Getting in shape with Virgin Active

Virgin Active - Digital experience transformation

When Virgin Active asked us to build a new UK site on their Sitefinity global platform, we put user experience at the heart of every decision we made.

A world-leading health-club group, with 233 clubs in seven countries, including 43 in England.
In 2018 Virgin Active asked Equator to build a new website and online e-commerce platform, as their existing site was inflexible, unstable and difficult to manage. We put together a team of experts across development, UX design, testing, strategy, project and account management to create a lean, healthy and very good-looking solution.

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“We built a complete new site and e-commerce platform in just four months.”

A demanding exercise

Priorities for VA were that the site should be fast and stable, simple to use, scaleable up and down, supportive of integration to different systems and, of course, cost-effective.

From a thorough discovery phase of workshops and insight sessions, we moved on to defining a solution. This looked at user journeys, personas, information architecture, key wireframes, design concept and prototyping.

Then came the small matter of making it all work, over an intense programme over just four months. The site and ecommerce platform went live in December 2018, in time to catch the busy post-Christmas sign-up season.

Implementing Sitefinity technology

Building on the strengths of Sitefinity gave us a booking engine that integrates with customer availability and pricing engines, and which allows for membership sign-ups, class and personal trainer bookings. An account login function reduces admin and improves efficiency. The entire architecture was built for extendability, so it can be easily rolled out to other territories, and the site can accommodate multiple languages and currencies.

What we acheived

From the beginning, our focus was on user experience. We focused on member retention through stability and engagement, slick UX, great content and optimised conversion journeys.

We also made the most of the features inherent in Sitefinity, the chosen global platform, while making life easier with improved efficiencies for the VA UK team. The finished project is in a good position to be used as the future blueprint for global activity.

60% increase in web leads


Virgin Active has seen a 60% increase in web leads 6 months after launch. They’re also seeing positive member feedback, and an increase in enquiries and revenue for services like personal training and corporate membership.

Online member survey results:

Rated 79% for ease of use

Online member survey results:

Rated 74% for key actions like booking classes

Online member survey results:

75% for how the site represented their club

Performance stats after 6 month:

Leads up 60%

Performance stats after 6 month:

Conversion rate of 22%

Performance stats after 6 month:

Paid social conversion rate up from 3% to 12%

Virgin Active came to us for a straightforward website design

They got a total and transformational re-shaping of how the customer interacts with the brand online, with great results. We could put your business into fantastic shape, too - ask us how.