An update from SIA Research Associate Emily O’Hara.
The Intelligence Reports are complete! SIA has released the final version—the 2011 Youth Market Intelligence Report, this week and now we’re ready to leave behind the record-breaking 2010/2011 season in hopes that 11/12 will treat the industry just as well.
Working on the two most recent Intelligence Reports, covering women and kids, was particularly fascinating because we were able to take a deeper look into what is going on beyond the snow sport industry borders and look at how other factors contribute to the consumer behaviors of women and kids.
So what did I find interesting in the Youth and Women’s Intelligence Report?
To start, women are consumer powerhouses, accounting for over 80% of consumer spending. That’s a lot when you think about how spending covers everything from cars to vacations to apparel to groceries; women are the primary buyers in the family. Why does that affect the snow sports market? Well, for starters they are responsible for the majority of vacation planning and spend more money than men on sporting goods.
In the 10/11 season they spent $941 million on snow sports goods, out of the total $3.3 billion. Now, just because women spent $941 million on themselves doesn’t mean that they didn’t contribute to the remaining balance of snow sport sales. To me this means that marketing efforts need to attract everyone, not just the intended user—as they aren’t always the one who buys.
Now let’s move slightly further down on the food chain to the kids market.
Kids are like giant sponges, absorbing everything in their path. They want everything they see and they want to do everything that the next kid is doing. Kids have the world at their fingertips and now is the time to get them participating in snow sports so they will continue to participate as adults. One of the main differences between kids and adults today is that kids are more willing to go back and forth between sports, whereas adults are a bit more set in their ways—just in terms of snow sports of course. For example, the snow sport that brought in the most participants last season was snowboard, yet the snow sport that brought in the most youth dollars was alpine, so they aren’t just choosing one or the other like their parents. That being said, kids also have more options than ever, and as an industry, it is our responsibility to keep interest high in snow sports and make sure we don’t lose the fight to video games.
One of the most common excuses for skiers and riders not coming out to the mountain in a season is that they don’t have someone to go with. An easy solution for that is to sell snow sports as an experience for the entire family. Not only will it increase sales, but visits as well; and if you can spark an interest in kids early, they will hopefully push their parents to keep bringing them back to the mountain season after season.
Now that the Intelligence Reports are finished for the 10/11 season, I’m really looking forward to getting new data for the 11/12 season to see how they match up!