COVID19 has rocked local business owners’ worlds and has left us wondering what is next? What does the future of the fitness, beauty, and wellness industry look like? Business owners are reconsidering many facets of their business to adjust to the new normal and keep their business afloat. True Lark has been tracking the booking data over the course of the pandemic and sharing what they’ve learned. Here is the timeline behind True Lark’s data in the fitness, beauty, and wellness industry.
On March 11th, 2020 “The WHO declared that the spread of COVID-19 had become a pandemic, which the organization has defined as “the worldwide spread of a new disease.” (USA TODAY) On March 13th, The White House declared the coronavirus pandemic to be a national emergency. The United States started to see a country-wide shutdown of fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses.
As the national emergency unfolded, True Lark customers saw a 50% reduction in call volume from early March to late March. In addition, there was a 63% increase in appointment cancellations (WoW) the week of March 15th and a 77% decrease in bookings.
The beginnings of the pandemic caused the economy to freeze and consumers to begin to cancel their appointments as the fear of uncertainty grew.
In late March/early April, bookings dropped another 50% (WoW) as the news that the shelter-in-place order was extended to the end of April. Similarly, MINDBODY saw an 80% reduction in booking YoY.
Unlike the data in March, the decrease in bookings was complemented with a 391% increase in rescheduled appointments the week of April 5th. Showing that consumers and businesses were hopeful and ready to come back for their appointment-based services.
According to data collected from the US Small Business Administration, 57% of small businesses said their revenue decreased by more than 75% between mid-March and April 6th. At the same time, many of the large franchisees in the fitness, beauty, and wellness industries started to lay off their employees.
As parts of the country made plans to reopen, there was an increase in call volume and a 47% increase in web chat conversations WoW. Clients reaching out with questions or to see when businesses were going to reopen. Most of the conversations handled were around FAQs related to COVID19 such as:
- When are you reopening?
- What are you doing to keep your facility clean and safe?
- Do you require face masks?
With the reduction in staff members, business owners without a Business Assistant were tasked with handling these conversations themselves or many calls, texts, and emails were left unanswered.
According to data from the week of May 4th, True Lark saw call volume increase by 33% from the previous week. Web Chat conversations are up 17% week over week (WoW), reschedules up 27% WoW, and cancellations down 55% WoW.
Missed call and web chat volume is increasing as businesses are starting to reopen their doors and schedules. The data is also showing that missed call volumes are currently higher from businesses in states where businesses are allowed to reopen. In some cases, missed call volume picks up before the reopening dates and some afterward.
Call volumes have increased, but booking levels are returning at a slower rate even in states that are open. This could be due to a few different reasons (no availability due to limited capacity, more informational requests, reduction in practitioners returning to work, etc.)
Across all states, open or closed, calls are being missing. It’s important for business owners to plan on how to handle the influx of conversations at their business with a limited staff to ensure customer satisfaction stays high.
Looking for more COVID-19 tips? Checkout: Beauty, Wellness and Fitness: A view of the industry during COVID19 from the front lines.