While both men’s and women’s activewear sales have grown rapidly in the past decade, women are providing the fuel to the fire. Sales of women’s activewear grew to $21.9 billion in 2017, a 4% increase year over year. A new guard of brands focused primarily or entirely on the women’s segment, including lululemon, Sweaty Betty, and Outdoor Voices, has erupted onto the scene to meet this demand, and they capture a significant share of women’s activewear sales.
These new brands differentiate themselves with exemplary product pages. Compared to the other brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear, these brands better emphasize fit confidence and effectively cross-sell to increase basket sizes. While cross-selling features have reached near-universal adoption, womenswear-focused brands pull ahead by cross-selling complementary items from other product categories. For example, Sweaty Betty includes a Complete the Look feature that showcases items with mouseover on-model imagery.
Womenswear-focused brands are also more likely to feature videos on product pages. Outdoor Voices uses on-model video content to illustrate the technical design of its products as well as on-model video views of merchandise being used for its intended purpose (e.g. leggings designed for yoga versus running).
Sensing an opportunity, established market leaders are chasing this growth in the women’s activewear market. In the past year, Nike, adidas, and Under Armour all launched campaigns centered around women, featuring athletes like Misty Copeland and fitness influencers like Hannah Bronfman. In particular, Nike launched Unlaced, a microsite dedicated to women’s footwear that includes expanded sizes and new collaborations. The site will also feature profiles of female “sneakerheads” with how-to-wear tutorials, photo diaries, and custom Nike designs.