Today’s sports retail industry is ever evolving. According to Euromonitor International, sportswear saw growth of 5% in 2017, driven predominantly by millennials, health and wellness trends, and the casualisation of the working dress code. Within our latest white paper, we discuss the Millennial effect on the sports retail industry and the necessity for brands to adapt to new consumer demands.
Today’s sports retail trends
A few years ago, sports retail brands just needed to sell sports gear and outfits. Now, they need to sell fashionable items with the rising athleisure trend and truly impressive experiences through adventure sports. Sports is not just for sportsmen anymore, it’s for everyone to see and experience.
Athleisure is currently the only area of fashion which is experiencing growth. According to Millennial Marketing, 60% of millennials work out on a regular basis and 73% say physical appearance is important to them². Alongside many aspirational role models online, wearing sports clothes outside of the gym allows them to publicly depict themselves as being part of this trend.
Social media and other digital tools allow sports, and in particular, extreme sports to better reach and fascinate the general public. Adventure tourism has enjoyed significant growth fuelled by millennial demand for more authentic experiences. In 2017, 78 million hours of GoPro content was consumed by viewers³. The affordability of these cameras and ease of sharing again makes this an accessible channel for millennials to project their desired view of themselves.
Millennials drive today’s trends and create tomorrow’s trends. That’s especially true for the sports retail industry. The sector has experienced some big changes with the two trends previously explained, trends promoted by Millennials through social media.
The Millennial impact on sports retail
Millennials are the first truly digital generation, with fast moving and deep impacts for retailers. They do the most shopping online compared to other customer segments, and spend longer researching the products they buy. While they desire more knowledge pre-sale, two out of 3 millennials use adblockers – shunning traditional advertising channels in favour of more authentic forms of information, and as such are increasingly turning to independent experts.
For instance, Australian fitness blogger and expert Kayla Itsines recently achieved 40% more post engagement than Adidas and Nike combined for the same period.
Sports retail brands must adapt. But how? With Conversational Marketing and independent experts
Brands have tried to keep up with these new needs and expectations but so far, the online experience still cannot compare with the physical store experience as it remains somehow impersonal.
Millennials expect a personal and seamless customer experience within this hyper connected, digital world. Consumers now decide what to pay attention to based on emotions and conversation.”
James McQuivey, VP. Principal Analyst, Forrester.
Therefore the type of connection that drives brand loyalty and CLTV is the human connection.
Now it’s time to stand out from the crowd. Independent experts are a key differentiator for sports retailers!
94.8% of visitors supported on a sports retail website by an independent expert from the ibbü community are satisfied.
If you’re a sports retailer and would like to have more insights on how to become the digital destination of choice for online shoppers, download our sports retail industry focus here.