to Near, this is an indication that Sydneysiders still see gyms as a “high-risk environment” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For advertisers, this means understanding that those going to gyms at the moment can be considered higher risk-takers, said Near.
“Analysis of consumers’ behaviour based on real-world signals revealed that as places started to open up the visitation is guided by the risk they are willing to take,” said Near.
“Those having a higher risk appetite (risk-takers) are more likely to travel farther distances to visit their preferred brand or do a high-risk activity such as working out at the gym, whereas, those with a lower risk appetite (risk-averse) will prefer to work out at home.”
The research also found that despite restriction still being in place (only between 20 and 50 people have been allowed to gather in closed spaces) gyms are still managing to win new customers.
One-third (34 per cent) of people seen visiting gyms in Sydney since they reopened were new customers, meaning marketers can create lookalike audiences by targeting these ‘new consumers’ and serving ads promoting discounts when they are visiting other sporting facilities, said Near.
The research also shows gym-goers are currently 6.4 times more likely to travel more than 10kms to visit the gym when compared to those travelling 3-5kms to visit their preferred gym.
This is due to limited availability of slots and the closure of some gyms, said Near.
Gyms in Surry Hills, Caringbah, Engadine and Bella Vista have seen the most footfall since reopening, while Barangaroo has seen the sharpest decline, owing to professionals working from home.
The demographic of Sydney gym-goers post the reopening is largely those aged above 45, followed by those aged between 18 and 25.
This is compared to pre-lockdown, where Gen Zs visited more, followed by Millennials and Baby boomers.
“This shows that fitness has become a priority among the older age group post the pandemic, whereas, people aged between 26-35 years seem to be more risk-averse,” said Near.
Despite the discrepancies, Near says the data should encourage fitness brands to pursue the Sydney audience.
“Further, the study shows a high inclination for Sydneysiders to stay fit indicating that if the relevant audience is identified, fitness brands will be able to regain their customers and recover,” the company said.
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