6 min min

Sport, the online category in full swing

Magazine bodies, glistening muscles, bulging biceps: 🏋🏽‍♀️ they’re no longer the supreme motivators to exercise. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the online sport market: people now exercise because it is good for their mental health. They want to clear their head after a day’s work, to relieve pressure or to take time for themselves. Society’s relationship with sport has changed and sportsmen and women have different expectations now: improve their quality of life, health and well-being.

Today’s agenda:

  • The evolution of online sales in the sports & outdoor category
  • Top 5 sports e-retailers in Europe
  • Sports online category spending in France
  • Online market share by region


Stop lifting weights to impress your gym crush – focus on sport that is good for the body and the mind! 🧘🏼‍♀️


Evolution of online sales in the sports & outdoor category

Gym closures during the pandemic restrictions have pushed the French to… do more sport! But this time at home – all to keep busy, to stay in shape, and to clear the mind. Physical activity has become a source of well-being, just like hands-on activities or gardening.

The sports & outdoor category increased by 0.80 pts between 2018 and 2021: it is one of the only categories to have experienced such a significant increase, along with the grocery, kitchen & home, and clothing categories. The other categories have lost market prominence; notably the high-tech category, which fell from 27.90% in 2018 to 22.80% in 2021.

As a result of the health crisis, the sports & outdoor category experienced its largest increase between 2020 and 2021 compared to the last 5 years. Since then, its market share has only fallen slightly.


Top online sports retailers in Europe

Decathlon and Amazon rule the online sport market in France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain – they are the only two retailers in the top 5 in all countries.In terms of market shares, Decathlon is the top retailer in France, far ahead of Amazon.

(Go to the Foxintelligence platform to find out the market share for each brand)

Decathlon is in 4th place in Germany, 3rd in the UK – and 2nd in Italy. Decathlon is in 1st place in Spain, but Amazon’s market share in 2nd place is very close.In Italy, Nike and Adidas (DtoC sales) are in 4th and 5th place respectively.


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Micro-mobility more popular than running? Deep-dive into online spending in the French online sports market

The cycling category accounts for 35.9% of market shares in the sports and leisure category.

Cycling is increasingly popular in France. In the city as well as in the countryside, it has become a preferred means of transport. Riding a bike has many advantages: reducing your carbon footprint, saving money, “free” exercise – that’s all it took to see a change in mobility trends.

The camping and hiking category is far behind with 14.9% of the market share, taking second place on the podium. In third place, the fitness and bodybuilding category take 12.8% of the market share.The micro-mobility category (scooters, rollerblades, skates, etc.) is not insignificant – it takes a whopping 8.5% of the market share. Next in line is running, water sports and winter sports.

Football seems to have taken a big hit, representing only 2.3% of online purchases in 2022.


Online sport market: Market share distribution by region, who’s spending what?

In Paris, the cycling category carries the trophy: it accounts for 44.7% of online spending in the leisure category. Parisians spend less than the average on the fitness and weights category.

Corsica is at the opposite end!The trend is quite different: it is the region in France where online spending on cycling is the lowest (9.2% of market share, i.e. 5 times less than in Paris). But it is in Corsica that spending on fitness and bodybuilding, camping and hiking, running, water sports and football is the highest!Other points to consider:

  • Burgundians are fishermen: the fishing category in Burgundy Franche-Comté weighs the most with 1.7% of the market share
  • The horse riding category has the highest market share (1.3 %) in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  • The highest darts market share (0.6% of market share) is in the Pays de la Loire and Normandy regions


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