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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Sept 27, 2022

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/)
Sept 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Marketplace Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.