Gym owners beware – technology is taking over! With the proliferation of fitness apps available no need for a gym membership any more. With 70% of Irish people owning a smartphone (Eir Connected Living Survey, 2015) and 1.91m people globally using smartphones (Emarketer, 2014) the opportunity for businesses launching fitness apps is huge!
Health and fitness apps enjoy huge popularity with 15% of global internet users using them on a monthly basis (www.statista.com, 2016). While for other sectors downloads may be high, usage can be an issue, but with health and fitness apps consumers are either following a programme or tracking their progress so repeat usage is high. There has been a 52% increase in app sessions for health and apps (www.statista.com, 2016).
There are many different types of health and fitness apps in the market and each business has employed a different strategy.
My Fitness pal along with popular distance tracking apps Map My Fitness and Endomondo were acquired by sports clothing retailer Under Armour who could see the broad reach of these apps and the ability to use them to drive sales of their sportswear clothing. Under Armour have now set up "Under Armour Connected Fitness" - the world's largest health and digital community. “One thing we emphatically know is that the more they work out, the more apparel and footwear they’re going to ultimately buy,” said Under Armour Chief Executive Kevin Plank of the company’s customers (Wall Street Journal, 2015). He also reported that the company will use insights gleaned from consumers sharing data across its platforms to help make marketing decisions for its brand and their tactics are clearly working with both share and revenue growth.