The health, wellness and fitness industry is thriving and thus becoming more and more competitive.
People educate themselves more, science and technology advances to help us live healthier lives in a busy, stressful environment. Fitness software solutions have become the quickest and most easily-accessible way of getting on-demand health information, fitness assistance, and personalized programs.
While this demand has translated into thousands upon thousands of health and fitness apps, the market is still growing and there are opportunities for new and upcoming products to become viral. However, in order to get to the arena, there is a lot of work that has to happen behind the scenes. From having just the right features to a stellar promotional strategy, health and fitness apps have to truly stand out among the crowd.
Looking to build a brand new health and fitness app? We know from experience what it takes to materialize health and fitness apps and what do you need to make them shine. Check out the top categories in the industry and the must-haves for each one.
Types of Health and Fitness Mobile Apps and Features
There are many types of health and fitness mobile apps out there, but the major categories are Workout Apps, Nutrition Apps, Health Apps, Meditation Apps, and Fitness Trackers. Some products are a mix of two or more but most of them focus on a specific one goal and, therefore, have a particular set of features. Do you know what it takes to build an app in each one of these categories? We do! We’ve helped numerous health and fitness startups get a leg up on their competition with must-have features and marketing tactics tailored to the industry. Each type of health and fitness app will pose its own challenge, and we’re happy to share what we’ve found along the way here and now.
What You Need to Know About Workout Apps
Workout apps specialize in offering exercise routines that could be followed at the gym or at home, allowing users to keep track of their progress. What are the must-have features for them? Let’s take a look at why they are so important.
- Personalized experience is one of the key functionalities if you want users to stick to your app. Adding the ability to customize their workout plans, as well as their profiles, makes them identify with the app and become more active.
- Sharing results with friends is a functionality you can’t go without. It creates a community and will help you grow your app’s userbase. By enabling collaborative training, it becomes part of their social lives and users are more stimulated to be consistent.
- Push notifications are a must for these apps. In any busy working environment, we tend to forget what we were planning to do during the day and often skip workouts. Push notifications will remind your users to complete their routines and, as an added bonus, keep them coming back to the app.
- Gamification is the latest trend but it has become a crucial functionality during the last few years. Users are more stimulated to actively use the application and train if they are able to achieve virtual goals, unlock next levels and gain points. That’s how working out becomes more of a game rather than an obligation.
- Multi-device synchronization is another must-have for your health and fitness solution. Users want to take their favorite apps with them and if we want to keep the engagement high, we need to make sure our product functions equally well on wearables, phones, and tablets.
In addition to the indispensable features, workout or fitness apps are usually one of the categories that front the biggest competition. That means that having a strong App Store and online presence has also become a necessity for these types of apps.
What does this look like in the real world?
Gorilla Workout is the perfect example of a workout application! This mobile app has all the above-described features, providing daily workout routines that allow users to train effectively at home and allowing them to track their progress as well as share it through a buddy system for friends to train together.
One of the key tactics Gorilla Workout used to get the word out about the app when it was first launched, was to optimize its App Store, do a full website redesign to support the lead generation efforts and launch a media outreach campaign. The product reached the second position on the App Store in 1 month, for “daily exercises”-related keywords. Marketing efforts invested in reaching its target audience resulted in doubled average downloads with a single media post. Raised brand awareness of the Gorilla Workout app led to more website visits and, in turn, a bigger userbase.
The Latest Hit: Nutrition Apps
Recently, we see a spike in the number of nutrition apps emerging. Due to their specific set of features, they come to complement workout apps and cover a different aspect of the healthy lifestyle. Nutrition apps have become a hit during the recent years because users are starting to see health and fitness as a part of an overall well being approach; allowing them to have a healthy lifestyle supported by healthy eating. To be able to provide the necessary support, nutrition and meal-planning apps should take into account the following features:
- Goal setting is a must-have option in order to motivate users and help them track their daily calorie intake. Achieving goals is a strong mechanism to ensure high engagement with the app.
- Charts and nutrition diagrams generated on a daily or weekly basis will help identify the eating habits that should be improved.
- Meal logs and the ability to keep history will make it easier for them to understand how they could improve their diet. This functionality also creates a more personalized experience.
- Nutritional calculator is a must to help analyze the calorie intake and nutritional components in the meals.
- Recipe recommendations for healthier eating based on the logged meals. Cooking meals at home is a preferred option by most people who want to improve their lifestyle. This way, they know exactly what they eat and are able to adjust some recipes according to their regime.
While the quality of the app itself might carry a lot of the weight of these app’s success, you’ll need to get the word out there about your product. Users looking for healthy eating are looking for recipes online and gathering advice from health coaches, take advantage of that with some influencer marketing to boost downloads.
A great example of an innovative nutrition app:
RecipeIQ is a proud representative of the nutrition app family. This mobile app extracts all the nutritional facts from print and online recipes using specialized image-processing technology to scan photos and a custom script to scan websites. Users can even add their own recipes and not only scan or take photos of them! It then pulls ingredients to calculate their combined nutritional values, using an advanced database search algorithm. With a database of more than 7,300 ingredients, RecipeIQ displays macro and micronutrients per serving and by ingredient. The innovative solution is available for iOS and Android devices and it’s free to use. It’s continuously updated and provides accurate nutritional calculations to help its users on their journey to establishing healthy eating routines.
As part of a launching strategy, RecipeIQ has built a comprehensive marketing strategy around the product, including media outreach, social media and even podcast outreach. These efforts that have resulted in over 10K downloads.
Health Apps Are Where Wellness and Technology Meet
Developing health apps is very diverse work. The products in this category aim to establish healthier habits. Ranging from sleep tracking and hydration reminders to sedentary alarms and posture analysis, these apps need highly skilled developers to implement the custom algorithms your app will need in order to provide the best user experience. The most important features are:
- Goal setting is also important as it helps keep users motivated and establish sustainable habits.
- Push notifications and reminders to ensure the daily goals are not forgotten. This will also increase product engagement and build consistency.
- Custom algorithms depending on the kind of app to analyze the current health indicators and track progress. They would vary depending on whether the app is focused on sleep tracking, posture, sedentary analysis or another factor.
This is the single most innovative category when it comes to health and fitness apps. Due to the nature of this type of apps, it’s impossible to say exactly which features would need to be developed in full. In a similar note, the marketing strategies used will need to be just as unique and tailor-made as the application to ensure its success.
Check out one interesting example of our health app projects:
SmartPosture is a mobile application made for anyone who wants to easily improve their body posture. Did you know that neck aches and pains are common symptoms of the so-called ‘text neck’ and are caused by bending over handheld devices? SmartPosture helps users improve posture habits and avoid these symptoms through a posture reminder and statistical record.
It’s programmed to monitor the user’s posture and send notifications accordingly. In an effort to support the app, a brand new website was developed so that users can get all the information they need and properly understand the benefits of the application. On the marketing side, they invested in content creation, including copywriting for blogs and promotional videos to build an ongoing user base growt.
Is Your Idea the Next Great Health and Fitness App?
The health, wellness, and fitness industry is diverse and competitive but also a fast-expanding one. As we discussed, there are various categories of apps and each product has a unique value proposition. Knowing the audience and the must-have features for your type will help you create a better positioned solution and have a bigger impact.
From our years of experience in developing health and fitness mobile apps for our clients, we know how to shape your idea into a successful product. You can now help people live healthier and also increase your profit. In order to stand out, you need your unique idea and a reliable partner who knows the industry. With our experienced team of health and fitness app developers and full-stack marketers, we can help you turn your idea into reality!