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CRM South Africa

Virgin Active revamps app and rewards programme to drive loyalty

Fitness chain Virgin Active South Africa, which merged with Kauai's parent company Real Foods Group last year, is launching its new app and rewards programme this May to incentivise regular exercise and lifestyle changes among its members.
Dean Kowarski, group CEO of Virgin Active. Source: Supplied
Dean Kowarski, group CEO of Virgin Active. Source: Supplied

The app is designed to meet the needs of existing Virgin Active members while attracting potential new ones.

The app will track members’ activity and allocate rewards for consistency, and will also serve as a one-stop-shop for any wellness and fitness-related topics. Members can access clubs using the app, book classes, manage their schedules, find expert advice on a range of fitness and wellness-related topics, access online workouts, track their progress and more.

“We built the new app with our members’ experience in mind, focusing on how we can further immerse and assist them on their wellness journey. We recognise that people rely on digital platforms for fitness advice, and our goal with the app has been to bring the digital and physical worlds together to foster and grow our relationship with our members,” says Dean Kowarski, group CEO of Virgin Active.

Driving loyalty in the fitness industry

The new Virgin Active app is also the foundation for Virgin Active's new loyalty programme, one of the first in the fitness industry. Developed based on insights about motivation and habit formation, the programme offers weekly rewards, month-long training streak bonuses, and membership tiers with special perks for short- and long-term member engagement.

“The app's home screen will place equal emphasis on loyalty and exercise, reflecting Virgin Active's commitment to playing a key role in the overall wellness narrative. To broaden accessibility, our members can also access more than 350 hours of exclusive content across eight categories of exercise, whether they’re at home or in the gym,” adds Kowarski.

The app was developed with Future Platforms, a UK-based app development firm. “Our brief was simple; we needed to create an innovative, market-leading digital membership experience, that would reduce member churn, and offer more options to our members who sometimes can’t make it to the gym or need guidance on how to improve their holistic wellness approach,” he adds.

Global rollout starting in SA

The Virgin Active Member App will launch first in South Africa at the end of May, and will be rolled out subsequently to the global network of Virgin Active gyms in the coming months. Designed with a global scope in mind, Virgin Active explains that the app can be easily adapted to cater to local audiences to ensure a seamless and engaging experience for members worldwide.

“Looking into the future, our primary objective is to understand our members better, so we can build meaningful and personal relationships with them, continuously bringing more value to our member base. The app is our starting point to enable members take their own lifestyle changes into their own hands. We believe wellness changes lives for the better, and we’re passionate about walking alongside our members through every step of their wellness journey,” concludes Kowarski.

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