How social proof messaging can help you get active

Alison Wiltshire

11 Feb 2022

After two years of lockdowns it’s no surprise that activewear has gone a little crazy for 2022 as we all limber up to get beach body ready for the summer.

Some of us picked up good habits in the last year or two and exercised more than usual. Others of us used the excuse of a little couch-surfing to lay off the exercise and pile on the pounds instead.

Previously this inspired a real demand for athleisure – the casual dress-down trend that hinted at action but was more about heading to the park to walk the dog than stretching out ready for a parkrun. But that trend has moved on. Whether we are heading back to the gym, or our favorite sports pastimes after a break or for the first time, we want to look and feel good while we are busy putting our bodies to the test.

As a result, activewear – clothing built for action and exercise – is big business and a market that is expected to be worth $216.9 billion globally by 2025 with the US traditionally dominating the market.

And there’s a whole range of new products out there. According to Stylecaster the 80s leotard look is back with a vengeance, comprising all-in-one outfits from unitards to onesies and the 90s track jacket is also apparently back. That said, I think I might just stick to a figure-complementing pair of performance leggings and a decent sports bra thank you very much.

But it’s not just how it looks that a customer needs to consider when they are shopping for activewear (even though looking good does do wonders for the motivation to exercise). Activewear is also about technical fabrics. Functions such as wicking. Breathability. Hydrophobic (yes that’s a ‘thing’). UV protection. Can you be sure that your customers know what that means?

For those of us for whom compression fabric is more about underwear to hide our flabby bits than impact protection, the complexities of activewear can leave us wishing we were still at home snuggled on the coach in our PJs.

While product descriptions and education can help, real-time social proof messaging can cement that customers are making the right choice when it comes to their activewear purchases. Such messaging can highlight bestsellers and trending items on product list pages or product details pages, or help potential customers know that an item is selling out quickly once it gets to cart stage in a bid to encourage them to buy – especially important given how trend-driven the activewear market can be.

It means that the customer knows the products they are buying are fit for purpose. Literally.

For retailers the benefits of social proof can be seen in days, a Norwegian leisure, sports clothing and footwear company saw a 9.05% conversion rate uplift and 1,353 incremental orders in just 22 days.

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