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Fitness App Development - Learn How to Get it Right the First TimeRead More
Who doesn't want to get fit? I know that my couch-hugging, binge-watching, serial-coding, startup-enabling self definitely does. For most of us in the IT world, fitness was a resolution that had been pushed to the nice-to-have bucket—permanently. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, going out and hitting the pub each weekend—or every night became impossible. This is also somewhere around when we had a good look at our bodies and decided to devote this sudden bout of free time to fitness. Around this time, search volumes for how much it costs to make a fitness app increased dramatically—signalling an entrepreneurial beeline to create the next disruptor in the fitness space. Nearly everyone attributes fitness to spending hours in the gym. With this free time on our hands and gyms being out of reach, many of us started to download fitness apps to understand how we could fix our bodies after years of abuse and neglect.
What are fitness apps? Are they still popular today?Fitness apps are mobile (or wearable) applications that help you to stay fit by setting fitness goals, helping you monitor and log what you eat, and starting targeted fitness regimens. These apps have seen a sudden spurt in their adoption rates, with the number of fitness downloads rising by 46% worldwide. Developing countries like India saw fitness app adoption rates increase by 156% in 2020 alone, adding over 58 million users to the fitness bandwagon. A survey by OnePoll found that at least 74% of Americans used at least one fitness app during the quarantine. Over 60% of these users enjoyed using these apps so much that they cancelled their gym membership permanently. With extended work from home timelines, the number of those choosing virtual fitness classes and home gyms has doubled, making it an extremely lucrative industry to be in. The online fitness and fitness app industry is growing at a healthy CAGR of 23.5% and may breach the $14b mark by 2027—or earlier!
Why should you build a fitness app?According to the WHO, nearly 39% of individuals over 18 are overweight—and over 15% are obese. The report also stated that 39 million children under the age of 5 are obese in 2020. This makes fitness a primary concern for the world—and fitness apps are a perfect way to address this concern. A report from Reports and Data expects the fitness app market to grow from $4b to $18 billion by 2028. The revenue from fitness apps will cross $14 billion by 2021—with an ARPU of $22.21 per user, making it an extremely viable option for any entrepreneur. Apps such as MyFitnessPal, Strava, Step Counter, Six Pack in 30 Days, and We Do Pulse are extremely popular today, with downloads breaching the 3 million mark in April 2021 for Step Counter alone. So if you're thinking of developing a fitness app, this is the perfect time to do so!
What problems do fitness apps solve?We have always strived to long a long, healthy life, and fitness apps help us to do just that from the comfort of our home. With no trainers to meet in person, fitness apps are perfect for those who wish to stay fit and stay at home at the same time. Social features in these apps have given rise to fitness events, virtual treadmill marathons, virtual cyclothons and fitness challenges that are immensely popular.
What are the various types of fitness apps?Entrepreneurs build fitness apps to suit specific requirements. Many individuals use just one app to stay fit, and some use a combination of apps to suit their various needs. Types of fitness apps include:
- Fitness Coaching apps: These fitness apps provide their users with a workout plan, a controlled exercise technique and a meal plan—somewhat like a personal coach. Popular apps include FiiT, Daily Burn, Seven, and FitBod.
- Workout management apps: Workout apps help users to choose and track workouts from a list. The app also provides activity related data and can even connect to smart wearables. Top workout management apps include MyFitnessPal, JEFIT workout planner, BodySpace, Cody and Nike+.
- Nutrition apps: These apps focus on our dietary behaviour and help users to log their food consumption data. Some even provide diet plans for targeted weight loss, muscle building, and calorie data. Notable examples include Fooducate, HealthifyMe, Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker, and SuperFood.
- Activity trackers: These apps track activities such as walking, running, steps, cycling, rowing and can offer data such as routes, calories burned, distance, time and more. Popular activity trackers include Google Fit, Apple Health, Strava, and MyFitnessPal.
What are the top features of a fitness app?Fitness apps offer many unique features, which help them to become the top choice for their users. These features include:
- Wearable connectivity - As the adoption of wearables has skyrocketed, your app must connect to popular wearables such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung Watch, Huawei Watch and more.
- Goals - A fitness goal is essential to ensure that you're on the right path. Your app must help users to set goals, reward accomplishments and stay in shape.
- Workout lists - A wide range of workout types is essential to ensure that users like your app. If your app is restrictive in the type of workouts, it will become challenging to increase adoption rates.
- Calorie counter - Calorie counters are essential for fitness and nutrition-focused apps as they allow users to see how much they are eating and how much they burn. This feature takes 100 hours to develop.
- Push Notifications - Push notifications such as "Get up and move for 5 minutes" or "It is time to go to bed" are popular amongst fitness app and wearable users. These features make your app engaging and take about 120 hours to develop.
- Social media integration - Joining a vibrant community and sharing achievements is essential for any app user. Adding this feature will take nearly 200 hours.
- Gamification - For a fitness app, gamification means adding features such as badges, high scores, levels, challenges and other motivational means to keep your audience engaged. This feature can take up to 200 hours to develop.
- Logins and SSO - Creating user accounts, profiles, and social media login is a basic necessity for any app. These features help users log in using social media accounts or email accounts and create their user profiles. The app also uses this information to create workout regimens and recommendations. Login systems take 150 hours to develop.
- Educational content and video lessons - Fitness apps also feature instructor-led content and training videos that help users to follow instructions and exercises better. This feature will take nearly 200 hours to develop.
- Geolocation and maps - Most outdoor workout apps require geolocation data and map integration for route planning and analysis. Adding this feature will take around 200 hours.
How much does it cost to create a mobile fitness app?Creating a fitness app needs more than just a list of features. Here's what impacts the cost of your fitness app:
- Requirement analysis and project management
- User experience design
- User interface design
- Deployment and integration
How to create a mobile fitness app?Here's what you need to do to create an engaging fitness app:
1. Perform market research and finalize featuresPerforming diligence and market research is essential to develop a fitness app. Market research will help you to answer questions such as:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their underserved needs?
- What needs does your app serve?
- How can you monetize your app?
2. Get a good development team on boardThere are many ways to get a development team for your app. These include:
- Hiring your personal team - This is the most expensive option as you need to hire project managers, developers, testers and support staff for your app.
- Finding freelancers in your area - Freelancers can offer a good rate, but often are a one-person army that promises a lot and cannot deliver at par with an entire group of individuals. Best for small projects, but not for complex apps like a fitness tracker.
- Outsourcing your project to a third-party development agency
3. Analyze and discover requirementsThe discovery phase builds upon your market research to perform an in-depth analysis of your project. Here’s what it includes:
- Analyzing requirements
- Creating wireframes
- Performing pre-development QA
- Final quote
4. Develop the appThis is the easy bit. Once all the bits and bobs are in place, developers, testers, designers and DevOps engineers work in tandem to create a world-class fitness app for your users. That’s it. Once you develop, test and deploy the app, you can roll it out to your users. Additional tasks that follow or work concurrently with development include marketing activities, audience outreach, building hype for your app and creating a community of early adopters.
Why choose Volumetree to create your mobile app?Choosing Volumetree as your development partner has several advantages. Being a truly global company with offices across three continents, we can offer you a price-quality advantage that few can match. With our vast industry experience of creating apps used by millions of people every day, along with a vast talent pool to choose from, we know what it takes to create an awesome app. What’s better is that we have the workforce to make it happen for you! Contact us for a free consultation today to know more about how much it costs to make a fitness app. Our project managers and consultants will help you to create an app that fitness enthusiasts will love!
An Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating a Local Buy and Sell App Like OfferupRead More
I used to classify myself as a hoarder, and I still have parts from my first PC, an old school diary, and many other things my parents called junk. My problem was letting go of old stuff while I still wanted newer ones—causing storage issues. Although my dad would happily give off those things for recycling, I knew that a lot of stuff I had was in a perfectly usable state—and could quickly sell to someone who needs it. When I couldn't find buyers in people I knew, I turned to the internet—with websites like Craigslist and mobile-friendly options such as Offerup and Letgo apps. I sold a lot of my stuff in the first week itself—including my old CRT TV that someone wanted to use as a security monitor! I understood how much space these things were hogging after I had sold most of my old stuff off!
Are local buy and sell apps popular?Entrepreneurs love finding solutions to common problems, which often leads them to create apps like OfferUp, LetGo, OLX, and Quikr. Operating in the US$3,284,927M e-commerce market space, the customer-to-customer or C2C vertical is showing solid signs of growth at a healthy CAGR of 5.3%. Additionally, C2C buy and sell apps benefit from rising user penetration rates of nearly 50%. The user traffic of top US-based C2C or buy and sell apps crossed 28 million in Q3 2020, showcasing a healthy growth trend that continues to grow.
How do buy and sell apps work?Buy and sell apps like OfferUp and Letgo owe their popularity to their simplicity and the capability to help people buy and sell things they want quickly. Here's how these two-way apps work:
- Sellers take pictures of things they wish to sell along with a description of the product. This adds the listing to the product's appropriate category using filters.
- Buyers looking for those items can see them in their search, where they use similar filters to search for products.
- Once they have seen the sellers ad, they can ask boilerplate (pre-set) questions, negotiate the price and purchase the product directly from the seller.
A list of some popular buy-sell appsThere are dozens of buy-sell apps in the world today; however, not all have found favour with customers. Here's a list of the top 5 buy-sell apps today:
- Everyone knows eBay—the largest online marketplace founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. The app has nearly 200 million users worldwide and offers users the option of selling by auctions and fixed-price listings. This allows sellers to get the highest possible price for their product and buyers to get a bargain when they see it, as sellers are contractually obligated to sell the item if there is a winning bid. eBay is immensely popular worldwide and made news when a gigayacht designed by Frank Mudler was sold for $168 million, making it the most expensive item ever sold on eBay.
- What started as a hobby project where the founder, Craig Newmark, would describe upcoming events in the bay area through emails grew into a multi-million dollar company called Craigslist. People have been selling and buying products on Craigslist since 1998, making it one of the oldest and most iconic C2C sites around today. With over 20 billion page views per month in 2010, Craigslist is immensely popular and earns revenue through paid listings where buyers and sellers meet to sell, buy and post job listings.
- Vestiaire Collective
- Vestiaire Collective is the world's most well-known pre-owned luxury fashion C2C portal. Growing at an immense 530% YoY, this app is exceedingly popular with those wishing to buy used luxury goods at low prices. With nearly 10 million active users and over 30,000 items submitted each week, Vestiaire Collective is exceedingly popular and made headlines when Dello Russo used their services to sell off her personal fashion collection at rock-bottom prices. The site makes money by charging up to 25% in commissions per sale. Items sold are first shipped to the company for inspection before being shipped out to the buyer.
- Letgo Letgo started in 2015 as an app that made selling and buying things easier for the world. With over 400 million listings, 100 million+ app downloads and nearly $1B in funding, Letgo's popularity caught the eye of their competitor—Offerup. OLX-owned OfferUp purchased LetGo in March 2020 for $120M. Letgo (now Offerup) makes it easy to buy, sell and look for items through their highly intuitive interface.
- Launched in 2015, OfferUp is a wildly popular buy-sell app and website duo with more than 24m visits every month. With a highly intuitive interface and a large user base, OfferUp is a part of the $1.21B OLX group. Offerup has designated community meetup spots that are unique to the app. Any long-distance transaction that involves shipping incurs a shipping fee and a 12.9% charge from offerup. The app acquired Letgo in March 2020 for $120M. Both companies access each other's customers and bring nationwide shipping to Letgo users as a combined entity.
What tech stack should I choose to build apps like Letgo and OfferUp?Although the options in the app world are nearly infinite, here is our pick on what you can use to create apps like Letgo and Offerup. Note that these are not the only technologies we work in, and decide the final tech stack during consultations with our tech team. We've sorted the tech stack according to the requirements of an app like OfferUp:
- Development platform: This depends on whether you wish to launch the app on both the Play Store (Android) and the App Store (Apple iOS) or on one store to begin with.
- Technologies for server-side development: You can choose between Express.js and Node.js to build server-side components of your app. Most of the background processing occurs at the server end, also known as backend development.
- Web Frameworks: You can pick between Angular.js, Backbone.js or React.js.
- Programming Languages: You can choose between Swift/Objective-C for iOS apps and Kotlin/Java for Android apps.
- Database: Databases store persistent data such as videos, images, user profiles and more. You can choose from MongoDB or MySQL.
- Cloud architecture: AWS
- Payment integration: Payment integration services facilitate online payments. You can pick from Braintree, Stripe and PayPal.
- Web server: Web servers serve web pages and applications to your users. Popular servers include Nginx and Apache.
- Other tools: You can pick from AWS S3, Confluence, Swagger and many more depending on the features you choose for your app.
Must-have features for your buy-sell appHere are the most important features that your buy-sell app must include to be a hit with users:
- Creating a profile
- Filters and categories
- Advanced Search
- Rating and feedback
- Push notifications
- Delivery and shipping
- Payment integration
How to create an app like Offerup and Letgo?Creating an app has many prerequisites. Here's what you must do before you start developing your buy-sell local app:
1. Do a market analysis and a feasibility studyUnderstand what you're trying to achieve and see if the market is ready for your app. If you have created something that has no need, it might not find favour with your prospective users. It is best to create an app that is both feasible and needed by the market. Your app must fulfil the underserved need of your customers.
2. Analyze your competitionIf you are a first-mover in your vertical, you may need to work harder than the others to find takers for your app. With no one to turn to for inspiration, you must develop a truly innovative idea to make it big in the app world. Analyzing your competition is a great way to see what is lacking and how your app can fill those gaps, making it a win-win situation for you and your target group.
3. Think of monetization optionsFigure out how your app can make money. An app is only viable if it can make money and sustain itself in the long run. A solid, sustainable business model will help you stay in business and keep your customers happy.
4. Finalize the initial feature set for your appFinalizing features helps you to prioritize your development needs and find a team that can build them for you.
5. Find a suitable development partner or hire a development teamHiring the talent you need is essential to creating the app of your dreams. With an experienced development company such as Volumetree by your side, you can rest assured that your app will be all that you wanted and much, much more!
6. Choose a tech stackChoosing the right tech stack is essential. If you do not know where to begin, it is better to use the services of a world-class development company such as Volumetree so you can choose the best tech stack for the job.
7. Finalize metrics and business intelligenceSetting up data points and business intelligence channels for your app is essential to gather valuable insights about how your users are using the app.
8. Set up marketing channelsSetting up information and marketing channels is vital so that your stakeholders can stay in the know. These channels will help you build traction and find a community of your first users.
9. Customer service/ SupportSet up support systems so your users can contact you in case they run into a problem. You can have phone support, mail support or live chat within the app. You can also use this channel to figure out what your customers need the most from the app.
10. Maintenance/updatesBuilding an app is not the end of the game. Ensure that you proactively set up updates and maintenance cycles so that you can address any issues your quality team did not find in their tests.
How much does it cost to build a buy/sell app?Analyzing the development cost of a buy/sell app like Letgo is difficult as the requirements for your app may change throughout its development process. However, we've put together the development timelines for some basic standard features of a local buy/sell mobile app. You can use this to estimate the number of hours required to develop your application and use the going development rate to get a ballpark figure of your app development cost.
- User registration
- Vendor registration
- eStore and shopping carts
- Tracking and map integration
- Contact screens/feedback
Popular Business models of local buy and sell apps like Letgo and OfferupThere are many ways you can monetize your buy and sell app. Some apps like Craigslist are free to use, and others such as OfferUp and eBay charge a commission to let users sell products on their platform. You can choose your monetization plans according to what your users prefer and what your long-term goals are. Popular business models include:
- Transaction charges and commission
- Ads and promoted posts
- Delivery charges
- Premium memberships and subscriptions
- Third-party services
How can Volumetree help you in creating a local buy and sell app?The design, development, project management and product management teams at Volumetree have spent many years helping individuals, governments, and large enterprises build intuitive, user-focused apps that consistently one-up the competition and have a community of loyal users. If you have an innovative local buy and sell app idea, schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our product experts to see how we can help you make it big in the app world.
Advantages (and Disadvantage) of MVP - The Good, The Bad & The EssentialsRead More
As a startup founder, I believe that innovation is the only key to success, and the first step towards creating a truly innovative, groundbreaking product is to create an MVP. Most innovations stem from frustration due to loss of productivity, lack of performance or having competing products consistently outperform yours. Startups encourage this spirit of innovation that helps them consistently reinvent themselves until they hit a sweet spot and reduce frustration levels to a minimum. Innovators must also understand that nearly 70% of startups fail in their first year. According to a report by CBInsights, the reasons for these failures include:
- NO market need: 42%
- Underfunded: 29%
- Didn’t get the pricing right: 18%
- Did not have a business model: 17%
- Ignored customer requests: 14%
- Lacked the passion: 9%
- Suffered a burnout: 8%
- Could not pivot in time: 7%
Why is an MVP important for startups?An MVP for startups is a way to attain product perfection and reduce chances of failure—one iteration at a time. An MVP essentially solves a particular problem in the simplest way possible without the added fluff of a full-fledged product. This helps startups to collate validated learning about their customer’s preferences without much effort, making it a win-win situation for everyone! MVPs bring your company into the limelight quickly—often giving you the first-mover advantage for specific markets. Being out there is better than endlessly planning your product to perfection. Many startups used the MVP method over the years to test the waters before they launched their final product. Companies such as Airbnb, Groupon, Amazon, and Dropbox started with an MVP and took several iterations before transforming into their current avatars. Interested to know more? Here's a list of some popular MVP examples and how they used to look during their early stage. Dropbox began with a demo video that showcased their concept to people. Groupon began with a simple WordPress landing page. Amazon began in a garage through a small web page offering books for sale at prices lower than the competition, and Airbnb began as a simple ad-like web page. All these companies went through various iterations to become what they are today.
What are the advantages of creating an MVP?MVPs offer many advantages to startups that conventional product development cannot. From understanding customer behaviour to getting the first-mover advantage, MVPs make it easy for startups to understand if their idea is viable in the long run and make adjustments to it accordingly—without breaking the bank. Here is a list of the top 5 reasons why MVPs are an excellent option for any startup:
You get to the market faster than the others
You can easily perform market validation
Iterate until you get it right
Build products without breaking the bank
Are there any disadvantages? Let's seeNot everything is good about MVP development. Here are some drawbacks of MVPs that can cause you to go back to the drawing board more often than required or abandon ship. Here are the top disadvantages of the MVP approach:
- Loss of focus
- The competition may catch up
- The wrong tech stack for the job
The difference between POCs, MVPs and PrototypesYou may know what an MVP is, but you may not understand the difference between an MVP, a PoC or proof of concept and a prototype. It is essential to understand the differences between the three before you begin. An easy way to understand these is that you first create a Proof of Concept from your idea to figure out the technical feasibility of your idea. Once you’ve figured that out, you create a prototype to see if your product is desirable from a user’s perspective. Once you’ve sorted that bit, you can create an MVP to get feedback from customers about your product. So PoC > Prototype > MVP is the general progression of an idea.
An MVP is not a PoCYou create MVPs after you have developed a PoC and understand that there is technology available to help you create a solution to solve the problem you’re trying to address. A proof of concept validates that you can transform your idea into a product. You will know whether that product will be viable or not, will customers like it or not, and is there a demand for it before it transitions into an MVP.
An MVP is not a prototypeA prototype showcases the “flow” of your product. Prototypes help you implement design concept validations and get immediate feedback if any changes are needed. Software prototypes are clickable wireframes that demonstrate how software may work. Prototypes do not necessarily transform into viable products without research, user validation and thorough groundwork.
An MVP is—well, an MVPThis sounded a bit cheesy, but I thought I'd go with it. An MVP is that version of a product that has enough features to attract early adopters and validate a product idea early in the product lifecycle. This product has already seen a Proof of Concept, been prototyped and developed into an actual product. In short, once you create a version of your product that customers are willing to pay for, you have your first MVP ready. Who should go for an MVP? If you’re an entrepreneur who has figured out an innovative solution to an actual problem or an underserved need of your customers, you’re ready to build your first MVP. If you’ve created a prototype for your product and need to develop an actual working solution for early adopters, you’re ready for an MVP. If you’ve found out your product’s purpose, its ideal users, and thought of a format to build it with, you’re ready for an MVP.
And Volumetree can help you build your MVPWe’ve spent years helping first-time entrepreneurs and experienced businessmen launch their first MVP in the market. Our global reach and access to a vast talent pool ensure that we have all the resources your idea needs to succeed. What’s great about our approach is that we throw in a free 15-minute consultation with our product experts to help you understand if your idea is viable or needs more research. We built our collaborative approach to form a long-term relationship with our clients so we can be a part of your success story. Team Volumetree is proud to be a part of the success story of many first-time startups, established businesses and government initiatives! Let us help you create a world-class product that we can be proud of!