How to make a fitness app and how much does it cost?

Increased usage of smartphones and the emergence of innovative technologies triggered a wave of mobile fitness solutions. In accordance with the research by Reports and Data, the worldwide fitness application market is anticipated to reach over $14.6 billion by 2027.

In this article, we will consider how to build a fitness app, what features you should include, and what budget you will need. You will also learn how to engage the audience and reduce costs. Let’s get started!

The mobile fitness app market during COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people were forced to stay at home. Instead of going to gyms, many of them began actively using workout apps:

  • According to the report by AppsFlyer, the revenue generated by mobile fitness applications has grown by 35% since the middle of March.

  • Before the coronavirus quarantine, 50% of the survey respondents employed smartphones to accomplish health and fitness objectives. As of the middle of June, this number is 75% ( AdColony Mobile and Fitness Survey ).

  • 38% of participants said they are increasingly using workout and nutrition apps since the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Over a half of users (54%) employ their smartphones to track exercises. 22% of customers said they have installed new workout and health applications.

The growing investment in mobile fitness app development has gained momentum. The newcomers are entering the market with new ways of making their iOS and Android solutions more engaging, valuable, and user-friendly.

How to make a fitness app from scratch?

So, you’ve decided to create a fitness application. But where should you start? How do you build a product that will provide an amazing user experience and generate revenue?

You should take into account the following 7 points before making your own application:

  • Type of a mobile fitness app — There are numerous types to choose from: home workout apps, personal trainer applications, activity tracking apps, healthy nutrition and diet apps, yoga applications, etc.
  • Platforms — Do you plan to create a fitness app for a certain operating system, for example, Android? Or do you want to launch a mobile solution, which is compatible with all devices?
  • Development approach — If your purpose is to generate higher revenue reaching iOS and Android users, there are two options: cross-platform and native development.

    Choosing the first way, you create one mobile fitness app that works on both platforms. Making a native application, engineers write two code bases. While a cross-platform approach allows reducing costs, native solutions provide a better user experience.

  • Functionality — Complex and rich functionality results in a higher cost of developing a fitness app while also consuming more time. By creating user stories and using feature prioritization techniques, you will see what features will satisfy customer needs.
  • Monetization — This is another important thing you should consider before creating a fitness app. There are plenty of monetization strategies that can help you earn a profit. In-app purchases, advertising, pay per install, freemium, in which users pay to upgrade to the PRO version, and more.
  • Mobile app promotion — Even if you have developed an awesome fitness trainer app, it is not enough to attract millions of users and generate revenue. Prepare an advertising campaign to promote your product. It can include multiple channels such as social networks, press releases, user reviews, application ratings, influencers, etc.

Taking into account all of these points, you will prepare a successful strategy for making a mobile fitness app. The development process should consist of the following stages:

  • Competitor analysis — As the market provides numerous mobile fitness applications, you should find something that will make your solution unique. Analyze your competitors, including product features, design peculiarities, platforms, user reviews, etc.

    You can check out customer feedback—both positive and negative—on the App Store and Google Play. This will help you define the strong and weak sides of your rivals and understand how you can stand out from them.

  • Analysis of the target audience — Analyzing competitors, you will see what issues and preferences their customers have. You can find your audience in social networks, groups, forums, etc.

    Read their posts and comments, communicate with them to clarify their needs. Define a user persona, indicating things such as age, country, goals, for example, to get fit, track physical activities, build habits, or live a healthy lifestyle.

  • Preparation of a technical specification — Think about what value your mobile fitness app will add to users, how it should look and behave, how users will interact with it, what tasks they will be able to perform. If it is difficult to form the requirements in detail, an IT service vendor will always help you.
  • Design — To succeed in the market, you will need to have a lot of loyal customers. Most people don’t use digital products with an unattractive layout and low content speed. So, make a beautiful mobile fitness app that provides an amazing user experience.
  • MVP development — MVP, or a minimum viable product, is a solution with a minimum set of features to perform the required task. We recommend you to use this approach as it offers plenty of advantages.

    First, it will allow you to cut the cost of developing a fitness app. Second, you reduce the time-to-market. Third, you attract early users and collect their feedback. Analyzing customer reaction, you receive a clear vision of what you should improve or change.

    Creating only the necessary functionality, you prevent overspending and engage the audience. You can learn more about this practice in our article about MVP startup development .

  • Testing and debugging — At this stage, quality assurance (QA) engineers test a mobile fitness application for bugs and errors, as well as verify the compliance with the requirements. Then, software developers fix all the issues.
  • Launch — When everything is ready, you release it on the market, in other words, publish it on the App Store and/or Google Play. Here you should take care of things such as ASO (app store optimization), product icon, screens, and description.

Now, you have a clear idea of how the fitness app development process should look like. The next question you should consider is choosing the type of IT service vendor.

Why should you hire an IT outsourcing company to make a fitness app?

Choosing a trusted provider is very important to create a quality fitness app on time and within a budget. A reliable and experienced IT service vendor will help you in a variety of tasks:

  • conducting a market research
  • creating user stories, empathy maps, impact maps, etc.
  • creating a software requirements document
  • preparing a project roadmap
  • estimating a budget
  • defining the functionality of a mobile fitness app
  • estimating a project duration
  • choosing the best technology stack to make a workout app
  • and more.

So, why should you outsource your project?

Recently, IT outsourcing has gained huge popularity. By delegating fitness app development to a third-party contractor located abroad, you will significantly reduce costs while saving or even increasing quality.

According to the research by Clutch, businesses in the USA choose this approach to boost efficiency, access field-specific expertise, and relieve employees from performing software-related activities. At the same time, you cut expenses by 30-60% depending on the region you send your project to.

For example, while in the USA and UK hourly designer and developer rates vary between $50-$150, in Eastern Europe they work at $25-$50.

If you don’t know what type of IT service vendor to turn to, read this article “Choosing the best way: IT outsourcing or in-house team?” . Also, find out why Belarus is a great IT outsourcing destination .

Design of a mobile fitness application

Design of your mobile fitness application is one of the most important project development stages. If users don’t like how it looks, they are unlikely to install it, especially when there are so many competitors on the market.

You should focus on creating a quality design: visualizing the app structure with the help of wireframes first and then building a clickable prototype to see it in action.

Don’t overwhelm our product with numerous elements as it disrupts the user experience, making it difficult to find the required button, information, etc. Assure that your solution looks and performs great on all mobile screens and devices.

Time to design a mobile fitness app: 100-150 hours.

Top 8 features for your mobile fitness app

The number and complexity of features are one of the key factors that affect the end product cost. Before making a mobile fitness application, you should define what functionality it should have to meet your budget and satisfy user needs.

Let’s take as an example a workout app that provides sets of exercises and tracks user activities. There are 8 basic features that you can develop.

1. User account and login

To make a great fitness app, you should first add this feature, so that users can view their data, statistics, and achievements. Include in user profiles fields to collect information about age, weight, height, etc., taking into account units of measurement employed in different countries.

Provide users with the ability to sign in and register in your workout or nutrition application via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Time: 100-120 hours.


2. Wearable connectivity and activity tracking

Wearable devices have gained high popularity over the past several years. Allowing people to track physical activities, they are an important part of the health and fitness market. Wearables can collect different types of data, for instance:

  • number of steps
  • covered distance (walked, cycled, etc.)
  • heart rate
  • type of physical exercises
  • calories burned during a certain period or workout
  • time and intensity of workouts/exercises.

When building a fitness app, employ HealthKit and Google Fit APIs to access the information from various Android devices and Apple Watch. Activity tracking can be also carried out using smartphone sensors.

Time: 80 hours.


3. Goal setting

When you think about how to create a fitness app that will generate revenue, keep in mind that goal setting is one of the best features to motivate users. Setting and accomplishing objectives, they will build healthy habits, improve their physical form, and stay in shape much easier.

Time: 100 hours.


4. Workouts

If you aim to create a workout app, this feature is a must-have for it. You can provide users with a wide range of workouts, indicating their type, duration, and level of complexity. Include tips from professional trainers to engage the audience, show them videos how to do physical exercises. Furthermore, you can allow users to form their own workouts.

Note: One of monetization strategies is to offer advanced workouts in the premium version of your mobile fitness application.

Time: 150-200 hours.


5. Calorie counting

Calorie counting is another important feature to include in a nutrition or fitness trainer app. It will enable users to monitor the number of calories they consume and the number of calories they burn when doing exercises, walking, or throughout the day.

Time: 100 hours.


6. Geolocation

This feature will allow users to create workout routes, monitor the current location, and automatically track covered distances.

Time: 100 hours.


7. Educational content

When asking yourself how to develop a cool fitness app, consider adding educational content, say, a small blog with personal workouts, tips on healthy lifestyle, and recommendations from famous trainers.

Time: 150-200 hours.


8. Push notifications

With the help of push notifications, you will be able to remind users about doing planned activities and achieving their fitness goals. This will motivate them to open a workout application and use it regularly.

Time: 100-120 hours.


We’ve considered the basic functionality for your product. However, how to make a fitness app that will stand out from numerous competitors?

Nice-to-have features for your mobile fitness app

More than 75% of users open their health or fitness applications at least 2 times a week while 25% of the most loyal customers open them over 10 times a week ( Reports and Data ). But how do you launch a product with far better statistics? Have a look at features that will help you engage the audience and increase revenue.

1. Social media integration

When developing a fitness app, make integration with social media to let users share their achievements with their friends and followers. For example, they will be able to share content—their progress, personal records, achievements, photos, motivational quotes, etc.—by publishing posts in their social network accounts.

Time: 200-300 hours.


2. Gamification

Gamification is one of the best features to build a fitness app that will stand out from the crowd. Rewards, badges, scores, levels of progress will help you motivate the audience use the app and accomplish goals while boosting satisfaction.

Time: 200-300 hours.


How much does it cost to make a fitness app?

The cost of developing a fitness app can range from $24,500 to $175,500 depending on various factors such as:

  • the number of features
  • complexity of features
  • discovery stage (for instance, you can prepare a detailed tech specification using your own resources or send this task to an IT service vendor)
  • customization of a visual design
  • platforms (iOS or Android, or both of them, or cross-platform development)
  • developer salaries or country you send fitness app development to

The cost of making a fitness trainer app in different regions

The price of creating a mobile fitness application with the key functionality in:

  • The UK and USA is $49,000-$175,500.
  • Eastern Europe, including our company located in Belarus, is $24,500-$58,500.

The cost of building a mobile fitness app with extended functionality in:

  • The UK and USA is $69,000-$265,500.
  • Eastern Europe, including Arateg located in Belarus, is $34,500-$88,500.

Closing thoughts

Although the market is very competitive, there are secrets that will help you build a successful solution. Before making a mobile fitness app, analyze your competitors, define the target audience, learn user needs and preferences. This will let you get a crystal understanding of what functionality your product should have.

Start your project with an MVP to improve time-to-market, reduce costs, test ideas in action, collect customer feedback, and extend your product accordingly.

To create a fitness app of the highest quality and monetize it right, consult with an experienced IT service vendor specializing in iOS and Android development. You can find it via trusted B2B review and rating platforms like Clutch , GoodFirms , AppFutura, DesignRush, or TechReviewer .

If you want to receive a free consultation on building an awesome fitness application, drop us a message via contact form or email a.volchek@arateg.com .

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