L2 released this week an Insight Report on Mobile Fitness Apps, which finds that fewer activewear brands are investing in mobile apps. Among brands in L2’s 2013 and 2014 studies, 51% had an iPhone app in 2013 vs. just 48% in 2014. iPad and Android apps decreased as well, from 26% to 20% and from 30% to 26% respectively.
However, the standards for an iOS mobile fitness app are rising due to rapid investment. In 2014, 26% of mobile fitness apps added e-commerce to their capabilities and 22% added content by sponsored athletes. Product customization, gamification, wearable tech integration and store locators were other areas in which adoption improved significantly.
Community building could be the next phase of mobile app investment given that Under Armour recently purchased two mobile apps Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. Nike’s move away from FuelBand and Jawbone’s release of a standalone app are further evidence that brands are expanding their fitness communities beyond owners of fitness trackers.