How Consumer Behavior is Affecting the Swimwear Industry
Increased awareness to stay fit among millennials has largely impacted the Indian swimwear market. Fitness has become an integral part of their daily lives but many of them find the everyday gym routine to be very monotonous. Health conscious consumers are thus turning sport-oriented to keep up with their fitness goals.
There’s an overall awareness of the importance of swimming and the health benefits that come with it. Thus more and more individuals have started to include lap swimming to their fitness regimes. Also, there are new water workout options available such as Aqua Zumba, Aqua Aerobics and water boot camps which entice consumers and help them to meet their fitness goals.
In the last few years, parents have understood the importance of physical activity in their children’s lives; they are encouraging them to take up swimming as it not only helps in keeping them fit and active it but it’s an important life survival skill which also adds to the child’s personality in a positive manner. As decision makers, parents want the best for their children and thus prefer to purchase from a trusted swimwear brand that makes swimsuits especially for kids keeping in mind safety, durability, design and comfort.
In the past, due to the lack of availability of swimming pools, swimming was done only during holidays. However today, most of the new housing societies have a swimming pool along with gyms and playgrounds. The nearest swimming pool is now within the society premises so one does not need to travel far or have a club membership to access the pool. Having a swimming pool on the premises encourages children and adults to use the facility.
Earlier swimwear was exclusive apparel only for professional swimmers but today brands have realized the importance of introducing fashionable swimwear. Due to the easy accessibility to resorts, beaches and international destinations, fashionable swimwear has become part of everyone’s packing list. Similarly just as active wear for the gym is necessary to enhance workout forms, the right swimwear fit is as important to enhance a swimmers stroke and be at ease in the pool.
There is also a change in retail formats that have been observed which potentially drive sales of sportswear and swimwear. Retail stores create an experience for consumers wherein they can get expert guidance on size, fit and exact way of usage of the swimwear, this makes the consumer more informed of her purchase while getting the right assistance on buying a product. Therefore brand outlets provide better insights to consumers and suggest products based on the kind of workout he/she plans to do, this encourages consumers to make the right purchase while boosting sales of the brand.
Along with individual fitness regimes, triathlon, a multi-discipline sport is gaining traction worldwide as well as in India. A triathlon consists of swimming, running and cycling and is a great way to train and keep active. Specialized swimsuits and wetsuits have been developed in a variety of styles to compliment the sport, athlete movements and water conditions.
The future of sportswear, particularly the swimwear market looks promising as more and more Indians are taking up the sport as part of their fitness routine. To sustain in the swimwear industry brands need to identify shifts in consumer behavior and change in fashion trends to stay ahead of the competition and provide consumers with products that are designed for their needs.
This article is written by Neer Chauhan, Business Head, Speedo India.