If every period has its corresponding product, a study of the sector’s trends has shown us that the last two years have been undeniably devoted to fitness; whether due to forced domestic closure or increased general awareness. The growth of the sports and home gym equipment market has also led to the development of many related services. MBK Fincom, also observing the growth curves of its ProduceShop platform, decided to study the phenomenon.
When you run any kind of business, be it physical retail or e-commerce, B2B or B2C, you have to pay extreme attention to the sales trends of the moment; with the tools we have available today, following the demands of the public, their behaviour and buying habits, is easier.
Even with the last year and a half of forced closures and the resulting change in consumer habits, one of the trends that has seen unprecedented growth is fitness and sports equipment.
MBK Fincom, based on research carried out by its marketing department, on the results of the marketplace ProduceShop, compared its results with those of other realities to offer an overview of the phenomenon, with interesting forecasts for the sector.
Looking at a trend and studying it requires analytical skills and a spirit of observation, as well as some familiarity with the appropriate tools; working on your own sales data, however, certainly makes it easier, as well as directly observable.
We looked at some of the most common sector related queries typed in by users, as well as specific keywords for searches and products. By cross-referencing them with the navigation data of the purchasing funnels, we extended the search over different time intervals, both wide-ranging (5 – 2 years from now), and closer (last year – last quarter). Although the growth curve is not sudden or always constant, the trend has been quantitatively increasing; especially if we look at specific micro-categories.
In the first graph, we can see how, in the last 5 years, the trend of searches related to fitness has increased; this is essentially due to a general awareness of the importance of a healthier lifestyle, and a relative change in habits
The second graph shows the increase in specific home fitness searches over the last two years. It is not surprising that there has been an increase, especially following 3 lockdowns, which have have encouraged more and more people to keep fit at home.
This third graph represents the segmentation of the market: most of the field (almost 60% of searches) is occupied by cardio equipment (treadmills, exercise bikes, spin bikes), while the rest is held by power and strength equipment (weights, dumbbells, power stations).
We found several sentiments that drive this type of research; in addition to the forced closure of centres, we also have the ever-increasing risk of sedentariness, seen as a threat to health.
The hottest fitness trends
There are a number of fitness trends that have the most traffic and demand at the moment; we have taken a look here at those that have had the most impact on our market and the performance of the marketplace, as well as the related services we have worked with:
- body weight training: one of the top 5 search trends over the last 3 years, it covers all training activities that use body weight as a fundamental resource. The equipment required is therefore minimal (fixed pull-up bars, push-up bars, power towers), and the focus is more on the care of movements and exercises;
- strength and weight training/weightlifting: never too far from the most popular trends for almost 10 years. Orders for dumbbells (fixed or adjustable), barbells, discs, benches and kettlebells, as well as related products (racks, mats) are therefore on the increase;
- outdoor training: in response to the closures following the Covid-19 pandemic, small outdoor group activities increased by a few percentage points. However, we did not find any particular sales cross-over related to the trend;
- online training: not just a response to the home obligation, but also as a new frontier of fitness services, virtual training and all related services have increased significantly. Proprietary platforms of brands and centres have been created, with related apps, enabling users to follow live-streaming workouts, asynchronous workouts, ask for consultations, workout sheets and many other features. Trend-related sales are the most substantial in terms of average cart and items, as we are talking about important equipment (treadmills, spinbikes, power stations).
Adapting communication and marketing media
It is obvious that, as the market grew, the category’s communication and marketing also had to adapt.
After strengthening its presence in the sector with a private label such as Leonardo Fitness, MBK Fincom first implemented the ProduceShop catalogue with an offer of fitness and home gym products covering every type of training and discipline. In this way, it was possible to address a much broader and heterogeneous audience, while not standardising communication and methodologies.
In addition, after assessing an absence of certain benchmarked facilities and resources, we wanted to offer, through our ProduceBlog, an information service that is as detailed as possible. With the help of a number of professionals in the sector, we offer customers dedicated and specific guides for each training and need. A sort of completion of our offer; we design a 360-degree package that is not limited to the mere product, but to the entire value proposal that surrounds it.
The trend forecasts we have found at the moment are limited to research up to 2026; going further, especially after the unexpected experience of the pandemic, carries too many risk factors.
However, based on current trends, we can say that fitness and home gym are not only enjoying momentary success, especially when implemented with digital methods, and that the proactive adaptation of the ProduceShop catalogue was not only congenial but also necessary.
- Corporate PR
- Produceshop Marketing Dept. (https://mbkfincom.com)
- Globe News Wire
- Il Sole 24Ore
- E-Commerce Nation
- Trading Economics