Bigtoe vs subscription-based apps


With all the choices facing a customer, it can be an arduous task to choose the right booking platform for their Yoga and fitness classes. This post is an attempt to cut the clutter and help you make an informed decision.

Flexibility vs Pricing

Broadly speaking, a customer has three choices. She can buy 1) a class pack directly from the studio, 2) subscription package on a subscription-based app that offers use-them-or-lose-them credits that expire at the end of every month, and 3) Bigtoe credits that never expire and offer discounted classes.

What does it mean for your ability to take classes wherever, whenever you want and the net effective price you end up paying for those classes? Let us use a scenario to illustrate the differences.

Consider a town with 6 fitness studios each of which offer a 10-class pack that expires in six months.

Option 1 (Buying directly from studios): Susan buys a 10-class pack at each of the 6 studios. She now has 60 classes in total that she can take anywhere and anytime within the next 6 months with the only condition being that she cannot go to any studio more than 10 times during these 6 months.

Option 2 (Subscription-based apps): Jess buys a 6-month subscription on a subscription-based app that gives her option to take a total of 10 classes a month across the 6 studios but with three conditions 1) Any unused classes disappear at the end of each month, 2) Jess is not allowed to go to any studio more than twice a month and 3) For any late cancellation or no-show, Jess pays a significant penalty on top of her subscription price.

It is pretty obvious that option 2 with three constraints is far less flexible than option 1.

Does the fact that option 2’s upfront cost is a little less than option 1 make up for the loss of flexibility? Only when Jess consistently uses all of her credits, never cancels a booking late and is never a no-show!

Our simulations based on actual customer behavior show that in majority of the cases, subscription-based apps ends up costing more than buying class packs directly from the studios.

Let’s now consider the third option.

Option 3 (Bigtoe): Kim buys a discounted 10-class credit pack on Bigtoe she can use across 6 studios with two additional features 1) the credits never expire, and she can top them off whenever she likes and 2) there is no constraint on when and how often Kim can visit any studio.

It is fairly obvious that the Bigtoe option is far more flexible and cost-effective than the other options.

Dynamic Pricing

The classes on subscription-based apps go up in price if you try to revisit a studio multiple times. This disincentivizes consistency and penalizes you for liking a studio.

The discounted classes on Bigtoe app go further down in price if you revisit a studio within a week of visiting it. This incentivizes consistency and makes it easier to make repeat visits if you loved a studio.

Click here to read more on how the repeat discount works.

Cancellation/No-show Policy

If you cancel your booking late or are not able to show up to a class, the subscription-based apps charge you cash penalty on top of subscription fees. This makes no sense to us, especially as the extra cash is not passed on to the studio where you booked the class!

Bigtoe never asks you to pay on top of what you’ve already paid for late cancelling a booking or for not showing up to a class. In our opinion, the fact that you’ve lost partial or full credits is enough of a penalty!

- Deepak Tayal


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