The fitness industry today is already heavily driven by new and improving mobile applications. For the past few years, iPhones have had built-in fitness trackers. And for all those active individuals out there who want more, there’s an app for every health-related demand. Fitbit alone has eight activity-tracking wearables, all powered by one hearty app.

Fitness businesses need to be intensely competitive, not unlike the peer-to-peer social competition they thrive on. It’s trend-driven, and there is always a new ‘it’ workout that takes center stage. Staying popular and retaining a steady client-base is no easy feat.

Leaders in this industry, like most other industries, can set themselves apart through personalization, and customizable options that cater to individual needs. Compared to old-school gyms, app-driven fitness provides that much-needed personal element.

Below are four actionable ways that fitness companies across the board can win out over competition, through the pursuit of ‘app-iness’.

1. Optimizing At-Home & On-Demand Workouts Through Messaging

In today’s busy, on-the-go world, gyms are also constantly competing with their clients’ time. Clients have to divide their time between working long hours, social engagements, and housekeeping— and sometimes working out just falls below the fold. But what about customizable at-home workouts and on-demand personal training? These are innately associated with desirable, lower opportunity costs for potential clients.

For instance, trainer Kayla Itsines’ app for a 28-minute workout boasts over 20 million clients. These types of workouts are inherently app-driven, and can gain an extra boost of popularity by integrating in-app messaging into their programs. If clients can directly message with the trainer or staff about any personal or support-related question, without ever having to leave the app, this adds an additional element of convenience, conversation, and engagement.

2. Rewarding Hard Work, Or Really Any Work Through In-App Inboxes

Even traditional gyms can use a mobile app to engage their clients. Through pro-active messaging platforms like Helpshift Campaigns, gyms can reward clients with points after every workout. The point notifications can live in an in-app message inbox, and can add up over time towards tangible rewards, incentivizing clients to increase their workout frequency. Rewards can be anything from a gym t-shirt to a free guest pass.

These small rewards can go a long way towards user loyalty and customer retention. And if clients reach larger goals, consider rewards that match their level of commitment!

3. Never Letting A Seat Go Unfilled Through Targeted Push Notifications

Boutique fitness studio classes can cost upwards of $35 per ‘seat’. So obviously having vacant seats can be very expensive for the studio. By integrating dynamic pricing or discounted options to fill last-minute spots, studios can work towards filling every class, every day.

That’s a huge opportunity to increase revenue, and one that can be achieved through Campaigns push notifications. Sending out last minute deals and discounts to existing and potential clients will entice them to open their wallets and stay healthier in the process.

4. Preparing for the Future of Fitness, Tech, and Support

The fitness industry has evolved and expanded into countless directions already, much in part driven by the latest and greatest in tech. So, it would be prudent to consider where it is headed next. Voice-commanded technology like Amazon’s Alexa is one clear path that is emerging.

Imagine this technology combined with health and fitness apps. Alexa could tell clients exactly what they need to fulfill their fitness requirements each day, and provide that instant and on-demand feedback and recommendations. Fitness apps that can contribute to that new level of personalization and convenience will surely rise above the noise.