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.
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