Sports commodities purchase surges during China’s "Double 11" shopping festival

HOHHOT, China, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — Snapping up sportswear, selling sports products via live streaming, upgrading sports equipment and purchasing offline personal training course – this year’s “Double 11” (Nov. 11, indicating Singles’ Day) buying spree witnessed a surge of sports shopping.

The concept of public fitness is gaining popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic as statistics from Syntun, a provider of big data solutions for e-commerce in China, show the sale of outdoor products ranks tenth on the list of the sports industry.

Home fitness equipment has seen a surge in the market since the beginning of the year, and should not be underestimated during the “Double 11” period. On the first day of pre-sale of “Singles’ Day”, the omni-channel sales of sports technology company Keep increased by 152 percent compared with the “618” shopping festival in the middle of the year.

The sale of its smart spinning bike C1 on the first day exceeded 10 million yuan (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars).

Data from Chinese sportswear brand Peak Sports showed that orders had increased by 107 percent year-on-year until 23:59 on November 11, with sales of more than 80,000 basketball shoes of its “Taichi” series.

Peak Sports also launched sports products jointly designed with the Louvre Museum in Paris during this year’s “Double 11,” causing many netizens to call this domestic sports brand “a little too good-looking.”

Another sportswear brand Anta Sports announced its turnover on e-commerce platforms reached 2.84 billion yuan (about 430 million U.S. dollars) during “the Singles’ Day”, 53 percent up from last year.

PPTV, a sports video website, launched the “double 11 carnival” events during this year’s Chinese Super League season so that sports fans can do online shopping while watching the games. The sale volume of its flagship store surpassed 150 million yuan (22.71 million U.S. dollars), 3.05 million yuan (0.46 million U.S. dollars) from its live streaming sale channel and sales reached 4.2 million yuan (0.63 million U.S. dollars) on November 11.

Offline gyms, which were hit badly in the first half of the year by the outbreak of the pandemic, are also taking advantage of the online shopping spree. By 20:00 on November 9, the newly emerging “web celebrity” Lefit fitness had received 258,700 orders, and the sales volume had exceeded 100 million yuan (15.14 million U.S. dollars), 40 hours earlier than last year.

On midnight of November 10, the sales volume of Lefit’s private trainer business had exceeded 70 million yuan (10.59 million U.S. dollars), doubling the sales volume of last year’s “Singles’ day”.

The consumption content is reflected in gender-specific spending. According to statistics of online shopping platform Suning, male and female consumers have different preference on sports shopping.

Male users are more inclined to purchase outdoor sports equipments. The top three products among male consumers are running shoes, hoodies and blazers. Female users are more likely to buy equipments related to soothing exercises, including casual shoes, hoodies and yoga mats as the top three.

These shopping trends signify the larger movement towards a healthier and more active population. The Chinese State Council issued a guideline, named “Guidelines on Accelerating the Development of Sports Industry and Promoting Sports Consumption,” in 2014, aiming to speed up the sports industry development, boost sports consumption and promote public fitness.

In the past six years, the idea of national fitness has been prevailing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further turned people’s personal fitness needs into “rigid needs”.

People have started to realize that with the steady rise of the material standard of living, health is becoming an important parameter to measure residents’ happiness. Without the health of the whole community, there will be no all-round well-off society, which has also become the consensus of the people.

At the same time, the buying spree of sports consumers also reflects the huge potential of sports consumption under China’s new development pattern of inclining more to domestic market.

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