Insights

Sports retail clients outperform all goals!

Insight article headers football
We know, we know: you're sick of hearing about COVID-19 at the moment, and trust us, so are we!

However, we believe that it’s important to report on the trends and shifts in consumer mindset that we’ve watched unfold throughout 2020 so that you’ve got all the information to hand, to inform your strategic decisions.

With this in mind, we are delighted to highlight the incredible wins that the sports retail sector have achieved throughout the course of this year.

Between 2017 and 18 our sports retailers saw a 14% revenue increase, and similarly, an 11% increase between 2018 and 19. When compared to the same time period in 2019, Visualsoft Sport and Outdoor retailers have already achieved a staggering 36% growth.

When the UK was initially put into lockdown and we anticipated being stuck indoors for a ‘lengthy’ three weeks, working out was not a main priority. However, as we learned that we’d actually be under restriction for a lot longer than initially expected with gyms remaining closed, we began to reprioritise our physical health - joining in with Joe Wicks’ PE classes with our kids, ordering at-home equipment and indulging in the simple pleasure of our once-daily permitted walk.

There’s no denying it has been a stressful few months and there are few people who would claim their mental wellbeing hasn’t been challenged to some degree. We saw a shift in consumer mindset, as the UK began to really make the most of those endorphins to help them through the uncertain period. 65% of adults stated that exercise helped them manage their mental health during the challenging and uncertain times, as reported by Sport England.

Business focused global media website, Forbes, reported a 300% increase in Les Mills gym equipment in just 10 weeks, with Yahoo Finance communicating a 4,130% increase in sales of weight benches and a 2,311% increase in exercise bikes.

Since the gyms re-opened on the 25th July, we witnessed a predictable decline in revenue spent on sports equipment. However, it’s not all doom and gloom - since the gyms re-opened their doors, our sport retail clients have still seen an average of 28% growth compared to the previous year.

As demonstrated by the previous graph, we’re also heading towards the seasonal peak as our retailers prepare for the annual ‘new year, new me’ consumer mindset that returns in a cyclical fashion every year, meaning Visualsoft sports retail clients are well on track to not only achieve but surpass all goals for 2020.

Additionally, as we creep into the colder months where colds and flu are rife, it's likely that we will continue to be subjected to certain levels of restrictions to limit the impacts of the virus - indicating that sports retailers are hurtling towards their biggest Q4 yet as consumers continue to try and maintain their physical and mental health from home.

Actions sports retailers can take to secure the win this Q4:

  • Stock
    We’re predicting a bigger peak season than ever for the sports sector this Q4. With the potential of local and tiered lockdowns being reinforced, consumers may be more likely than usual to purchase home gym equipment and workout accessories so they can keep up their physical fitness and maintain their mental health at home throughout the golden quarter. Scaling up your stock wherever appropriate and possible could be more important than ever in 2020.

  • Hit the mark every time with your content and marketing message
    If gyms are set to close again, consumers will once again cry out for new home workouts to switch up their routine - focusing on home workout guidance and accessories (our client, Mitre, have provided the perfect example here) and at-home messaging will ensure your content remains relevant and relatable. By utilising dynamic polls, you can gather more information about the exact type of content and products they want to see, so you can deliver precisely what they need, at just the right time.

  • Reach out with video
    In a time where we’re meant to be minimising as much physical interaction with other people as possible, reaching out to your consumers via video is critical to form connections. Our client, FitKit UK, have been publishing easy and achievable how-to videos, helping consumers to keep up their fitness at home - which is a great way to demonstrate products in action, too!

  • Maintain your ad spend
    Increase your visibility throughout Q4 by maintaining your ad spend. There are a lot more eCommerce customers this year, so making sure you place yourself in front of the right people throughout Q4 will be critical.

  • Give customers the VIP treatment
    The weather has turned, and if your physical store is remaining open, make sure you are giving your customers a real ‘VIP treatment’. Allowing your customers to book time slots to visit the stores instead of queueing outside in the cold will create a lasting memory and encourage them to come back time and time again - while helping to create one-on-one experiences with your shoppers.


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