Like many markets, the sports retail industry has seen ups and downs throughout the pandemic. According to a recent McKinsey report, while the 2020 sporting goods market as a whole fell amid closed gyms and scaled-down team sports seasons, areas like personal fitness equipment, digital workout devices and athleisure saw success as consumers found new ways of staying fit and dressing comfortably as they stayed at home. Sportswear retailer Lululemon struck the best of these winning worlds through its acquisition of fitness tech startup Mirror, allowing for further extension of the brand’s already strong omnichannel experience. 

Even as normal activities begin to resume, many sporting goods consumers will stick with habits formed during lockdown. Here are 3 things sports retailers can do to use a Last Mile differentiator to foster brand loyalty in today’s changed landscape. 

 

Meet people where they are.

In 2021, many stores are still operating at limited capacities, and not all customers are comfortable leaving their homes to shop for nonessential goods. Innovative brands are finding ways around this, engaging customers at home with branded experiences. Customized home delivery that includes in-person fittings and instant returns and exchanges help retailers stand out. 

Virtual home experiences help as well. Nike and Adidas have introduced augmented reality technologies that allow users to “try on” shoes before purchasing them or interact with virtual models of their own size to see how apparel would look on their own body type. Not only do these cutting-edge developments draw in customers, but in the long run, these services may also save resources on returns by allowing customers to “try” before they buy

Meeting people where they are extends outside of the home, too. Smart home gym provider Tonal recently announced its partnership with Nordstrom that will bring pop-up gym demos to 40 Nordstrom stores, providing an interactive experience with its service and introducing the fitness brand to shoppers who may not have otherwise sought it out. In a difficult market, brands must do everything they can to stand out, and those that succeed will have robust omnichannel strategies that are always one step ahead.

 


 

Help customers run more miles with Last Mile delivery services.

The home fitness market skyrocketed in 2020. For example, Peloton, producer of digital in-home exercise equipment, took advantage of gym closures and saw an incredible revenue increase of 232% last year. The increasing popularity of home gym equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills and fitness mirrors offers a unique opportunity for fitness retailers’ last miles. In-home delivery and installation services from well-trained, knowledgeable personnel provide customers with a special branded touchpoint, solving their pain point of complex product assembly. This white-glove Last Mile delivery with impeccable attention to detail cultivates positive associations with your brand. 

 


  • Make returns simple.

Fitness-conscious consumers may always be on the go, but that doesn’t mean they want to add the hassle of product returns into their busy days. When your brand turns to a total solutions provider like GEODIS City Delivery, customers can schedule return pickups at their doorsteps or drop items off at our convenient self-service kiosks. 

Shopping, try-ons, professional equipment assembly, and returns—in 2021, sporting goods consumers can have it all done from home. Retailers need a growth partner that can handle complex last-mile services with their brand’s needs in mind. See how GEODIS City Delivery can generate loyalty for your consumers by going above and beyond for last-mile delivery and simplifying returns.

Gina Anderson

Written by Gina Anderson

Vice President of Solutions & Growth. Gina Manis Anderson is an experienced entrepreneur, executive and logistics expert who’s spent more than 30 years helping Fortune 500 companies optimize their supply chains. A skilled leader and influencer, Gina has earned the respect of a large professional network through her businesses successes and passionate leadership.