sporting goods industry trends

The sporting goods industry continues to evolve amidst increased health awareness, changing channel preferences, and growing concerns about sustainability. Merchandising is the art of showcasing your products to sell more. It’s not just about putting products on the shelf, but it does entail that. For sporting goods retailers, selling more products doesn’t necessarily mean balls and athletic gear; it could mean other things. So, sporting-goods retailers need to adopt ten sporting goods industry trends that will shape the retail landscape in 2022.

The following 10 tips should help you stay on the right path in sporting goods retail, no matter who your audience is.

1. Manage the seasons

Sports is a seasonal activity. Baseball is in the spring, and soccer is in the fall. You need to be able to offer the right sporting goods at the right time of year. Offering complete product information with descriptions is the best way to drive sales. Product information management is becoming increasingly important and valuable for sports retailers to become digital and truly shine throughout all seasons of the year. For this reason, make sure your retail chain has the best possible merchandise management solution that can help you manage the seasons.

2. Size and trend analysis

Every sport is different, and every athlete is different. You need a way to manage your products and the sizes you offer. But you also need a smart way to analyze the trends in each of the sports you cater to and consumers’ changing attitudes and behaviors. The shift from brick and mortar to click is underway; the majority of consumers expect to continue using online fitness and wellness programs and digital exercise. If you offer the best merchandise, you will attract the right customers. Big data is essential to know your customers; retailers will be able to predict future customer behavior by analyzing past data. This will give them a great tool to provide personalized services based on their unique needs and potentially enrich the shopping experience.

3. From social media to social commerce and digital ecosystems

Social media remains an effective platform for influencers and digital communities to foster a stronger connection between consumers and commerce, and major players are leveraging this growing trend.

Customer engagement will become even more important; this means excellent customer service and after-sales service, good product information, loyalty programs, a multi-channel strategy, and an excellent in-store experience. The social media space continues to evolve; the use of live streaming as both a promotional tool and a shopping channel is now well established in Asia and is expected to grow worldwide. Early adopters among sporting goods players attempt to gain a foothold in this “metaverse” arena, and others are expected to follow.

4. Manage repairs

Sports equipment breaks, and athletes may want to repair the equipment rather than purchase new ones. If your retail store repairs sports equipment, you need a sporting goods POS solution that can help you manage the process seamlessly. Manufacturers competing with retailers – Many sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, The Northface, etc., now have their own flagship stores, which compete directly with general sporting goods retail formats. So, they can communicate directly with their consumers, leveraging their online offerings as part of their multi-channel strategy. You can beat them if you offer additional services such as repairs, offers, and promotions.

5. Track your inventory

Inventory tracking and monitoring is very important for sporting goods stores. You need to be able to track every SKU and product so that you know your inventory counts at all times and are able to allocate and replenish your inventory intelligently. In the future, sensor-embedded shelves can track inventory and time replenishment. So, order fulfillment and stock management can be fully automated with the right solution. With ChainDrive inventory management software, you can track, analyze and manage your inventory seamlessly.

6. The sustainability imperative

The pandemic and COP26 have helped accelerate awareness of sustainability, including a demand for more sustainable products. As consumer expectations in this area increase, companies must differentiate themselves quickly. Leading companies might focus even more on sustainable materials, circular business models, and assisting consumers in making choices that reflect their values.

7. Bulk orders

What if you are ordering for an entire team? The high school soccer team that needs 30 or 40 helmets of all sizes has more specialized needs than a group of parents ordering their little league sport. So, managing a team’s orders requires a specific skill set and a specialized retail management solution. Customer demand will drive innovation; modern customers want a product made specifically for them and to have the latest shoe or the most fashionable wearable. This means that custom products will become more important and the product life cycle is likely to be shorter, and the speed of innovation is expected to go up.

In sporting goods retailing, the store that wins is the one that can meet all the needs of its customers. Thus, the ChainDrive Sporting goods POS system meets all your retail needs and brings more traffic to your stores.

8. The future of channels

The outbreak of covid-19 reinforced the importance of digital channels, even as physical stores have begun to reopen. We’ve seen players move toward offering direct-to-consumer (DTC) models, creating a stronger online presence and consolidating their retail partner model. In 2022, brands will need to make the most of their strengths. New players will prioritize DTC and continue to focus on partnerships with select retailers. Brand marketing will become even more important to stand out and reach the customer. Retail stores will seek to develop a clear edge for brand names to keep them from leaving. However, the brands that do leave will make way for smaller brands. Shift in focus from sales to entertainment and experience; Many players will repurpose physical locations as part of an omnichannel offering focused on experience and service.

9. Solving the supply chain puzzle

Demand volatility, production bottlenecks, rising raw material costs, transportation costs, and logistical chaos are causing turmoil in global supply chains. Simultaneously, consumers continue to expect fast and convenient delivery. So, retailers need to strategically review their supply chains to be better prepared for an uncertain future.

10. Automate your merchandising

Automating your online and offline merchandising to be more productive and save time. It helps sporting goods retailers stay organized and streamline workflows to focus on delivering a better customer experience.

ChainDrive Sporting Goods Retail Software automates your entire operation, from the point of sale (POS) to the back office and everything in between. It includes an easy-to-use point-of-sale coupled with a robust inventory management engine and a fully integrated real-time accounting system that automatically makes entries as you complete your day-to-day transactions.

The changing trends that the sporting goods industry experienced in 2021 will likely become even more pronounced in 2022 as uncertainty becomes the new reality. In this challenging environment, risks and opportunities abound. The most successful retail players are likely to be those who can adapt flexibly and boldly align themselves with new trends as they emerge.

The key to standing out as a retailer is to make the sports product experience clearer, more engaging, and more personal. With ChainDrive’s retail management solution, you can focus your efforts on promotion and marketing, ensuring that your sporting goods software has updated and revised product information to set you apart from your competitors and answer your shoppers’ questions.

To discover a more accessible and more agile way to manage your sporting goods store throughout all seasons of the year, request a free demo with one of our software experts.