What customers really think about activewear CX
As I highlighted in an earlier article ‘Taking a healthy approach to retail cx’, people looking for sports and activewear have specific needs when they’re trying to find the right kit for their chosen activities.
As always, the best people to offer insight into how they feel are the customers themselves, so we asked shoppers aged 18-50+ from across the UK to give us their opinions about health and fitness in general, and shopping for sports and activewear in particular.
There’s no doubt that, as a nation, we have all become more concerned about health and fitness, and our respondents supported this, with 66% reporting that they had become more interested in their personal health and wellbeing over the last 12 months.
The most popular activities ranged from yoga to HIIT and running/walking, with most respondents happy to invest in the right kit for their activities:
- Leggings - 60%
- Gym top - 47%
- Sports bra - 44%
- Trainers - 44%
- Gym shorts - 41%
But when it came to customer experience, many respondents were faced with issues that left them feeling unsupported and ‘unseen’ – their key concerns were:
- Size – the retailer didn’t have their size or the sizing was wrong
- Fit – the item didn’t fit their body properly, despite being the right size
- Performance – the item wasn’t right for the activity it was advertised for
- Material – the fabric was unsuitable or uncomfortable
- Cost – the items they liked most were outside their budget
One respondent summed up the situation for the growing number of people starting out on their path to fitness:
‘I don't really know what I'm doing as I'm new to buying sportswear, and there's only so much you can get from the description.’
What most of our respondents wanted was the right kind of advice, delivered at the right time for them – depending on what they were looking for, 79% said they would welcome guidance from an expert to reassure them that they were choosing activewear that would fit their budget, bodies and activities. Of that number:
- 91% wanted expert advice on the right kit, sizing and performance
- 49% wanted recommendations for other products
- 45% wanted personalised information and advice based on their fitness regime
Time to shape up
The key takeaway from this survey is that one size – and one experience - does not fit all. Sports and activewear shoppers are by their nature an engaged and enthusiastic audience – they want to get involved and take action to improve their wellbeing, but they’re often frustrated by the experience of finding and buying what they need to take part, because they don’t see themselves and their individual needs reflected in what’s on offer, online or in store. Retailers who are able to make a real connection with them and establish themselves as trusted companions who can guide them through the process in a way that is relevant to them will undoubtedly win the race to secure their custom.
With a background in marketing and psychology, Emma Newman is a talented Head of Client Success who has worked with high-profile clients across the retail spectrum. Much in demand as a customer experience expert, she has been instrumental in building customer-focused strategies for a number of leading brands.