How to Build Apps that Will Keep Business Profitable in Crisis (Part 3): Fitness Applications

, May 14, 2020

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The global pandemic changed not only our every-day life but also set new trends in software development. In our three-part series, we continue to share with you the best application types that help quarantined businesses flourish even during the economic crisis. Such applications keep our society functional in a time of lockdown, but we are sure they are going to be highly profitable for their owners in a long-term perspective even beyond COVID-19. In the first two parts of the blog series, we’ve talked about video streaming and delivery applications. Today, we will take a look at fitness applications as another software development trend with great potential, and cover the following subtopics:

  • Market overview of fitness app development segment
  • Basic functionality a fitness application should have
  • How long does it take and how expensive is it to create a fitness app?
  • Useful technical and business tips on fitness application development

Fitness Application Development Segment: Market Size, Leaders, and Trends

The fitness app development market is projected to grow by $1.68 billion just in four years, from 2020 to 2024.

The US fitness app market size, 2015-2026Source: Grand View Research

Currently, the fitness app development segment is more fragmented than video streaming or food delivery. In other words, finding your business niche is easier. There are several market leaders that have uneven popularity among iOS and Android platform users, such as Calm, MyFitnessPal, Headspace, and Weight Watchers.

Most popular health and fitness apps, February 2020Source: SensorTower

The economic decline and social distancing measures will likely speed up fitness app development growth. Since the beginning of the quarantine, the sales of fitness equipment, including yoga mats, dumbbells, and treadmills, increased by over 50%. With the closure of gyms, socially distant sports lovers switch to alternative ways to stay physically active. They eagerly use fitness apps to organize their training routine at home.

Before contacting an iOS or Android app development company, try to understand what type of a fitness app is the most demanded among your target audience. The majority of fitness services fall under three broad categories:

  • Activity tracking apps. Track the number of steps, calories burnt, favorite activities, exercise duration, distance (e.g., Google Fit).
  • Diet and nutrition apps. Help to monitor food habits, automatically count calories, control weight/water balance, cook healthy recipes, and more (e.g., MyFitnessPal).
  • Workout and exercise apps. Provide selections of exercises for different activity types and groups of muscles (e.g., Sweat).

Based on the current mobile development trends, workout and exercise apps demonstrate the largest growth in demand. They allow users to stay physically active at home and brace themselves for the prolonged quarantine period.

Basic Features of a Fitness Application

Even though the target audience differs for each app type, their features are intertwined. For example, a simple workout app can be significantly enriched with activity tracking functionality or nutrition tips. Leobit’s mobile app development services recommend starting with an MVP to test the core functionality and then expand it with additional capabilities. Here are the basic features of a fitness app:

  • User login allows users to complete a quick registration through social media or opt for email sign up.
  • User profile provides a dashboard where app users can set parameters, such as sex, age, weight, or exercise preferences, and see their training progress.
  • Workout programs enable people to choose among numerous training plans and different types of activities.
  • Activity tracking to track steps, training duration, calories burnt, distance, and other relevant indicators.
  • Pop-up recommendations. Implement AI-powered tips to guide users in their future efforts based on their previous achievements.
  • Wearable device integrations. Integrate with popular wearables to collect more reliable data and enhance the training experience.
  • Social features. Enable users to share their progress on social media, including Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter.

Launching a fitness app, it’s also necessary to select the right monetization approach. Paid ads, sponsored content, paid features, or monthly subscriptions are the most commonly used approaches.

How Long Does it Take to Create a Fitness App (MVP)? And How Expensive is it?

When it comes to determining the timeframes, you have to consider a lot of factors such as the resources you have access to, the application scope, app complexity, and functionality, etc. In the table below we listed the main tasks required for fitness application development and provided an average number of hours necessary for each task completion.

Functionality Estimated Hours
User registration 32+
User profile 30+
Push notifications 24+
Workout tools 120+
Activity tracking 135+
Wearables Integration 60+
Social media shares 30+
Design 100+
Total 531+

Now, when you know an average timeline of a fitness app development, let’s calculate how much it would cost to build such an application. Clutch, a B2B market research firm, shows that the hourly rate of US software development companies fluctuates from $100 to $149. It means that the cost of a fitness application will be starting from $53,100 to $79,119 combined with the additional budget allocated for risks, fixes, tests, and unplanned additions. Respectively, the total price of a delivered application might be in a range of $106,200 to $158,238. However, you can save about 50% of the aforementioned amount by outsourcing your software development into Lviv, Ukraine.

Useful Tech and Business Tips on Fitness App Development

  • Use Auth0 to implement out-of-the-box authorization functionality
  • Integrate with Google Fit and Apple’s HealthKit APIs to access user information from wearable devices. No need to build complex direct integrations with wearable sensors
  • Invest in building apps for simple home workouts to meet the current pandemic development trends
  • Focus on a specific market segment and end-users while building your marketing strategy (e.g. Sweat is promoted as a fitness app for a female community)
  • Make sure to engage professionals in the workout planning and warn users if some exercises may be too complex for them

Leobit’s developers have already created a lot of fitness mobile applications. Fitness solution with gamification elements for a Norwegian company Sportif AS is one of them. Our experts successfully delivered a complex project aimed to encourage people to physical activities.

You won’t miscalculate if you choose to build a video streaming, delivery, or a fitness app.  These types of applications are highly demanded by the users globally even during  the economic fallout. Contact Leobit’s experts who have a great experience in developing the best web & mobile applications and let them help your business flourish during the lockdown.

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