As a boutique fitness studio, growth mode is always a goal. But with sustainable success comes strategy, which includes analyzing, reimaging (and restructuring) pricing, scheduling, and plans to align with consumer demand.
Our industry has landed in a place where optimizing every operational touch point and prioritizing performance to make smarter decisions isn’t just necessary; it’s needed. Hey, that’s why we made it easy in Walla! Looking at profitability down to the most granular details, reevaluating staffing decisions, and genuinely looking at the values and principles your studio is built on is foundational to attracting and retaining clients in a pandemic-adapted landscape. Not only are your clients open to spending more on fitness and experiences, but they are also looking for value, flexibility, options, and community.
So how can you capitalize on consumer spending behavior and re-engage with your longtime clients without being overlooked and oversaturated as you continue to maximize studio profits while providing budget-friendly value? Credits.
At its core, credits allow you to normalize pricing at your studio based on the cost to execute (type of class or appointment, instructor, budget) while giving your clients booking and spending options. It comes down to choice, freedom, and variety to keep clients motivated and reduce churn. Credits also enable your studio to sell classes based on supply and demand pricing, so you can keep your classes full, fill those empty spots and get top dollar for your most popular times.
“Switching to credits has been one of the best decisions for our business in order to keep it simple for clients while maximizing profitably for every class on our schedule,” said Christine DeFilippis, founder of Pop Fit Studio. “We made the move to credits so clients had more freedom to take a variety of classes—and credits give us the opportunity to charge different prices for classes.”
Credits are a success at Christine’s greater Philadelphia-area studio because she can charge $35 per class for Pop Fit’s top-tier Bungee experiences, while other classes are a $22 drop-in price. And since Pop Fit offers 30, 45, and 60-minute classes, credits allow Christine and her staff to make informed pricing decisions and show her clients value by charging the right amount for every class. Because a half-hour virtual stretch session differs from an in-person one-hour dance class.
Here’s how credits can positively impact profitability and help studio owners like Christine sell more classes and appointments while adding another layer of studio worth to clients.
Not all classes or appointments are the same
If you are running a class- or appointment-based business, it’s evident when one experience is more popular than another. Maybe it’s the instructor; maybe it’s the time of day? When you look at the actual cost of goods sold, payroll, and booking numbers, it’s impossible not to see the disparity. Now add hybrid, virtual, and in-person into the mix, and the differentiators in value and cost to execute is evident. It’s no secret: On-demand, live stream, and in-person classes and appointments all have different perceived worth to customers, and you want that to be reflected in their booking and buying experience. Using a pricing model that taps into credits gives your clients both scheduling and spending flexibility, increasing their likelihood of purchasing the class or appointment that works best for them.
Add value, make more money—and make clients happier
At Walla, we empower you to get smart about profitability, and with credits, your studio can price classes and appointments realistically without losing money to a third party. Plus, creating and selling credit-based classes are easy in Walla (unlike many other studio software companies that make it challenging, even impossible). Consumers are familiar with credits, too, so this buying and pricing behavior isn’t a stretch. Credits worked for apps like ClassPass because they showcased choice and flexibility, but now you don’t have to become dependent on frustrating intermediaries to execute a credit model.
Regain control of your business and bottom line.
Clients love the ability to select the classes and appointments they want to attend that work for their wallet and schedule. Over time, you may see some studio experiences get more bookings—and some decrease—especially as traditional schedules have evolved. So maybe that 6 am flow or noon kickboxing isn’t so popular because more clients work from home. But the best part about measuring class performance (outside of our Class Analysis Report) is that you can decide how to price classes and appointments based on popularity and booking trends with credits. Walla doesn’t use an algorithm or aggregator to determine how much your classes and appointments are worth! When you create and schedule a class or appointment, you set a price and credit amount associated. We will do the math. Plus, you can update the price at any time! This allows your business to truly be based on profit and not on an average or guesses.
Allow more people to access your studio offerings.
Another bonus to pricing and selling credit-based classes and appointments? Availability to a wider range of income levels. With credits, you can still market high-quality studio experience but reach new demographics that can decide what classes and appointments they want to try. From college students to seniors and those with various budgets, credits enable clients to choose what experiences they want to book and, in turn, stay in control of how they spend. It all comes back to value and flexibility. Credits can help bring movement and more people through your studio door in a way some expensive memberships couldn’t. Your studio is still offering top-notch classes and appointments, but now you’re being more strategic with profitability, how your studio is selling—and your bottom line.
An example of pricing classes using credits!
Your in-studio 5 pm Mat Pilates Class is always popular. It is almost guaranteed to sell out because the instructor, Linda, is a rockstar (and her playlist is killer). Most Mondays, you have quite a few clients waitlisted, too. Now, this class could be worth 22 credits. And since you’ve pivoted your studio experiences over the past three years, you also livestream this class. And since livestream isn’t perceived as valuable as the in-person experience, you price the virtual class at 10 credits. You’re tapping into value, accommodating those at home, and giving your waitlisted clients options to book still and attend class while getting a deal!
Your studio also has a noon Slow Flow on Fridays, but it's typically less than half full. Sometimes you hit 75% capacity. The teacher is paid less, and you don't need front desk staff to check clients in. So you consider making livestream 6 credits and in-studio 10 credits. By being more strategic with your pricing and utilizing dynamic pricing, you attract (and keep) more clients.