As the space for fitness apps continues to grow, app developers need to innovate to gain users. While many apps include an in-app award component, Nexercise, a free iOS app that's the subject of a recent Reuters article, aims to incentivize users with real world products including gift cards, coupons, and vitamin supplements.
Using the app, users track their fitness activities, which can range from running to swimming to yoga, and earn points for accomplishing tasks such as working out each morning or running with a fellow Nexercise user.
The real world rewards are earned via a lottery system; The more in-app points a user collects, the greater chances of winning prizes, and those achieving higher rankings in the app can earn more expensive items. While Nexercise is a free app, the developers' business plan is to take a cut as a transaction fee when a user redeems a coupon earned by exercising via the app. The startup also plans to form partnerships with municipal governments to promote fitness, according to a Washington Post article from earlier this year.
After receiving criticism for lackluster prizes, the company partnered earlier this month with advertising startup Kiip, which has inked deals for the app with companies including Sephora and GNC.
Earndit offers a similar rewards system. Where Earndit differentiates itself from Nexercise is its integratation with services like RunKeeper, FitBit, and Nike+, using those companies’ wearable sensor devices to set goals for fitness. Successful completion of goals rewards users with points that can be spent on things like online gift cards or consultations with dietitians.
In addition, a social enterprise called Zamzee is providing young people with wrist-worn wireless pedometers that sync up to a similar rewards system. Zamzee was also partially designed by its core user demographic. Its product is expected to launch this fall.
You can read the Reuters article here.