Sporting goods, like all retail markets, have seen some massive fluctuations in demand over the past few years. The economic circumstances that arose throughout the pandemic, and those that came along as restrictions wound down, are extremely unique. As a result, many business owners aren’t sure what to expect for the future or how to adapt to the rapidly changing market.
Luckily, there are still some clear trends for which business owners can prepare, with equally clear steps needed to do so. To get them in the loop, we will break down the three major trends arising in the sporting goods retail industry and what business owners should do to adapt.
The Dominance of Online Purchasing
While many consumers in the sporting goods retail industry typically liked to go in person to try out and purchase their products, COVID made it much harder to do so. As a result, consumers learned to do better online research and find the information they need on products from home. Not being able to go into the store made consumers much more comfortable with making their purchase decisions 100% online.
In fact, US online sporting goods sales reached $32.3 billion in 2020.
However, in 2022, some consumers are trying a hybrid approach. They do the required research online but also get the instant gratification of going into the store and putting their hands on the product.
We see these trends in almost every consumer industry. Consumers are looking for convenient ways to make purchases from home, and start-to-finish in-store sales are dropping as a result. Sensible businesses will see these trends and invest more in a quality online store and simple payment options that make things easy on consumers.
Increased Interest in At-Home Exercise Programs
Keeping with the theme of being stuck in the house, consumers have grown fond of at-home workouts. While many have returned to the gym since being allowed to do so, a rapidly rising number of consumers have decided that the flexibility and convenience of at-home exercise programs like P90X is how they want to exercise.
Additionally, this has created a larger market for premium at-home fitness products with integrated exercise programs and classes. Some well-known examples of these products include:
- Peloton’s line of stationary bikes and treadmills.
- Hydrow’s at-home rowing machine.
- Mirror’s full-body exercise mirror with a screen for at-home workouts.
While some of these are only sold direct-to-consumer, some brands do distribute their products at least partially through retail partners. This provides an excellent opportunity for stores in the sporting goods retail industry to incorporate at-home exercise programs into their business model without developing their own.
Growing Demand for Consumer Financing Options
Finally, consumers in the sporting goods retail industry have experienced massive fluctuations in buying power over the last couple of years. With changes in employment, government stimulus money, or other changes in income, consumers have been looking for ways to increase their buying power when they need it most.
This has resulted in them leaning more on consumer financing options like:
- Buy now, pay later programs (BNPL)
- Consumer loans
- Store credit cards
BNPL is the newest and fastest-growing option on the list, with companies that offer some form of it seeing an average 20-30% increase in conversion and a 30-50% increase in average ticket size. Businesses looking to take advantage of this trend can easily get in touch with a quality POS financing platform provider and start offering these financing options in a matter of weeks.
Adapt to the Sporting Goods Retail Industry With Skeps
Skeps offers a comprehensive, end-to-end consumer financing program that helps businesses modernize their entire payment process. We go above and beyond one-click payment, also offering a one-click application process for several different types of consumer financing, including:
- Consumer loans and leases
- Branded credit cards
If you’re looking to partner with a forward-thinking fintech company that will keep consumers' eyes on the purchase while offering best-in-class financing, Skeps is the perfect fit.