Sports: European online sales up by 19% in 2014
According to the NPD Group, the online sales of sporting goods* in 2014 in France, England, Germany, Italy and Spain, generated a turnover of 6.5 billion euros, up 19% from 2013. This growth represents an additional billion euros compared to 2013, an equivalent to the turnover of 100 Decathlon stores in France, according to the group.
During the period, online purchases accounted for 18% of the European sports market’s total turnover, remaining, nevertheless, relatively low compared to other consumer sectors. The toy sector, for example, generated a quarter of its sales on the internet.
The NPD Group explained the "online reluctance" by the fact that in 61% of cases, the purchase of sporting goods was driven by the need for a product - the particular model or brand not influencing the choice. And so almost two thirds of consumers only finalize their purchasing decisions when they get to the store - the role of in-store advice often therefore proving crucial.
"We have realized that consumers are looking for two things on the internet: first, expected savings compared to the in-store price, which is often wrongly believed to be higher. Second, the guarantee that the product will be available […]. The race for lower prices can depend on certain types of products. For example, in 2014, a hiking shoe was sold on average at a 10% higher price online than in physical stores," explained Renaud Vaschalde.
The NPD Group Europe sports expert stated: "If online sales are to continue to increase over the next five years, while nevertheless not exceeding 50% of the global market, it will be to the benefit of wholesale distributors that are already well established on the web and in terms of their store network. This is already the case in England, where longtime major players have become also leaders in online sales, taking advantage of the complementarity of both ranges."
Sales of used goods are also growing with the Internet. Among the most sought after products: children’s bicycles and products that are expensive when bought new (skis, fitness equipment…). It’s an opportunity for sporting goods specialists to reclaim the second hand market on the web, which is largely dominated by generalist sites such as Ebay and Leboncoin.
*textile, footwear and new equipment, excluding the second hand market.
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