The sporting goods industry is going through significant changes with online retailing and e-commerce having a great influence on how people choose and purchase sporting gear and equipment.
Despite the fact that consumers prefer to buy sports-related products in physical stores (in 2022 over 70% of goods in the global online sports and outdoor sector were bought offline), the e-commerce of sports equipment is nevertheless bringing revenue of billions of dollars every year.
Not surprisingly, this industry is evolving under the influence of unique factors and trends such as the season, the major sports celebrity of the moment, pop culture, and social media.
To profit from the growing online trade market for sporting goods, companies must focus on three major strategies:
- Pay more attention to mobile-friendly online platforms
- Increase the availability of the athletic products available online
- Use the latest technology to improve the buying experience for customers
Short stats on sporting goods e-commerce
Global e-commerce sales in the sports and outdoor industry are expected to reach about $119.10 billion in 2027.
- Gen Z and Millennial consumers make up 33% and 32% respectively of the total online consumer base globally
- About 1 in 10 sports equipment orders placed online around the globe are subsequently collected from shops
- China is expected to have the highest revenue in the e-commerce sports and outdoor sector, totaling $33.51 billion
China is followed by the United States with a predicted market share of $21.4 billion with the United Kingdom expected to reach $3.82 billion, Germany with nearly $3 billion, and Japan with just over $2.5 billion.
The global data for 2017- 2027 (by segment)
Major trends in the online sporting goods market
The purchase of sporting goods online is impacted by a range of external factors including the season, the major sports celebrity of the moment, pop culture, and social media.
Shifts in the sporting goods sector bring new opportunities for development and innovation. Companies need to keep an eye on the following trends that are currently reshaping the online sporting goods market.
The impact of influencers and livestream shopping
For digital communities and influencers, social media remains a powerful tool to promote a tighter relationship between customers and businesses with industry players embracing this growing trend.
It is highly likely that the evolution of social media will continue. In some Asian countries, live streaming is widely used as a promotional tool and a shopping channel. For example, 2021 witnessed the Chinese livestream market hitting $327 billion.
Live streaming has managed to gain huge popularity in just a few years and data shows that the livestream shopping sector in the United States alone is expected to increase revenue from $20 billion in 2022 to $57 billion in 2025.
As the popularity of healthy lifestyle habits increases, a growing number of customers prefer to buy sporting goods online. Furthermore, many people find it easier to purchase these products from the comfort of their own homes in view of the fact that the variety of sporting goods sold online is huge.
Rising demand for personalized sporting goods
Advances in e-commerce have made it possible for businesses to provide clients with personalized sporting goods, allowing companies to offer a highly specialized shopping experience.
Although it may appear to be more like a marketing factor, the competition between sporting equipment providers can be interpreted as a trend. Sports industry brands are often “at war” with each other because of the same target customer audience and the industry is going to become more competitive as a higher number of new players enter this online market.
So, in order to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract customers, businesses must utilize innovative techniques that could include offering special deals, discounts, or free shipping for orders over a specific value.
More flexible delivery choices
As a result of numerous delivery options, including same-day delivery, free shipping, and buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS), it is now much simpler for sporting goods companies to provide quick and efficient delivery of goods into the hands of their clients. It is also expected that some businesses will use drones and robots to improve their logistics.
The improvement of logistical capabilities can lead to a superior post-purchase and delivery experience for customers.
Using the latest technologies for better online shopping
Companies involved in sporting goods e-commerce continue to employ cutting-edge technology to improve the efficiency and seamlessness of online buying. This consists in integrating their e-commerce platforms with corporate business systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Content Management Systems (CMC), and marketing automation.
CRM remembers customers when they shop, ERP handles their goods, CMS presents the client with all the necessary information, and marketing automation keeps the customer informed.
- Some companies also employ Augmented Reality- and Virtual Reality- powered technologies that allow customers to try new products without having to actually visit the physical store
- AI-powered virtual assistants are also a powerful tool that online retailers use to improve customer experience
- Over the next five years, an increasing number of people are expected to use voice search to find items and brands online.
The sporting goods e-commerce market will continue to grow and factors such as personalization, influencers, and the latest tech innovations will have a great impact on it. This is the reason why being up-to-date with the latest trends is crucial, and this is when Expert Networks can help you.
Professionals at RightAngle Global can quickly find the right subject-matter experts who can offer valuable insights into market details and competitors, help to overcome challenging problems and make sound decisions.
Contact RightAngle Global and profit from insights that will give you an edge.
Understanding your clients and designing a website that meets their specific demands is the key to profiting from the current trends in sporting goods e-commerce and providing a wonderful online shopping experience for customers.
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