Ispo has interviewed athletes in a Europe-wide study to understand what ultimately drives their purchasing decisions when they look for new sports equipment. The study found that recreational athletes keep track of product awards, pay attention to the durability of the products, and are particularly active online.

The vast majority of respondents (81%) said that awards and labels were the driving force behind shopping, showing that the relevance of awards and labels in the sporting goods sector has increased, analysts observed. When it is about purchasing award-winning products, stationary retail continues to play a decisive role, with 41 percent of respondents stating that they had bought their last awarded product there.

The longevity of products was mentioned as the most important sustainability feature (75%), followed at a great distance by their ease of repair (38%) and their use of natural materials (29%).

The study also found among the surveyed athletes a very high use of social networks for making purchases. At least 60 percent said they use social media to find out about current sports trends, double the use of social networks in that respect as the average consumer, Ispo said. In contrast, only 23 percent of respondents consult specialist magazines. Regarding the favorite online device for purchases, 31 percent of respondents said that they shopped via their own computer, ahead of 15 percent who said they bought via a mobile device.

Ispo surveyed 2,783 athletes about their buying behavior. Most of them (79%) exercise at least twice a week. The respondents were 58 percent men and 42 percent women, mainly from Germany (29%), Italy (17%), the U.K. (17%) and France (16%).