App stores have decided that all livestream one-to-few and one-to-many (i.e. classes and events), are now considered Digital Content and fall into the domain of In-App Purchases.
In-App Purchases will now charge a 30% fee on all revenue earned from said Digital Goods that allow access to Digital Content.
fitDEGREE will be implementing features to filter out these Digital Goods from certain mobile applications and hosting them solely on our Progressive Web App and other app platforms that have not implemented these egregious fees.
Back in September 2020, a tech giant decided that group fitness classes that were instructed via livestream were now considered “Digital Goods” and fell under their umbrella of influence by becoming an “In-App Purchase”.
In-App Purchases were typically reserved for app store games such as Angry Birds and CandyCrush. With the fitness industry going digital, a certain tech giant decided to seize the opportunity to audit additional industries to seek new revenue streams.
The ramifications of In-App Purchases have major consequences…
1) All purchases for Digital Goods (i.e. memberships, packs and drop-ins), would now have a 30% fee by the app store, leaving you with only 70% of your revenue instead of the usual 97% after traditional processing fees.
2) In-App Purchases would make it so you, the merchant, would have little to no control over the ability to apply refunds to these Digital Goods as well as give your clients the ability to manage gift cards and account balances.
As if that wasn’t enough, unfortunately there is more… With certain tech giants pushing for In-App Purchases, they also share in their guidelines that it is prohibited to encourage clients to make Off-App Purchases. Not only does this mean that we aren’t allowed to share on our mobile application that the purchases of Digital Goods can be found on our website version, BUT it implicates that we cannot use contact information (email and phone number) that was submitted during a mobile application account creation to make clients aware that Digital Goods can be found on outside platforms.
fitDEGREE will NOT stand for this and will do everything that we can to SUPPORT small businesses.
To work within the guidelines imposed upon us, we can still move forward with the sales of traditional “In Studio” products, however we will be taking Digital Goods off of certain apps and moving them solely to our Progressive Web App version, found at https://app.fitdegree.com/ and other app platforms which are not imposing fees.
Moving these purchases to solely be on these platforms will allow your business to continue collecting the revenue you earned and rightly deserve.
This also means that we will have to move account creation to the a website widget as well so that if we were to be audited, we can justly say that all contact information was submitted through our private fitDEGREE platform. That way we can allow our clients to share any information regarding where to purchase Digital Goods with their clients.
While we recognize this as an inconvenience, we don’t believe that taking 30% of a small businesses’ revenue is fair or just. We also believe that you have a right to your client information and should use it as you see fit to contact them to perform sales and other outreach. At fitDEGREE we strive to be a progressive software dedicated to innovation and we would much rather have our focus be on helping our clients grow their businesses. We've decided that we will not give in to these bullies and allow them to change our view on how we should service our fitFam.
In an effort to build a brighter and more fair future, we have submitted a membership application to the Coalition for App Fairness (https://appfairness.org/). The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem. You can read our membership application submission here - LINK. We will keep you posted as things progress.
This is an unfortunate situation, but as entrepreneurs and business owners, we are faced with difficult challenges time and time again. We appreciate your support throughout this time and hope that you understand and agree with the decisions that we are making to navigate this hurdle.
Disclaimer that all of the following answers are based on our current knowledge of the situation and that unfortunately, any of these answers can change in the future depending on how these tech giants continue to enforce changes of their policies.
Unfortunately, you cannot. Part of the guidelines include that you cannot redirect your clients on the impacted mobile applications to make “Off App Purchases” that they consider to be In App Purchases.
This will be your choice. We have already added the button to your Admin that gives you the choice to either display your virtual classes as view-only or remove them entirely from the impacted mobile applications. You can find this in the App Settings section of your Setup.
That’s it! Our next update will be to automate the process of making all memberships and packs that contain virtual classes in their perks to a view-only status on the impacted mobile applications. Similar to class registration, they will be able to be purchased on the website versions of the platform.
Registration for all virtual classes on the impacted platforms will be on a view-only status. All impacted mobile applications clients will either have to use the web browser version of the fitDEGREE platform or your website widget in order to make a registration.
Never! We plan on operating inside the guidelines by creating appropriate workarounds to avoid this fee.
To date, all of our clients have received 100% of their revenue from virtual classes, minus the traditional processing fees.
From COVID-19 to the California Wildfires, 2020 was the catalyst that taught Jennifer how to pivot.
“The amount of pivoting we have done this year is crazy to think about; however, I am happy and proud to say... We never closed once!”
All throughout 2020, Perfect Union remained open in one way or another. After just one day of mandated shut down, Perfect Union had set up virtual classes and was operational the very next day.
For Jennifer, it was easy to pivot because she knew people were counting on her to keep them healthy and sane during 2020. She believes that, as a studio owner, there is so much gratification when you see people transform their lives right in front of you and she doesn't want to see her clients regress and lose all of the progress they’ve made.
So she did what any studio owner with grit would do… She kept going.
“Community for us is creating a supportive environment. People become family here. We all know one another, we cheer each other on, and accept each person for where they are at in their journeys.”
1) fitDEGREE does provide a complete website version of our client facing app, also known as a Progressive Web App (PWA). This can be found by going to your Setup page and clicking on Widgets underneath My fitSpot. The link is in the top bar under App Share Link. This will lead your clients directly to your page without them having to select a fitSpot.
2) Implement any and all website widgets. We have already created website widgets for your Live Schedule as well as One-on-Ones and Announcements. This can be found in the same spot of your App Share Link. If you want to skip the widgets, you can actually put an iframe of your PWA on your website too! Check out the custom HTML code for this below, all you have to do is change “app-share-link-here” to your actual link.
<iframe src="app-share-link-here" height="500" width="700"></iframe>
3) If you currently display pricing items on your app, you can create a pricing page to your website with descriptions of all your memberships and packs and then attach your Share link. By clicking into each membership and class pack, there will be a custom share link for each pricing item. This will lead clients directly to a cart and allow them to complete their purchase.