Author: Caroline McClelland

Health and Fitness Apps – features that drive engagement!

health and fitness apps

It’s January, the start of a new year. Gyms around the world are flooded with new faces determined to better themselves. In the modern age there’s some ‘new year resolutioners’ that you’ll find are not reaching for the dumbbells, but for their smartphone. The market for health and fitness apps is booming and offers an alternative method to manage and control your own well-being. The key to customer retention in apps is to engage the user. Evaluate your campaigns using analytics and see what works for your users. Drive for success this year with the motivation levels of a January gym sign-up and use analytics to get a deeper understanding of your audience.

Research by Statista found that revenue in the fitness segment is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.0% (CAGR 2019-2023). This is expected to result in a market volume of $20,499m by 2023.

For your app to be a part of this market increase you need to be focused not only on acquisition, but how to keep users active.

Retention and Engagement – essential for health and fitness apps

For an app to be successful it must be as good at retention and engagement as it is at acquisition. By delving into your app analytics you will be able to make data-driven decisions to optimize your mobile app screens and improve your user onboarding process. What’s more, it will help you with your messaging strategy in 2020. Not only do you want to increase engagement with in-app notifications but you want to boost retention with push notifications.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the leading health and fitness apps and highlight the features that create great users, giving you tips for engagement and retention. This post discusses health and fitness apps but this can be applied to other industries such as hospitality.

There is a huge market for health and fitness apps in the Google Play and Apple App stores.  They all claim to give you the necessary tools to improve your health or fitness.  There are apps to work on your physical fitness, mental well-being or even music apps designed to keep you in the zone when you’re working out. They all fall into the health and fitness category.

Health and fitness apps often find more success in customer engagement than other genres of app. Users become loyal to particular apps, often engaging with them daily. Mobile marketers in all markets can learn from the user engagement success in the health and fitness sector.

4 ways to boost engagement of health and fitness apps

So, let’s take a look at some of the popular health and fitness apps and the features that engage their users. People want a high quality health and fitness app to use from the comfort of their mobile device, wherever they want to work out, or whatever their health goals. Those who still enjoy a gym membership, probably still want a few health and fitness apps to compliment their workout schedule or they may even take a holistic approach to health with a meditation app.

So, here are the 4 ways to boost engagement when it comes to health and fitness apps.

  1. Easy sign-up – and onboarding for paid subscribers
  2. Convenience – with personalized notifications
  3. It builds loyalty – with an engaging experience
  4. Data privacy is taken seriously

 

1: Easy sign-up – and onboarding for paid subscribers

Many health and fitness apps start with a free trial and then encourage people to sign up for a paid account. It’s important that the sign up process is easy and is followed by a good onboarding experience for the user. Once the user becomes a paid subscriber there needs to be change in CX to give the feeling of becoming a valued customer.

Jillian Michaels Fitness App

jillianmichaelsiphoneJillian Michaels app is a one-stop-shop for all fitness goals. It’s a paid app and at around $90 per year, it currently has over 20 fitness programs (of varying lengths), adjustable difficulty settings, and a meal planner. Some folks describe it as like having a celebrity “tough-love” personal trainer in your pocket.

From the moment you download the app, it’s engaging. There is a video from Jillian explaining the benefits of the app and then a simple form to complete with your details. It all feels very positive. The prices are displayed up front, but with the option to start a 7 day free trial.

No matter the fitness level, this mobile app encourages members to keep going. Whether they are at an expert level or just starting out. This app drives membership retention and makes it easy to stay engaged at just a drop of a button. At Kumulos, we especially like the use of video content!

You can download the Jillian Michaels Fitness App here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspaliphoneMyFitnessPal is a calorie counter and diet plan app to help reach a healthy weight. This app has a really nice onboarding experience, especially for an app with so many features.

After allowing you to sign up with Facebook or your email, the app guides you through your goal. When you have set up your goal, MyFitnessPal has a step-by-step guide to get you acquainted with the functionality of the app. You then fill in your daily diet, water consumption and other health stats. The app is simple to use and doesn’t need much instruction. In terms of functionality, MyFitnessPal actually gives you a lot of free features before you have to pay.

You can download the MyFitnessPal App here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

2: Convenience – with personalized notifications

Users will of course download a health or fitness app for the health benefits. However, in addition to the convenience of having the health features on their mobile, users will be more engaged if they receive personalized in-app messages and push notifications. When mobile marketers take the time to analyse their app data and segment their audience to send relevant, targeted messages, they tend to see higher engagement and loyalty.

Comparehare found that almost 30% of fitness fanatics use fitness apps more than 10 times a week. The more personalized content you can send them, the higher this will be!  When it comes to monitoring and managing health conditions, this is especially important.

My Diabetes My Way

mydiabetesiphoneMy Diabetes My Way (MDMW) is an app that supports self-management of diabetes. It gives patients access to hundreds of multi-media educational resources, e-learning courses, and access to their NHS data (electronic health record), and home recorded data (home blood glucose monitoring, weight, BP, activity data). MDMW enables goal setting, secure communication between patients and health care providers, and gives automated tailored care reports and advice based on individual parameters. The use of messaging to send out personalized medication reminders is impressive.

You can download the My Diabetes My Way App here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

3: It builds loyalty – with an engaging experience

With so many apps in health and fitness and indeed thousands competing within niche areas of the health market (e.g activity tracking, sleep, relaxation etc.) app developers need to ensure that their app is engaging enough to stop users looking for an alternative. Whether it’s the use of messaging to alert people to the values of the app features or deliver premium content to paid subscribers, the mobile marketing strategy plays an important role in building loyalty.

Couch to 5K

The Couch to 5K app lets users choose from a selection of virtual coaches which give you audio cues during your workouts. You can also listen to your favourite playlist through the in-app music player. With GPS support, it logs all workouts and is easy to track progress. It’s a 9 week program and with so many positive reviews, the developers have done a great job to instil loyalty.

You can download the Couch to 5K app here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

Yes!GO App

yes!goiphoneYes!GO is the #1 Fitness Music Producer in the world. With the YES!GO App, users can access the entire ‘Yes!’ Fitness Music library of professionally pre-mixed albums or unlimited custom/non-stop mixes. Used by a large customer base of fitness professionals, the app has a loyal fan base.

You can download the Yes!GO App here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

4: Data privacy is taken seriously

Fitness trackers use GPS tracking or can connect to your mobile’s GPS which allows them to tell where you are at any given moment. Not only is your location stored but some apps have the capability to show data such as when you were in a deep sleep.  That’s why it’s essential for manufacturers of apps that use ‘wearables’  to build customer trust when gathering sensitive data.

Fitness app developers, just like every other app sector, have suffered data breaches. The breach that hit UnderArmour’s MyFitnessPal in 2018 will no doubt come to mind. It exposed the usernames, passwords, and email addresses of more than 150 million users. While hackers typically go after data they can easily monetize (like your credit card details) the thought that location data was exposed is especially bothersome. Given that joggers and bikers generally run and ride near home, attackers could also identify where the user lived by looking at where the majority of their routes began and ended.

Fitbit App

fitbitiphoneFitbit App is one of the leading health and fitness apps and ranked second highest in terms of downloads in the Google Play Store in the United States in November 2019.

When it comes to security, a lot of fitness apps have been subject to vulnerabilities. Fitbit still remains a strong leader in the industry when it comes to their privacy policy etc. Although it’s not clear how Google’s acquisition of Fitbit will affect security, we’re confident they will continue to value consumer privacy highly.

This app is also very good at allowing users to customize the push notifications, allowing users to switch notifications on and off depending on their preferences.

You can download the Fitbit App here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

Calm

calmiphoneCalm, the meditation app has helped millions of users reduce stress, anxiety, and improve sleeping patterns. Everything from the soothing blue screen to the copy “take a deep breath” defines the overall relaxing feel of the app. The setup is really easy and the onboarding process guides users to set their goals.  There is a free 7-day subscription before users would need to pay for the premium version.

The privacy policy notice is the first thing you see when you install the app…you need to read and accept this before you can see any of the features. They explain very well why they collect personal information and reassure users that it’s in order to improve their Calm experience.

According to App Annie, Calm was the number 1 free app in the iOS store in the US in December 2019. Calm certainly seem to know how to engage an audience. They’re definitely developing for the future market too, with a ‘Calm Kids’ section within the app.

You can download the Calm here:

Kumulos Companion App Store Download
Kumulos Companion App Google Play

Make it a healthy 2020 for your app

So, take a look at these successful apps and think about the features and messaging strategy to make your app a success in 2020.  With some extra thought about the sign up process, personalized notifications and a comprehensive privacy policy, your app engagement will improve.

About Kumulos mobile user engagement platform

Kumulos offers a number of features to assist app developers in engaging users through mobile messaging and measuring engagement analytics. To learn more about driving engagement, take a look at our push notifications and in-app messaging feature guide.

Kumulos platform provides app analytics so you can evaluate campaign results to improve your next campaign. Kumulos gives you everything you need to make an app successful. In one dashboard, you can also benefit from the App Store Optimization feature to help increase downloads and outshine competitors in app stores. When it comes to the technical performance of the app, there’s also a crash reporting and API Endpoint Monitoring feature.

Contact us for a product tour, or start your free trial today.

App Trends 2020

app trends 2020

A new year gives us the opportunity to look forward at what advancements are likely to dominate the world of apps in 2020. Here’s our prediction of what trends you’re going to be seeing a lot of this coming year.

We looked at these top 5 app trends for 2020:

Wallet Apps
The Progressive Web App
Beacon Technology
5G
The Super App

 

Wallet Apps

Most mobile users will be aware of the wallet by now. Three of the main phone producers Apple, Samsung and Google all incorporate the wallet as a pre-installed feature on new devices.
At the moment, it’s likely the most well-known wallet app is the Apple Wallet which allows users to store wallet passes. This means coupons, boarding passes, student ID cards, event tickets, movie tickets, public transportation tickets, store cards, and – with iOS 8.1 – credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and loyalty cards via Apple Pay.

Wallet apps are the next gen when it comes to loyalty cards as they eliminate the need for a physical card and stop your actual wallet/purse bulging in your pocket. Mobile wallet loyalty cards enable you to reach consumers who don’t have your app downloaded. Sign up methods are usually through an ‘Add to Wallet’ button or QR code. Common methods of loyalty card customer acquisition for mobile wallet include on-website, in-shop and social media promotion. The ‘Add to wallet’ button directly opens the user’s mobile wallet, making it an easily obtainable method of customer conversion.

These wallet apps are encrypted and use tokenization for security. In some ways they’re safer than using a bank card. Your transactions are more difficult to be traced as there is no transfer of data that relates to your bank account or personal details.

In 2020 it’s likely that mobile wallets become more widely used and accepted. “The Rise of Digital and Mobile Wallets” report by Merchant Machine estimated that the value of transactions taking place on next-gen technology will rise from 6109 billion dollars in 2019 to 8961 billion in 2020, a prediction of a near 50% rise.

 

The Progressive Web App

A Progressive Web App is basically a webpage that both feels and functions like a regular native app. However, because they’re browser-based, there’s a ton of advantages that mean they’re gaining popularity at an increasingly fast pace.

Unlike mobile websites, PWAs work offline. The ability to work offline, or where there are poor connections, means they’re ‘always on’, which means you’re always connected, which means you’re always up to date. They’re responsive and they’ll work across devices, screen sizes and orientations – which in turn means a great UX.

PWAs look and feel like mobile apps. People love them due to their ease of use and functionality. As PWA is cheaper to implement and run than a mobile app, this allows you to utilise the UX benefits that a mobile app has over mobile web, in something that functions like a website.

PWAs are also compatible with web push notifications and can further engage your PWA audience in the same way that push notifications and in-app messages engage your mobile app audience. This offers a further channel to engage with users whilst eliminating the need for an app download.

 

Beacon Technology

Beacon technology first emerged onto our digital radars in 2013 when Apple unveiled its iBeacon protocol. Since then, it might be fair to say that beacon technology has been somewhat slow to bestow upon us the benefits it promised … or maybe it’s that we’ve all been a bit slow to embrace it? Either way, we’re hearing rumblings on our digital horizon – next year the number of global beacon deployments is predicted to reach 400 million – maybe, just maybe, 2020 is going to be big for the beacon …

In a nutshell, beacons use proximity marketing to identify human presence close by and deliver a personalised experience – say a special offer, or an ad – to that individual via its short-range, low-energy Bluetooth transmitters. So, imagine if you will, perusing the offerings in your go-to tech store, eyeing up the latest (insert greatest tech desire here), and being instantly served via your smartphone a 20% off deal for that very item.

Proximity marketing is something that the Kumulos team love to see in action. Initially seen as a huge boon for the retail sector, we have seen beacon technology make its way into entertainment, events, hotels and travel, and it’s unlikely to stop there. This simple ability to deliver highly relevant, highly valuable messages to a huge audience without the need for them to do anything is becoming an increasingly attractive way for companies to engage on a more personal level with their customers, creating an effortless brand experience that’s engaging, and if they get it right, enjoyable.

 

5G

Did you read our previous piece on how 5G will transform enterprise IoT? It’s exactly given that hype that we can’t ignore the undeniable arrival of 5G. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Huawei Mate X and others are standing by ready to lighten your smartphone load and get you innovation ready.

As far as Gartner’s concerned, 66% of businesses are planning to deploy 5G within the next 12 months. And telecoms giant Qualcomm told us that by 2035, 5G could be supporting around $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services across global industry, generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue by the same year, and creating up to 22 million jobs. according to a study by Gartner. Cisco estimates that by 2020, 5G will generate three times more traffic than the average 4G connection, and those connections will make up 3% of total mobile connections.

We asked Sarat Pediredla, CEO of Hedgehoglab about the potential of 5G for mobile apps.

“While mass adoption of 5G is still a couple of years away yet, 2020 will be the year that organisations start thinking seriously about the potential the technology has to transform how they operate. With unmatched transfer speeds and low latency, the opportunity for streamed 3D models for cloud AR and VR or truly personalised chatbots becomes a tantalising possibility.”

“As with most technological leaps, it’ll be within industrial and business contexts that the early promise of 5G will be realised and organisations who fail to adequately prepare will find themselves left behind.”

The bottom line? 5G is very good news for mobile apps and here’s why.
superfast uploads, downloads and connections mean we really will get what we want yesterday (almost!) – plus no more app lag (one of the key reasons’ users abandon apps that don’t measure up).

Due to lower latency, we’ll see the slow-to-catch on AR and VR-based apps take a much-needed leap in popularity as the reaction time for these apps will be vastly reduced by 5G.

Delivering a new digital experience that embodies a user’s surrounding environment and conditions coupled with the ability to detect and connect to multiple devices, ambient computing will be on every business’s radar in 12 months’ time and 5G will drive it. A discipline that allows the simultaneous use of multiple sources of data pulled from the user ‘environment’. This will improve the CX and boost competitiveness while enhancing service delivery. Ambient computing is about to land with a thud.

 

The Super-App

Brace yourself, the super-app is coming. And to be honest, we’re surprised it’s taken so long. For over a decade now, we’ve been content with the single-purpose app – doing exactly as it says on the tin, no more, no less.

Single apps keep things simple – at least that was when we had a clear definition for ‘simple’. As we cruise into 2020, simple is on everyone’s wish-list, thanks to the global swathe of digital natives redefining its meaning with increased frequency and ensuring that for today at least, simple means ‘more’.

Data from App Annie found that on average a user will spend 2h15m per day using apps, they have around 90 downloaded to their device, 30 of these are used monthly and around 9 on an average day. If the all-encompassing super-app takes over, we’ll see a dramatic decrease in these numbers as the demand for an all-in-one platform increases.

Originating from China, the super-app has grown out of consumer needs (where else) – consumers who want to be able to use everything they need to via their phone, but without hopping between apps. The most commonly cited super-apps, WeChat and Alipay in China, pull a vast range of services together via their interface, including basic banking services. A one-stop-shop for practically any service or product their users might need.

These users aren’t phased by a fussy, elaborate interface that delivers a cacophony of services via one-pane-of-glass. In fact, they’re used to such ‘shop windows’, happy to stick to those that provide the seamless, frictionless, efficient super-app experience that makes life … you guessed it, simple. Think messaging/weekly shopping/social/travel booking/food ordering/movie watching – all rolled into one. These super-apps create a highly sticky environment, one where the user simply has no need to use other apps. Why have ten apps to perform ten different activities, when one will do it all for you?

 

Whatever the trend, make 2020 the year you engage users

We’ve included these trends not only because they’re going to be hitting the mainstream this year but because these are the features that should be considered when trying to build your app in 2020. Think of these trends and how they might fit your app to get noticed this year. Building your app is just the start of your journey. Acquiring, retaining and engaging customers is how you measure success. Just like you, we always want to stay ahead of the curve, it allows us to make sure our product is the platform you need. We live and breathe it. You can contact us for a demo or free trial of Kumulos today.

Web Notifications help you go beyond App Engagement

web notifications

Web notifications present a massive opportunity for mobile marketers. Why? Because they help you go beyond app engagement. Web push notifications engage audiences on mobile web, and of course, desktop too. So it’s time to take a look at why you should use web push notifications. 

Why you should use web push notifications

If you have a mobile app, and you’re already making the most of push notifications and in-app messaging to engage your users, you might think that you have your mobile marketing strategy covered. Indeed, mobile messaging is one of the most important ways to onboard, engage and retain your users.

However, you should also be using web push notifications to reach your wider audience on mobile web, and desktop. In fact, most brands actually have much more traffic on their mobile websites than they have app users. 

Mobile website traffic exceeds app users

In a comScore US Mobile App Report, they compared the top 500 mobile apps vs. the top 500 mobile websites. They found that mobile website audiences were more than twice the size of app audiences.

Therefore, you can see the potential to go beyond your app users and reach a huge audience via web push. With web push notifications, you can really deepen the engagement of your web visitors. You can send notifications that demonstrate the value of your brand. This will ultimately lead to additional mobile app downloads. Moreover, it will achieve your business objectives, whether that’s ecommerce sales, bookings, leads etc. 

What are web push notifications?

Web push notifications are notifications sent from web browsers to opted-in users on both mobile and desktop web.

On a mobile, web push notifications are delivered to the notification tray and look very similar to notifications coming from a mobile app. On a desktop, the web push notifications slide onto the screen. 

As with any marketing, it’s essential to gain opt-in for web push notifications.  Just like gaining consent for push notifications (or consent for in-app messaging) you need to gain opt-ins for web push notifications.  With web push, people are able to subscribe with just one click. It is much easier than signing up for an email newsletter and less invasive than other types of marketing pop-ups. 

Most web push notification providers support all major browsers. Whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, or Samsung, you just need to check their compatibility with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. 

In order to streamline your marketing tools, it’s best to look for a user engagement platform which allows you to schedule your push notifications, in-app messages and web push notifications from one dashboard. There are many push notification providers out there. Likewise there are many web push notification providers to consider. 

When it comes to mobile engagement, customers of Kumulos are very excited with the recent addition of web push to our award-winning messaging platform. With the addition of web push, Kumulos now allows you to send all your messaging campaigns from one platform. Contact us today for a demo or, read on to learn more about web notifications. 

The difference between web and push notifications

Users, if they are opted-in, can receive a web push notification regardless of whether or not they are actively using the website at that precise time. As long as the web browser is open, someone can be sent a notification and it will appear on their desktop or mobile device screen. 

Push notifications only reach opted-in users of your mobile app. Which means, you are missing out on the opportunity to engage with your other website visitors – whether they visit the website from their mobile or a desktop.

From a mobile user’s perspective, both web push and push notifications from an app look pretty much the same.  The main difference is that web push notifications can display on a desktop too. For business-to-business marketing, web notifications allow you to reach your target audience when they are working on their business – at their desk. 

From any mobile marketer’s perspective, particularly in the business-to-consumer field, web push is a way to take advantage of the fact that most of online engagement is from mobile search. 

Web notifications complement push notifications

Admittedly, web push notifications are an excellent way to complement app push notifications. You can use one without the other. But, web push notifications are another great way to reach more of your customers on mobile — through web push notifications sent to mobile web.

This is great news if you don’t already have an app. It’s also great if you do have an app, but want an additional channel for reaching users who have opted out of app push notifications and/or in-app messaging.

What should a web notification contain? 

When planning your m