Sports retail teams up with technology
After exponential growth in 2020, the sports habit has continued and consumers continue to need to equip themselves to get fit. Sports retail has weathered the pandemic well and, more recently, the supply chain crisis. But what will be the keys to continued growth in 2022?
During the pandemic, individual outdoor sports and home exercise boomed, benefiting sales of sportswear over other apparel. Sales of equipment such as bicycles and fitness devices with digital technology grew especially strongly.
Peloton Interactive was one of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend, and its revenues quadrupled in two years. But sales of its high-end exercise bikes have fallen as gyms reopen and the company has had to cut prices and implement a cost-cutting program to adjust to changes in demand in the post-pandemic period.
Continue suprising the customer
The sports retail market is returning to its previous growth pattern, but that doesn’t mean customer expectations haven’t changed. With consumers highly connected and already accustomed to certain conveniences such as Click and Collect, retailers are challenged to continue to surprise their customers.
Despite the significant digitization of the industry, many customers still need to try the product before they buy it. This means that sports retailers need large display spaces in their physical stores and a large product portfolio, which can put a strain on their warehouses and weigh down the balance sheet.
Once again, technology is proving to be a great ally for retailers.
From the simplest to implement to the most elaborate, there are solutions for every type of retailer and product.
Having your own marketplace is a way to expand your product catalog and encourage cross-selling and complementary sales without generating stock tensions. It can also be a good tool to solve possible product shortages caused by the supply crisis.
Another tool that helps sports retailers with cross-selling is mobile clienteling with which they will be able to access in real time the history of each customer to get their product recommendations right.
Augmented reality is already here and is a great way to reduce the number of products to carry in your physical store. Imagine a customer who is undecided between a sneaker in one color or another, but you don’t have their size in both colors. With a touch of augmented reality you can help him make the decision and avoid losing a sale.
What’s more, if you have a good omnichannel strategy in place, you can reduce the amount of stock you have in store and have the customer receive the product directly at home.
Decathlon was one of the pioneers in incorporating self-checkout in its stores and it is undeniable that it offers an improved customer experience. Beyond the self-checkout system, the leader in sports equipment has also adjusted the number of products in store by tightening the relationship between its on- and offline channels.
Best of all, you don’t need to make all the changes at once. With a modular solution like ours, you can set your own pace towards the digital transformation of your business.