Under Armour links purchase recommendations to fitness data

Discussion
Source: underarmour.com
Jun 16, 2016
Tom Ryan

Under Armour has launched “UA Shop,” its first mobile shopping app that taps the health and fitness information from its more than 170 million Connected Fitness members worldwide to make shopping suggestions.

The sports brand’s Connected Fitness platform includes:

  • MapMyFitness, one of the largest digital fitness communities. Runners, cyclists and other fitness enthusiasts can find route maps while tracking their fitness activities and recording workout details;
  • MyFitnessPal, which provides nutritional information for over five million foods and offering caloric data associated with hundreds of exercises;
  • Endomondo, an international fitness tracking platform and social fitness network similar to MapMyFitness;
  • UA Record, a digital dashboard that displays everything from an individual’s health reading in four quadrants: sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition.

Customers who have UA Record and MapMyFitness accounts can sync existing account information to the UA Shop. Integration with MyFitnessPal and Endomondo apps is coming soon.

UA Shop will “connect consumers to the right gear driven by data through in-app recommendations.” For example, a consumer living in a warmer climate who has logged several runs through MapMyRun might receive a recommendation for UA CoolSwitch apparel and running footwear, designed to pull heat away from the skin. A hiker in the Northeast might see the latest Armour baselayer and outerwear.

“We are now able to provide custom experiences across our various categories specific to our diverse customer base,” said Under Armour SVP of revenue Jason LaRose in a statement.

Citing terminology from best-selling author Ram Charan, Under Armour’s CEO, Kevin Plank, has said Under Armour is creating its own “Math House” as its extensive fitness and health data will “shorten the distance between the brand and the consumer.”

Said Mr. Plank on the company’s first-quarter conference call, “Monetizing our Connected Fitness space in a synergistic way that enhances consumer engagement and drives value to our community and the Under Armour brand remains a key initiative for us.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the potential of using personal fitness and health data to drive purchase recommendations? Do you see purchase recommendations in general moving beyond past purchases and preferences over the next three to five years?

Braintrust
"... making recommendations of sports apparel based upon fitness data certainly makes sense."
"The potential to present offers to users of the various “My” apps is reasonably clear."
"I wonder how long before the fitness data can be linked to the new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator...."

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9 Comments on "Under Armour links purchase recommendations to fitness data"

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Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

As long as use of the data is opt in it seems like a good idea for both the brand and consumers. Short of Nike, no other sports brand comes to mind that has done as well leveraging users and technology.

Chris Petersen, PhD.
BrainTrust

Many other purchases of equipment are tailored to personal data. Golf clubs, for example, can be customized based upon swing analyses and style of play. So making recommendations of sports apparel based upon fitness data certainly makes sense. Indeed, you wonder what took so long for this to arrive.

There is a privacy concern related to having all of my data coming together on someone’s server that can be hacked. I agree with Ken that there needs to be an opt out feature, or customer control of what information is shared.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

I love how data and analytics are playing a major role in how companies are developing and marketing products. The general or “Big Data” can spot trends. What Under Armour is doing is taking a customer’s information/data, something I like to call “little data” or “micro data,” and delivering a personalized experience.

If I love a store or a product line so much that I’m willing to share my personal data, and they don’t abuse the privilege, then both sides come out ahead. What we will be most impressed with is the type of data that is used; weather, average heart rate during a workout and more. Not the typical data we’re used to looking at. Much deeper, and therefore potentially with much more impact to driving a better CX.

Kim Garretson
BrainTrust

This is interesting: “MyFitnessPal, which provides nutritional information for over five million foods.” With all of the work underway on the “future of food” by the food industry and places like Target and Kroger, I imagine there already are joint-innovation discussions going on — or underway — at Under Armour on synergies. This raises the question: Where else will personal data, from wearables or elsewhere, provide a bridge between two business segments that could benefit from the shared data? The travel industry? Financial services?

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

I agree that if a person opts in that this seems like a good combination of technology and customer information. With IoT, I wonder how long before the fitness data can be linked to the new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator to start suggesting what I should or should not eat.

Bill Hanifin
BrainTrust

The potential to present offers to users of the various “My” apps is reasonably clear. Realizing the potential from this opportunity is tied to how well UA rationalizes the group of brands mentioned in the lead post to this discussion.

As a user of MyFitnessPal and MapMyRide, I have a clear understanding of the benefits from each app. Introducing Endomondo and UA Record into the mix confuses me.

My recommendation would be for UA to spend time creating a fitness portal or some other method to unify these brands and provide clear benefit to people based on their fitness pursuits and interests. By doing so, engagement with the portal (app) will be greater and more sustainable. The resulting data from the interactions will be more powerful and in turn UA can create an offer mix that will trigger great results.

Tom Smith
Guest
1 year 2 months ago

Conceptually it’s a great idea; however, the execution must work. I spent two hours this past weekend trying to buy something from UA and linking my MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal accounts. Ultimately to no avail.

It’ll be interesting to see if UA can leverage the data they get from their fitness apps to provide me information of value that will earn my trust and show they care about me as a customer. So far, all I see is they want to sell me subscriptions to their apps.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

There seems to be a similarity between this and the personal shopper. The personal shopper knew your preferences and sizes and would call to let you know something new came in you might like. Most times the sales rate was high with the personal shopper recommendations. I can see this starting to happen with the athlete. Athletes have preferences in the equipment they use from running shoes to the clothing preferred. Health and past performance data can become the next big push to increased performance in the preferred sport.

Dan Frechtling
BrainTrust

Using fitness and health data to recommend purchases is a hands down winner. When you know activities enjoyed, calories burned, hours slept, weight gained, and other factors, you can make useful grocery suggestions. But this is more of a corporate story than a consumer one.

As UA publicly transforms into a Math House, it needs to show progress. Purchase algorithms are a visible way to do that — much more than say, inventory algorithms.

UA also needs to integrate its digital services. Its “Connected Fitness” IoT business expansion and MayMyFitness/MyFitnessPal/Endomondo digital community acquisitions need to be unified. Creating a single Under Armour Account with UA Shop that combines its communities and UA Record is an necessary step

UA has committed to Wall Street to nearly double its revenue from $3.9B 2015 to $7.5B 2018. Like its target market and its products, it moves fast.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"... making recommendations of sports apparel based upon fitness data certainly makes sense."
"The potential to present offers to users of the various “My” apps is reasonably clear."
"I wonder how long before the fitness data can be linked to the new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator...."

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