Globally, the sports market is worth $1.1 Trillion and the number of people that participate in sports across the world is set to increase by one billion by 2025, reaching 3.5 billion people in total.
A good sports app can allow people to indulge in their passion from anywhere at any time.
As the popularity of sports shows no signs of slowing, what about the sports apps on the digital marketplace, and what trends are influencing their development?:
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
In 2021, AR and VR are trending not just in the gaming sector.
The concept of this technology is to create a fully immersive experience for the user to enjoy in the comfort of their home.
Sports app developers use AR and VR in their apps to enhance the user’s experience of a sport.
Sport is no longer limited to a TV screen. Users can immerse themselves in the environment as if they were part of the crowd.
It’s commonly used for stadium-based sports like football, basketball, and even the Olympics.
Chatbots are used for automated chatting with the app’s users. Most user questions or problems have standard answers and solutions, so it makes sense for an AI – not an employee – to provide them. If more challenging issues arise, the bot redirects a user to the real customer support team.
With chatbots, companies can reduce the costs of L1-L3 support services and enhance their customer service experience, resolving issues of thousands of customers at the same time.
Sports betting apps are setting the trend for chatbots in 2021.
Social Media Integration and Streaming Platforms
Social media is a trend that many app developers are capitalizing on. It allows users to share games, scores, and highlights straight to their Facebook or Instagram page for their followers to see.
Social media sharing allows companies to reach more users who might be interested in a particular sport and build brand awareness.
Social media goes hand in hand with streaming services too. Twitch is an example of a streaming platform that allows gamers to stream a sports app or react to a live game being played.
Wearable tech integration
From iWatches to Fitbits, the wearable tech business is booming.
What good is a fitness watch without an app to go with it? They go hand in hand.
Strava allows runners to track their performance on their phones using an app that shows their route on a map.
Fitbit has a dedicated app for sportspeople to view how their body performed when playing their favorite sport.
As the technology gets more complex, we expect to see a plethora of apps making use of the features that wearable tech offers such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, recovery metrics, performance stats, and more.
This basically means turning something into a game. So instead of Strava only recording a runner’s route with GPS, they would implement a points system to rank their performance, making the user motivated to do better the next time they run.
Gamification is a trend used by developers to make their app more addictive and it’s frequently used in gaming sports apps like fantasy football. It makes the experience more fun for players by adding features such as trading players and teams or customizing the appearance of a stadium.
Developers of all the most popular sports apps on the market all follow at least one of these trends to some extent.
Sports apps can haul in the cash, which is why app developers follow trends in order to compete against the tough competition.
In 2021, these trends reflect what the end-users want in an app. Developers will design apps with that in mind and some may even predict future trends to stay one step ahead in the busy marketplace.