Why Baseball Product Brands Get Two Big Sales Swings Each Year

Pattern Data Science

April 13, 2022

Spring fever is officially here and for millions of Americans that means one thing, and one thing only: it’s time to grab your mitt, your bat, and play some ball.

There’s no question that springtime is the biggest time of year for baseball and softball brands, and now that the days are getting longer and the trees are sprouting blossoms, we naturally wanted to learn more about the shopping trends surrounding America’s Pastime.

Do Americans buy their baseball and softball gear and equipment during the Spring or do other times of the year actually drive more demand? Which types of baseball gear and equipment see the most demand, and when? When should your brand start preparing for the next peak season?

We dove deep into our data to find out the answer to these questions and more.

When is demand highest for baseball gear and equipment?

Let’s start by taking a look back at 2021 to see if springtime was, indeed, the most popular time of year to buy new baseball gear and equipment.

Demand is at its absolute lowest to start the year, but picks up quickly, rising to 4% over the annual average during the month of March. It then climbs steadily in April and peaks in May, when demand is up by 15% compared to the annual average.

Demand then drops during the summer months before rebounding to slightly above average levels during the back to school season and fall ball season and ending the year on a high note during the holiday shopping season.

So if we’re ranking the times of the year that drive the most demand for baseball and softball gear, it’s spring at number one with a bullet, holiday shopping at number two, and fall ball season at a distant third.

Which types of baseball gear and equipment are the most popular?

Now that we’ve confirmed that spring is king when it comes to online sales of baseball gear and equipment, let’s dive a little bit deeper into our data. For this analysis, we pulled over 40 different baseball gear and equipment terms and categories. Here are the ones that saw the most demand last year.

Unsurprisingly, the two broadest categories saw by far the most demand. Baseball equipment just barely edged out softball equipment for the top spot, but the two sports experienced nearly identical levels of demand.

Outside of the all encompassing “equipment” categories, clothing and apparel dominate the rest of the top of the chart, with the broad term “baseball clothing” coming in at a strong #3 and men’s baseball and softball apparel rounding out the top five.

Women’s softball apparel and baseball clothing weren’t far behind their male counterparts, falling just outside of the top five.

Specific types of equipment that cracked our list of top 20 terms and categories include: protective gear, baseballs, bats, batting tees, and mitts.

When is demand highest for different types of baseball gear and equipment?

Now let’s drill a little deeper into some of these specific terms to see if they experience the same kind of spring-heavy trend that we saw among the combined category view from earlier in this article.

We’ll start by comparing the two largest categories: baseball equipment and softball equipment.

As you’d expect, the trendlines were basically identical for the two sports, but interestingly, the springtime was the second biggest time of year for these categories. The holiday shopping season brought slightly larger increases to monthly demand for baseball and softball equipment alike.

Let’s now examine some of our popular baseball and softball clothing categories:

Men’s baseball and softball clothing got by far the largest springtime bump with monthly demand for both of those categories jumping by 19% in May. Interestingly, women’s baseball and softball clothing actually experienced below average demand in the spring, and instead saw demand climb in early fall and peak during the holiday shopping season.

Out of the top categories it’s only men’s clothing and apparel that has seen May come through as the biggest time of the year, so which types of gear are driving the bulk of the high level springtime surge?

Men’s baseball and softball shoes easily got the biggest springtime boost, with demand surging by 164% during the month of May compared to the annual average. Batting weights were a strong #2 with a 127% increase in demand.

The rest of the list is full of exactly the kind of specialty gear you’d expect to top a list of popular baseball equipment. Let’s compare the annual monthly view for a handful of terms from this list.

Here’s where we can clearly see that these types of baseball gear and equipment experience the vast majority of their annual demand during the spring months.

Batting helmets saw an earlier surge than any of the other items in this view, with a 122% increase in demand in March, which crested at 150% in April.

Most of the remaining items saw modest increases in March, while batting weights and baseball shoes both saw lower than average demand during that month.

April, meanwhile, was a positive month for every single item on this list, and May represented the top month of the entire year for each item except for catcher’s helmets and the aforementioned batters helmets.

June saw each demand fall for each item, although to levels that were mostly still well above the annual average. From then we see mostly diminishing returns through the rest of the year, with the holiday shopping season clearly being far less important for these types of specialty gear.

What does this mean for your brand?

From our data, it’s clear that springtime drives huge demand for all types of baseball and softball gear. In particular, specialty gear like bats, helmets, and gloves all heavily rely on big sales during the months of April and May. Broader gear like clothing and apparel still receive healthy bumps in demand in the spring, but also see a longer tail that includes big sales over the holiday shopping season.

What will 2022 have in store? Early indicators suggest it might be an even bigger year than 2021, so if you make or sell anything from specialty baseball gear and equipment to clothing and accessories, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready for the next peak going into fall.

If you’d like to learn more about how Pattern can help your brand win in top Amazon categories like Baseball or Softball equipment, schedule a demo today.

And, if you’d like to receive all the latest news, info, and analysis on what’s trending in ecommerce, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads
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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.