Three ways that brands can reach sportswear shoppers

2 December 2022 | By Irene Oh, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Fashion

A person doing yoga

While the sportswear category is expected to grow to over $114 billion by 2025 at a 4.6% compound annual growth rate,1 advertisers may face challenges with slowed spending at the consumer level, according to Statista.2 A Kantar and Amazon Ads sportswear survey found that over half (51%) of shoppers don’t plan on changing their spending on sportswear in the next year, 28% of respondents plan on spending less money on sportswear in the next year and 21% plan on spending more money on sportswear in the next year.3

With a majority of shoppers planning to either spend the same or less on sportswear, an effective way brands can drive long-term business growth is through their direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies. By understanding DTC sportswear shoppers’ journeys, which include decision-making processes, spending habits and where they research products, brands can better reach receptive audiences and keep their products top of mind throughout the path to purchase.

Before we proceed, here are a couple of terms to keep in mind:

  1. DTC sportswear shoppers: US adult consumers who purchased sportswear directly from the sportswear brand’s owned websites or stores
  2. Total sportswear shoppers: US adult consumers who purchased sportswear at any retailer over the past three months

1. DTC sportswear shoppers like to spend a lot (and often)

DTC sportswear shoppers tend to be high spenders who also like to shop frequently: They are 1.6X more likely to spend over $100 on each sportswear product, and 1.1X more likely to purchase at least once a month compared to total sportswear shoppers.4 Just as important as how much, and how often, total sportswear shoppers are buying is what they’re buying. Among total sportswear shoppers, accessories (e.g. hats, bags) is the fastest-growing category within sportswear, accelerating at 3.2X the rate of total sportswear.5 Also popular are kids’ sportswear (1.5X), athleisure (1.5X),6 and athletic shoes (1.3X).7 Brands can start building creatives and informing strategies around these standout items to drive growth for your brand.

Stay top of mind with shoppers through messaging and deals

Sportswear brands may want to consider a monthly cadence for messaging and feature rewards for bulk or frequent purchases. For example, messaging like “Get free shipping on your next purchase of $100 or more” or “Get exclusive access to the newest collection” may be an effective way for brands to align themselves with consumers’ shopping habits. It may be beneficial to also incorporate several of these elements together (e.g. “Get 10% off your next $100+ purchase of kids’ accessories”).

2. DTC sportswear shoppers need help deciding what to purchase

DTC sportswear shoppers are likely to start shopping without a specific product or brand in mind, and may also change their minds by the time they reach the point of purchase: While DTC shoppers may be 1.9X more likely to be decided on a brand at the start of their journey, they are 2.3X more likely to purchase a different product than they initially planned to buy at the start of their shopping journey compared to total sportswear shoppers.8 Since DTC sportswear shoppers’ journeys appear to be flexible, this poses an opportunity for advertisers to help inform product decision-making.

Help drive discovery before sportswear shoppers begin their purchase journey

Brands can drive awareness among DTC sportswear shoppers by reaching them early and at frequently visited digital touchpoints while they are still open to deciding which products and brands they are considering for purchase. For example, brands can leverage Amazon Ads’ Streaming TV solution (e.g. Prime Video), as 72% of total DTC shoppers surveyed reported that they stream Prime Video at least once a week. DTC shoppers are also 1.1X more likely to recall ads seen on Amazon Prime Video compared to total sportswear shoppers.9 Brands can lean on Streaming TV to feature a selection of products in their creatives and messaging to showcase variety for indecisive shoppers who might need a little help along the way.

3. Drive awareness and sales anywhere customers spend their time

In terms of awareness, brands have more opportunities to reach DTC sportswear shoppers, as these shoppers have 18% more touchpoints than total sportswear shoppers throughout their journey. A majority (79%) of DTC sportswear shoppers also start their journey online, with Amazon’s store being the their top touchpoint.10

While Amazon can provide a wide stage on which to promote brand visibility, Amazon can also be effective at driving traffic to retailers’ stores. Among sportswear shoppers who purchased a brand or product they discovered on Amazon, 55% purchased outside Amazon’s store (from any retailer).11 This means that the majority of sportswear shoppers who have discovered a new brand or product after visiting Amazon made the purchase elsewhere.

Reach new shoppers with Streaming TV ads

Leveraging Amazon Ads’ Streaming TV ads may be effective for reaching new DTC sportswear shoppers during the discovery phase of their purchase journey, as sportswear shoppers in general have reported they were 1.4X more likely to discover a new brand when engaging with Twitch leading up to their sportswear purchase.12 Brands may find that driving awareness through solutions on Amazon Freevee or Twitch can be an effective way to bolster visibility for their sportswear products.

Brands can reach DTC sportswear shoppers if they are adopting contextually relevant strategies such as creating messaging tailored to specific habits, driving awareness early on at the discovery phase and prioritising highly visible digital touchpoints. Additionally, brands have the flexibility to reach DTC sportswear consumers anywhere they spend their time, so there are ample opportunities to create a marketing strategy that suits their goals.

Want to turn these sportswear fashion insights into action? Contact an Amazon Ads account executive, or visit our fashion industry page.

1 Sportswear category definition: Includes activewear (for exercise, sports and/or the gym) and athleisure (for everyday wear, lounging and/or casual wear)
2 Statista Consumer Market Outlook, US, June 2021, October 2021
3–4 Kantar Sportswear Custom Survey, US, Feb 2022
5 Amazon Internal, US, March 2021-­Feb 2022 vs March 2020­-Feb 2021
6 Definition: For everyday wear, lounging and/or casual wear
7 Amazon internal, US, March 2021­-Feb 2022 vs March 2020-­Feb 2021
8–12 Kantar Sportswear Custom Survey, US, Feb 2022