The sports and fitness industries have been booming for the past few years and according to statistics, it will continue to grow. With that growth, consumers are changing their attitudes and preferences about activewear. People are dedicated to health and fitness, but the former standard of fitness wear is no longer acceptable.

Whereas activewear clothing was once separated from streetwear, the current trends for fitness clothing are meshing athletic apparel to be durable, high-quality clothing that is functional yet fashionably styled.

With the industry booming, many are jumping on the bandwagon as department stores begin offering activewear lines as well. This means more competition in pricing and availability, especially since department stores often benefit from lower purchase prices due to larger volume orders. In addition to that is the online competition, including e-commerce businesses as well as competitors such as Amazon.

However, with proper marketing strategies, you can beat the competition. Here’s a look at what you can do to stand out from the crowd in this market.

Social Media Marketing

Among this niche demographic, most make buying decisions based on feedback they receive through social media, so take advantage of your presence on these platforms and interact with your audience. Not only will this be engaging but it will also likely earn their trust.

Having a presence on social media can help keep your brand at the front of customers’ minds when it comes time for them to make a buying decision. You will make the biggest impact by maintaining a strong social media presence established by relevant, engaging content.

If you are unsure about what to post, here are some ideas:

  • Take people behind-the-scenes. Customers love getting to know your brand and seeing what goes into your products. BTS style posts will help you forge a connection with consumers and bring your brand to life. It also shows off the hard work and dedication you put into every product.
  • Show off the faces behind the name. Now more than ever, people want to know the people they are supporting when they buy a product. People are moved by companies who employ good people, pay fair wages, and support great causes. Show off your workers, customers, and partners in your posts for very sharable content.
  • Build a brand. At the end of the day, your brand image is what is going to set you apart. That means your social media interactions need to strongly represent whatever image you are trying to establish for your brand. And, they need to do so consistently. Establishing a great brand can be all it takes to get recognized by consumers.

Follow these tips and you can easily build a social media presence on the platforms that matter most.

Focus On Quality

More than 49% of consumers in this niche market make more than $100k annually. That means they are more quality driven than price driven.

When it comes to activewear, your company should focus on creating and promoting a product that will be loved for its wearability, performance, and continued reliability.

You are not selling leggings that will split at the seams in a matter of weeks. You are not selling shirts that shrink after one wash cycle. And, you need to make sure your customers are aware of that.

Do not try to compete by being the lowest priced brand out there. Instead, work to establish a brand of value. Consumers should get what they pay for and, in this market, they are willing to pay extra for longevity. Work to produce a truly high-quality product and that in and of itself will set you apart.

Compete On Shipping

While you should not aim to compete on the price of the products themselves, there is another cost you can compete on.

If you are curious about standing up against competitors, opt to provide free or discounted shipping after a price-point purchase. Many customers these days abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected shipping costs. By offering free shipping, you can take customers straight from your competitors’ hands!

Even discounted or flat rate shipping promotions can go a long way in helping you compete in the online retail world. Consider offering free or flat rate shipping with a minimum purchase (like $25 or $50) to encourage larger orders.

Use The Right Keywords

Keywords are one of the most critical parts of your plan when tackling the world of online retail. Leverage your business’ brand via long-tail keywords, Google Adwords, and keywords that are specific to products.

Long-tail keywords will always be easier to compete because fewer companies will be targeting them. The more specific you can get with your keywords, the more you will be able to narrow down your niche and the less you will likely pay to show up in advertisements.

At the same time, long-tail keywords help you target people who are already nearing the point where they are ready to click the buy button. This allows you to instantly cut unqualified leads out of your advertising campaigns. Which means no more paying for clicks that are unlikely to lead to sales.

When it comes to advertising on social media or in search engines, always do your keyword research. On social media, you should also do your hashtag research and work to keep things relevant to your products.

Hashtags are a fantastic way to get organic traffic to your social media pages and anything you link to. It is well worth the time and effort you put into hashtag and keyword research because you will see that investment return to you in the form of reaching the right audience at the right time.

As always, you can look to what your competitors are doing for some inspiration about which keywords and hashtags your business should be targeting to reach the right customers.

Make a Name for Your Business

The attitude towards clothing is not the only thing that has changed with consumers. In today’s market, customers are seeking reputable companies that genuinely care about them and provide exceptional value and service.

Start Selling Today

Looking for more ways to take your Sport and fitness eCommerce business to the next level?

Check out our 10 Tips to Building a Successful Sport & Fitness eCommerce Business guide today.

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