Proliferation of activewear and athleisure brands has led to competition in site, fulfillment and omnichannel features. L2’s latest Insight Report, which compares Activewear brands in the US and UK, finds large gaps between the two continents. Far more brands in the US advertise the option to return items bought online to a brick-and mortar location than brands in the UK. However, UK brands are further ahead in offering click-and-collect.
Fulfillment options are also expanding. Sixty-seven percent of brands are offering free return shipping in both countries, suggesting that brands with limited brick-and-mortar presences are forced to adjust to size differences by increasing fulfillment capabilities. These pressures fall harder on UK stores than in the US as three-quarters of Activewear brands have retail stores in the US compared to half in the UK. However, more UK brands offer free shipping than US brands (43% vs. 25%).
These features are not just nice to have; they correlate to sales. For example, nearly a quarter of online sales in Q3 2015 in the U.K. were click-and-collect.