Daily Insights

Activewear and Amazon’s Head Fake

By: Ben Romero | Mar 04, 2019

With the bankruptcy of third-party distribution giants Sports Authority and Sports Chalet, activewear brands have an opportunity to capture growth via direct-to-consumer revenue. Gartner L2 recently benchmarked activewear leaders against best-in-class retailers and brands to identify key differentiators across the consumer journey. The study identified one key area that activewear brands can further leverage to produce DTC growth: the post-purchase experience.


In a sector bursting the seams of its black stretchy pants with growth, activewear brands must confront competition from new entrants, especially as Amazon extends its private label reach deeper into the sector. In particular, Amazon’s two-day shipping option has set consumer expectations around fulfillment, equating two-day shipping as a standard of convenience.

Activewear brands have fallen for the head fake. Gartner L2 analysis found that 88% of activewear brands offer two-day shipping with an average cost of $13, compared to only 67% of the wider set with an average of $15. Still, innovative activewear leaders including Nike, ASICS, and Lululemon have incorporated expedited shipping as an incentive for loyalty programs. Nike offers discounted expedited shipping for Nike+ members, and Lululemon’s loyalty pilot program guarantees expedited shipping for members.