The rise of e-commerce
The raise of Covid-19 in 2020 as caused so much disruption to business slowing down the economy. Because of social distancing laws, business have not been able to trade efficiently moving their operations online.
Unfortunately, business in particular gyms don’t have the e-commerce part of their business built for high demand.
COVID-19 changed forever our relation with shopping in general. Everybody wants to be fit and healthy but in the coming years going to the gym may be a bit complicated.
What can gyms offer? The relationship with members is fundamental for the business, more than others because they work with a person, in person, on the person. More online courses will be offered but everybody can watch videos from Youtube or other popular streaming platforms.
Soon all shops will reopen but it is difficult to say what our behaviour will be; the uncertainty is quite high. The find a way to retain old clients and acquire new clients is a new challenge.
Go to the gym is the way to shape your body but also socialize with other people. Make relations and connections. Social life is an important part in the gym business: more often, gyms organize social events to aggregate people and keep them close. People enjoy to join those events to meet new friends and partners.
The idea behind GymConnections is to combine the requirements from the business with social connections.
With GymConnections every gym has its own community of people. So, people can virtually meet, chat, organize to see each other in the gym or follow a course together. Sometimes, in the gym people are busy to do their exercises with their pods and you don’t want to disturb but you can send a message in the app and maybe you can start to talk each other.
When a new customer joins the gym via website or apps, he or she has access to all activities in the gym: courses, book a PT, social events, read about the teachers, watch videos and link related to the gym and more.
Also, he or she can see the list of people in the gym and start to talk and make connections, like in Whatsapp or Whatsapp groups.
The gym takes advantage for the integrated system between web and mobile apps but also the integration with payment gateways, like Stripe, for the customer’s purchase.
GymConnections public website
The main site of GymConnections shows all classes, courses and events for all the associated gyms. So, every gym increases the visibility of their events but also acquire new clients.
Although the website is one, the application is multitenant. For each gym there is a different entry point, so the end user has a consistent image of the gym. It is possible to customize the home page for each gym, for example, with the logo, change colours, add links and news.
The Admin of the gym can:
- Dashboard with all important statistics about the gym
- Create, update, delete, block users
- Create, update, delete type of membership
- Create, update, delete course (in the gym or online) and their locations
- Create, update, delete events (in the gym or online)
- Manage discounts for courses and events
- Authorize and manage instalment for users
- Receive tickets/messages from users
For each user, the admin can see:
- all details
- what classes or events the user has joined or paid
- payment transactions
- note and details
- send messages to the user (SMS, web and app)
- timeline of all activities
For each membership, the admin can:
- define a name and a description
- define what kind of membership is (membership or service credits pack)
For each course, the admin can:
- manage the facility
- assign teachers
- assign a single price or include the course in a membership
- schedule the course (one off, ones a week, Monday and Wednesday at 5pm)
- list the users
- add a new student
- create a waiting list
- check the registry
- send messages to the group
- supervise the public chat between users
Integration with an existing website
Nowadays, gyms have their own website without the e-commerce. What is the simple way to integrate GymConnections with their website?
GymConnections shows classes, courses, memberships and other information about the gym. Also, it manages the payment process. No action required by the gym. The platform is doing everything.
Integration with other applications
GymConnections offers a developer SDK to access all data for each gym. So, if you have, for example, your app and you want to integrate GymConnections with your app, the apis allows you to read and update data.
Also, the idea is to integrate GymConnentions with popular devices such as Fitbit to create challenges or competitions between users.
In the platform, each teacher has his or her account. Each teacher can update his or her details, have the list of classes he or she is assigned and for each class the list of students for managing the register.
I want to create one app for each operating system: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (phones and tablets), Windows (desktop and tablet).
The app display for each gym the list of course and a user can buy courses or subscribe directly from the app.
As a user, I can review and update my details, see the list of classes and the timetable I joined, see the chat groups or start a private chat with someone.
As a teacher, I can see all my classes and the timetable, the list of students to manage to registry, send a message to all student.
As an admin, I can see a dashboard with the import data of the gym, search teachers, classes, courses, events and students.
Only few details about the architecture of the system. Thinking about digital transformation for business, all platform will be hosted in Microsoft Azure. The website will be created with .NET Core 3.x for the backend and React/jQuery for the frontend. All data will be stored in Microsoft SQL Server and Azure Cosmos DB.
Security is an important layer of the applications: an identity server will authenticate users and applications.
Xamarin (or MAUI) is the platform based on .NET to create mobile applications for iOS and Android but also for Microsoft Windows.
There is a monthly fee for using the system based of the service level the gym wants:
- Basic: only the website
- Pro: website + apps
- Advance: website + customize apps
For each payment, a fee will be applied.