The fundamentals behind Helsinki and New York-based Sportsetter have always seemed strong. While it’s hard to get into a gym routine, it’s mentally harder to find (and show up to) new activities you might be interested in. Finding that rock climbing wall or a yoga studio can always be done tomorrow, and you’ll definitely show up the day after that, right?
With an app-based interface and a €7.99 monthly fee, Sportsetter reduces that friction by allowing you to find new activities, like gyms, martial arts, and kayaking, and then do these activities, all included in that monthly price. With a few tweaks already rolled out and a new marketplace feature called ‘Offers’ currently in beta, I’m bullish that the company is onto something.
Sitting down for coffee with Niko Karstikko, the CEO and co-founder of Sportsetter, he says that they’ve taken a good look at their model and have simplified the user experience and processes. Before last November, the app gave users a quota of how many activities they could participate in per month, which inadvertently caused users think they should save their passes for something. “With no credits to use, then you just pick something. Our first activity ratios went from 23% to 34% – that’s people that sign into the app and then do an activity.”
On the other side of the equation, Sportsetter users are also converting to paying customers for these businesses. Currently 24% of visits by Sportsetter users already converted into customers for partners, and with a new Marketplace feature, Sportsetter is trying to convert even more of them.
The logic goes that these users already have a relationship with the gym or studio through the app, and after trying the activity it makes sense to have a marketplace for 10x passes, single entries, and other deals to get people back into the door as a customer after they use Sportsetter’s free passes as a trial. There is room in the market; according to Karstikko 90% of all fitness activities are sold offline, and according to their survey the biggest desire from consumers is more straightforward pricing in fitness activities, which is a big focus of the company.
“The most important thing is transparency,” says Karstikko. “The perception of joining a new fitness activity is that you have a ton of paperwork, you have to put up with the onboarding process, and that you’re going to get hit with some hidden fees. Our app gets rid of that by making it super simple and easy.”