5 Sporting Goods Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2023

We explore 5 sporting goods industry trends and what they mean for online sellers, enthusiasts, and the future of online sporting goods sales.

By Vanessa Loughty | January 10, 2023



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The sporting goods industry is undergoing some major changes. One of the biggest trends that we have seen in recent years is the rise of online retailing and ecommerce in the outdoor recreation and sporting equipment sectors, which has drastically shifted how people shop for gear and equipment. The convenience and ease of being able to purchase items from home has made it much more attractive for people to buy sporting goods online versus in store, with ​​80% of consumers now using online channels to shop for sporting goods.

The sporting goods industry has responded to this by increasing the availability of sporting goods online, as well as using technology to create a more seamless shopping experience. Companies are now designing websites that are optimized for mobile use, offering personalized recommendations, and giving customers perks like free shipping. This has allowed sporting goods retailers to reach a larger audience than they would have through traditional retail.

In this article, we’ll explore 5 sporting goods industry trends, their impact on online sellers, and what you can do to capitalize on these trends and appeal to online sporting goods consumers.

Current Trends in Sporting Goods Ecommerce

With big changes in the sporting goods industry come new opportunities for growth and innovation. Businesses of all sizes, whether they sell hunting gear online or use ecommerce to sell sports equipment direct to consumer, should watch these five trends currently shaping the online sporting goods industry:

  1. Growing demand for outdoor recreation and sporting supplies: Increasing interest in healthy lifestyle habits and alternative forms of exercise translates to interest in purchasing sporting goods and fitness equipment online. The increased availability of sporting goods online has made it much more appealing for people to shop for sporting equipment from the comfort of their own homes. This trend is only expected to continue as health awareness rises and technology becomes even more advanced and accessible.
  2. Demand for greater customization: Advancements in ecommerce enable companies to offer customers personalized sporting goods products and recommendations, allowing them to offer an ultra-customized shopping and purchasing experience. This is not just helpful for customers—it's a great way for online sporting goods sellers to drive higher average order value and encourage brand loyalty.
  3. Increased competition: As more sporting goods companies enter the online space, the industry will become more competitive. This means that companies must use creative strategies to stand out from the competition and attract customers. This can include offering special promotions, discounts, or free shipping for certain order values.
  4. Improved delivery options: The availability of same-day delivery, free shipping, buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and other convenient delivery options has made it much easier for sporting goods retailers to get their products into the hands of customers quickly and efficiently. To keep up with the demand for sporting goods online, companies are now investing heavily in improving their logistics capabilities—from inventory management to faster delivery times--in order to provide customers with a better post-purchase and delivery experience.
  5. Connected solutions and technology integration: Sporting goods companies are now leveraging the latest technology to make online shopping more seamless and efficient. This includes integrating their ecommerce platforms with essential enterprise business systems, like their CRM, ERP, CMS, and marketing automation solutions.

Understanding Sporting Goods Consumers

Capitalizing on current trends in sporting goods ecommerce and delivering a great online shopping experience is as simple as understanding your customers and creating a website that serves their unique needs. For example, hunters and anglers should have the ability to quickly browse an online catalog to find accessories that work with the exact specifications of their rods, bows, and rifles. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts should be able to get detailed information on the safe use of the equipment they're purchasing, in addition to personalized recommendations for how to get the best results.

You can better understand what your sporting goods buyers are looking for by creating consumer personas. These personas help you to learn more about your target customers, their needs, and what they value most in a sporting goods company. Start by identifying your target demographic, researching their needs and interests, and then considering how they like to shop for sporting goods. You can use this information to inform your marketing activities, the structure of your website, and your merchandising strategies.

By staying abreast of current trends in outdoor recreation and ecommerce technology, sporting goods sellers can create a more seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for their customers. With the right strategies in place, sporting goods companies are well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for sporting goods and outdoor products online. Free Guide: How to Create Effective Consumer Personas for Your Online Store

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Author's Bio

Vanessa Loughty

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