Pike13 Review: Intuitive Membership Management Software Startup

Pike13 is a rapidly growing membership management startup that has quickly gained popularity amongst gyms and fitness studios.

Pike13 (formerly known as Front Desk) is a simple membership management solution serving a wide variety of service-based businesses, ranging from fitness studios to dance studios, and music schools. Though not designed solely for the fitness industry, many of Pike13’s clients are fitness businesses and the software has become one of the most popular solutions in the space. The interface is user friendly and has a lower learning curve than many of its competitors.

Pros

  • Easy to use, with an intuitive design.
  • Highly customizable -- creates a custom website (using a Pike13 subdomain) where users can access class schedules and purchase classes/memberships.
  • Offers custom-branded client app (for an additional fee.)
  • Reduces the amount of work needed for registering new members, making reservations, signing forms, and processing payments.
  • Integrates with TrainHeroic to help motivate clients, and track workout progress.

Cons

  • Younger company compared to other more well-established companies, so there are still some features that users may be used to from other systems, but are lacking in Pike13. The company does a good job of prioritizing these feature requests, though.
  • Some users report wanting more robust reporting capabilities. However, Pike13 recently launched Insights, a powerful reporting dashboard, which is available for free to Pro and Enterprise users.
  • Lacks point of sale capabilities.

Price

  • Cost depends on which package you purchase, but starts at $129/month, up to $179/month. See the full pricing details here.
  • Branded app for $59/month and one-time setup fee.
  • When using merchant processing, there is an additional charge, typically 2.89% + .30/per transaction fee.
  • Free 14 day trial.

Table of Contents

Full Review

Founded in 2013, Pike13 (formerly known as Front Desk) is a fast-growing Seattle-based membership management solution, with over $15M in venture capital funding. Pike13 is marketed as a membership management solution for any personal service-based business. However, the software is especially popular amongst fitness-related businesses, and it has many powerful fitness-specific capabilities, such as its integration with TrainHeroic, which box owners find to be useful. Nicki Violetti (co-owner of NorCal Strength & Conditioning) is one of Pike13's co-founders, which explains why the company has gained so much traction in the fitness industry. We’ve found Pike13 to be very user friendly and easy to learn compared to other membership management solutions we researched, at a comparable price to many of its competitors.

Key Features

Below, we discuss the key features of Pike13, and how they can benefit your business.

Custom Website & Client App

We like how Pike13 enables clients to create a custom website for their business, where clients have full control over the design and content that goes into the website. This is a nice feature, especially for those who don’t already have their own website or domain. The free trial walks you through how to quickly setup your site, but we’ve also found some examples of customers’ sites. It’s a nice touch that the sites are also designed well to run on mobile and not just desktop. This can save you the embarrassment of creating your own site, only to find that it looks good on your desktop, but not on your mobile phone. BRICK New York is a popular gym in New York, and is also a Pike13 client. Here are some screenshots of their schedule, as hosted on Pike13, on desktop and mobile:

Pike13 Front Desk Desktop Schedule

Here’s Crossfit Invictus’ site, a popular Crossfit affiliate in San Diego, who is another Pike13 customer. As you can see, it has very different branding than BRICK New York’s, but still has a similar layout, linking to different tabs that are relevant for each business.

Crossfit Invictus Pike13 Front Desk Schedule

The custom page makes it easy for members to see class schedules and make reservations. In addition, members can store their credit card information, so that they can easily pay for the classes or have it automatically deducted from their balance, if they’re on a class package.

Though your Pike13 page will integrate with your preexisting webpage if you have one, it’s important to understand that it will be a subdomain of Pike13, which means that it will be a separate webpage from your existing webpage. This is a potential downside since it will take members off of your domain page, but it’s also possible to have your custom Pike13 page have links to your page, making it easy for users to navigate between your existing webpage and the Pike13 page.

In addition to the custom website, you can also create a custom-branded client app, for an additional $59/month (and a one-time startup fee.) This makes it easier for clients to interact with your business and enroll in classes directly through their phone. Prior to having this capability, many users had expressed interest in providing their clients with an app, so that they didn't have to log onto the website through their computer in order to sign up for classes. We think it's important that Pike13 listened to their customer feedback and provided this functionality.

Pike13 Front Desk Custom Branded App

Scheduling

Pike13 makes it easy to create new classes and customize them. For example, you can modify the class length, specify how frequently the class runs, specify the capacity, enable a waitlist, and specify the price (which can be from a class package, or a dollar amount.) You can also specify cancellation rules, such as the deadline which members must cancel by, or optionally charge a cancellation fee.

Pike13 Front Desk Class Details

After creating classes, it’s easy to see what your business’ schedule looks like for each day, week, or month. The scheduler is attractive and intuitive, which makes it easy for management and instructors to check their schedule, so that they can plan ahead for the coming day. Members can access the schedule, enroll in classes and pay for them before showing up. Pike13 can also send members reminders for their classes the day before, which can help to reduce no-shows and cancellations.

Pike13 Front Desk Color Coded Schedule

Billing & Payroll

With Pike13, you’re able to allow customers to pay for classes before arriving, and even charge them the appropriate sales tax in order to ensure timely and accurate payment. The software can also set up recurring payments, and will alert you when a bill is overdue, or if a member’s credit card is about to expire. If you use the system for merchant processing, most (~95%) of Pike13's merchant processing is done through url="https://www.evopayments.us/merchants/" nofollow="true" on_current="true"EVO[/link, which charges a fee of 2.89% + $.30/per transaction. Pike13 also logs each transaction, and allows you to generate a report which can be exported to QuickBooks to help you when tax season comes around.

Since Pike13’s scheduler keeps track of each instructor’s schedule, the software makes it easy to manage and track payroll. The scheduler also keeps track of the number of students for each class, which makes it easy to know how much to pay instructors whose wages depend on the number of students attending each class.

Reporting

As with most membership management software, Pike13 comes with a suite of standard reports which can be helpful in optimizing your business. One nice feature is that it’s easy to control the privacy settings on each report, so that you can limit who can see sensitive financial reports.

However, some customers have indicated that it’s difficult to create custom reports, and that report generation can be slow. The software allows you to add custom filters to your report, but beyond that if you want to see a report that doesn’t currently exist in the system and isn’t just a matter of adding some filters, then you’ll need to download data and create the report yourself.

As a response to this customer feedback, Pike13 recently launched a reporting dashboard, called Insights, which conveniently displays several key metrics that help you track your business's financial performance. For example, you can easily track your revenue, the number of new clients over the past 7 days, as well as the number of no-shows and cancellations. This is another way that the company has demonstrated its commitment to listening to customer feedback, and acting on it. Insights is free for Pro and Enterprise users, but isn't currently available as an add-on for Business users.

Is Pike13 the right software for you?

If you’re a service-based business looking for intuitive software with a low learning curve to help manage your business, and you don’t mind paying at the top end of the market, then Pike13 is a great solution to consider. Pike13 is especially popular amongst fitness-based businesses, though the platform was designed to be applicable for all service-based industries.

Pike13 may be a particularly great solution for you if you don’t already have a website, since Pike13 will provide you with a powerful custom-branded website. If you already have a website, Pike13 can integrate with it, but it will guide users to their subdomain.

Based on our research, the main drawback to Pike13 is its pricing which, depending on the number of members you have, can be at the higher end of the market. If you’re a smaller, cost-conscious fitness business, then it’s worth considering ZenPlanner which will cost $120/month for up to 200 members, whereas Pike13 would cost $179/month for the Pro Package. However, if in the grand scheme of things this price difference is a minor expense to your business, and you value the low learning curve that Pike13 provides, then Pike13 is a top solution to consider.

Comments and Questions