Analysis of Strategies to Increase User Retention of Fitness Mobile Apps during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 30;19(17):10814. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710814.


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the fitness-related field. More people started working out at home, and the use of fitness mobile apps that can measure the amount of exercise through a scientific method has increased compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. This phenomenon is likely to continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore this study aimed to investigate the importance of and satisfaction with a fitness app's functions according to consumers while using the fitness mobile app. Through this study, we intended to provide data for creating an environment where users can use fitness mobile apps consistently. A total of 420 questionnaires were distributed through Google Survey for about 3 months, from 13 September to 20 November 2020, and a total of 399 complete questionnaires were analyzed in this study. Regarding the data processing methods, frequency analysis, exploratory factor analysis, reliability analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, and IPA were used. The results are as follows. First, the first quadrant of the IPA matrix indicated the high importance of and satisfaction with the fitness mobile app, and included five attributes: cost-effectiveness, easy-to-understand information, ease of use and application, privacy protection, and compatibility with other devices. Second, the second quadrant of the matrix indicated relatively low satisfaction in association to high importance and included five attributes: accurate exercise information provision, design efficiency, daily exercise amount setting, convenient icons and interface, and provision of images and videos in appropriate proportions. Third, the third quadrant of the matrix, indicating low importance and low satisfaction, included five attributes: not sharing personal information, overall design composition and color, customer service, reliable security level, and providing information on goal achievement after exercising. Fourth, in the quadrant of the matrix, indicating low importance and high satisfaction, five attributes were included: exercise notification function, continuous service provision, step count and heart rate information, individual exercise recommendation, and individual body type analysis information.

Keywords: COVID-19; IPA; consumer behavior; fitness app; increasing user retention; mobile.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Pandemics
  • Reproducibility of Results

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.