Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) recently launched its first mobile shopping app, UA Shop, which will be directly integrated into its Under Armour Connected Fitness platform. The app collects information from a user's digital workout record, purchase history, and other data to make personalized shopping recommendations.
It lets customers review products, follow famous athletes, and even works with Apple Pay. The app will be compatible with the new Under Armour Account, which uses a single sign on and user profile across all of the company's fitness apps.
Why this matters for Under Armour
Under Armour claims that the UA Shop will have access to "the health and fitness information of more than 170 million members worldwide." While that number looks impressive compared to the 29 million registered users Fitbit had at the end of 2015, UA users actually come from several smaller fitness apps (MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, and UA Record) it acquired or created over the past few years.
Tethering all those users to a single health-tracking ecosystem will help UA compete much more effectively against Fitbit and other activity tracking companies. UA has stated that MapMyFitness and UA Record are already compatible with the UA Account and UA Shop, while integration for MyFitnessPal and Endomondo will be "added soon". Uniting those apps, its HealthBox devices (fitness tracker, wireless scale, and heart rate monitor) and its Speedform Gemini 2 connected sneakers could make UA's digital fitness ecosystem much more cohesive.
During last quarter's conference call (as transcribed by Thomson Reuters), CEO Kevin Plank claimed that HealthBox was its "second best-selling item on e-commerce" after the Curry 2 basketball shoes. UA's Connected Fitness revenue rose 119% to $19 million during the quarter, but that accounted for less than 2% of its top line and pales in comparison to Fitbit's sales of $505 million last quarter.
Why investors should care
Under Armour's creation of a unified shopping app that collects fitness data from all its apps is a clever move that transcends the typical strategy of tracking customer purchases. Moreover, generating more mobile sales can also decrease the company's dependence on brick-and-mortar stores, which were recently hit hard by the bankruptcy of Sports Authority. The company is driving a wise strategic shift which investors should keep a close eye on.