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Europe-Wide Study on the Purchasing Behaviour of Recreational Athletes

Study Shows: This Is How Sports Customers Shop in 2019

The sports industry made a turnover of 174 billion dollars in 2018 - and the trend is upwards. But what impulses ultimately lead consumers to purchase decisions? ISPO interviewed athletes in a Europe-wide study. The result: recreational athletes are particularly active online - and watch out for awards.

Wie tickt der Sportkunde? ISPO hat es in einer Studie herausgefunden.
How does the sports customer tick? ISPO found out in a study.

The study focused on the factors that inspire sports people to buy new equipment. It also looked at the segments in which athletes pay particular attention to award-winning products, how new equipment affects their motivation and which channels they prefer to use for buying. 

 

For the latter, stationary retail continues to play a decisive role: 41% of respondents stated that they had purchased their last awarded sports product there. For online purchases, shopping on the own PC (31%) is clearly ahead of buying on a mobile device (15%).

Which channel did you use to buy the latest award-winning product?
Which channel did you use to buy the latest award-winning product?

Awards and Technical Labels Increasingly Important

The biggest orientation aid for the interviewees when buying are awards and technical labels such as Gore-Tex, Sympatex or Vibram. 81% stated that the identification of awards and labels is the driving force behind shopping.

Almost half of those surveyed (46%) now pay close attention to awarded products. 13% of them stated that awards have always been an important orientation when buying new products. The relevance of awards and labels in the sporting goods sector has therefore increased.

What do you pay special attention to when buying new sports products?
What do you pay special attention to when buying new sports products?

Longevity Is Most Important Sustainability Feature

The longevity of their products is particularly important to customers. Three-quarters of respondents pay particular attention to this. A simple repair and available backup parts (38%) as well as the use of natural materials (29%) follow at a great distance.

The clear focus on long-lasting sports products suggests that athletes want to use their equipment for more than the current season. Once selected, they remain loyal to the appropriate equipment and brands.

Which sustainability issues are particularly important to you when buying new sports products?
Which sustainability issues are particularly important to you when buying new sports products?

Sports Customers Particularly Present in Social Networks

What is striking about the target group of active athletes is their high level of activity in social networks. At least 60% use social media to inform themselves about current sports trends. This means that recreational athletes are more than twice as active in social networks as the average consumer. In contrast, only 23% of respondents consult specialist magazines.

How do you find out about current trends in sports?
How do you find out about current trends in sports?

ISPO asked 2783 athletes about their buying behaviour. 79% of them said they exercise at least twice a week. The respondents - 58% men and 42% women - are mainly from Germany (29%), Italy (17%), UK (17%) and France (16%).

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