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Gen Z Shopper Playbook: Insights Into the Sporting Goods Shopper

Gen Z has arrived. And as a group, they are too big to be ignored.

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In This Report

What are you doing to put your best foot forward to appeal to this generation? Do you know if Gen Z sporting goods shoppers:

  • Perform research prior to going to the store to purchase an item?
  • Prefer to purchase in a physical store vs. online?
  • Can be influenced during the shopping and purchase stages?
  • Make unplanned purchases in the sporting goods store and if there is opportunity for growth?
  • Tend to showroom more or less than the average sporting goods shopper?

NSGA’s second sporting goods shopper study, The Gen Z Shopper Playbook: Insights into the Sporting Goods Shopper, explores each of these questions and more!

Building on the foundational shopper insights study conducted in 2014-2015, NSGA executed a follow-up study designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Understand product and retailer/channel consideration sets, including attitudes and behaviors that shape choice
  • Identify purchase and decision influencers along the path to purchase
  • Highlight the changes and consistencies of shopper behaviors, attitudes and habits in the sporting goods retail environment compared to 2015
  • Understand Gen Z’s shopping habits, behaviors and attitudes, and how they compare to the general sporting goods consumer

The study explored the attitudes and behaviors of more than 1,700 sporting goods shoppers via an online shopper survey.

This report explores key insights related to shopper influences, behaviors, and decisions along the purchase journey, leading to recommended actions intended to maximize purchase conversion and satisfaction. In addition, key variables were explored such as product types (equipment, footwear, and apparel), high vs. low involvement purchases, retail outlet types (full-line, specialty, etc.), and ages of shoppers.

Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to learn more about the Gen Z sporting goods shopper and to help you start thinking about ways in which your business can capitalize on the insights.

NOTE: Because this study was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some findings related to shopping behaviors could have potentially changed since the study was executed. NSGA is considering a follow-up study to determine the extent of any changes. We wanted to publish this report after receiving positive feedback from those in the sporting goods industry, in addition to our belief that valuable learnings can still be gleaned from it.

Examples of Insights Provided

  • The four stages of the sporting goods shopper’s path to purchase
  • The three types of purchases that can exist: planned, functional unplanned, impulsive unplanned
  • % of shoppers researching products prior to the purchase occasion
  • Source of information used to research products
  • Number of websites and physical stores visited prior to making a purchase decision
  • Information sought prior to purchasing in-store vs. online
  • % of shoppers who shop in-store only vs. online only vs. both in-store and online
  • % of shoppers who prefer to purchase in-store vs. online
  • Reasons shoppers purchase in-store vs. online
  • Strengths and obstacles of shopper experiences in-store
  • % of shopping occasions where the purchase is influenced during the shopping occasion
  • % of purchases that are planned vs. unplanned and ways to maximize the potential for unplanned purchases
  • Prevalence of showrooming (browsing in-store and then purchasing online)
  • % of shoppers using a smartphone inside the store to help make decisions
  • % of shoppers leave the sporting goods store without making a purchase and why
  • Negative perceptions of different types of channels of purchase

If you have questions about this report or would like help finding the right report for you, please contact Nick Rigitano, NSGA Director of Insights and Analysis, at (847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1080 or

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