Comment: What will Amazon’s role be in connected fitness?

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Connect fitness is a market that is currently seeing immense growth driven by COVID-19, but most analysts expect that trend to continue even after the pandemic is over. Amazon’s first product into this market was the Amazon Halo, but does it have further ambitions?

One of Amazon’s biggest weapons in any market it enters is its logistics and distribution expertise. As Peloton struggles to meet demand for its products, it leaves room for competitors with similar products to meet customers’ needs in a more timely fashion.

Recent reports by CIRP estimates that in the US, Amazon Prime has 126 million individual members. When a customer has Amazon Prime, they’re more likely to purchase a product at Amazon when it’s available.

25-30% of Amazon customers own a bike or treadmill, with a higher amount of ownership among Amazon Prime members. Among bicycles, Nordic Track and Schwinn have the largest share at 26%, with Peloton at 17% of customers, and Echelon at 10%.

“Last month, an Echelon news release, which was ultimately retracted, suggested that Amazon was entering the fitness bike market,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “While a true Prime Cycle does not seem to be imminent, Amazon is testing the fitness market by introducing Halo, a body composition and activity tracker with an accompanying subscription. This could become yet another Prime membership benefit, along with free shipping, streaming video, and many others. With about one-quarter of Amazon customers owning an exercise bike and almost 30% of Prime members, Amazon looks like it identified yet another untapped potential Prime membership affiliation.”

I believe that Amazon is just testing the waters with Halo, and it will eventually release AmazonBasics branded treadmills, rowers, and exercise bikes that require a much lower monthly fee. I am not sure it will create live classes like Peloton and Echelon, but it will focus more on metrics and providing useful data to increase performance by tying in data from Halo. But as CIRP mentioned, it could easily add fitness content to Amazon Prime and use the Fire tablets to display the content.

The announcement from Echelon that was rescinded sent shockwaves through the industry, and it’s possible that we could still see an AmazonBasics-branded bike powered by Echelon content in the future. One of the most difficult challenges for any connected fitness company is getting the products into the hands of customers, and that is something no company can do better than Amazon.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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