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What Drives Consumers’ Choices in Powersports Jackets? Unzipping Surprising Trends

What Drives Consumers’ Choices in Powersports Jackets? Unzipping Surprising Trends

Tristin Burdick | June 1, 2023

Amid the frosty winter gusts, a snowmobile enthusiast layers up for a heart-racing ride across the powdery terrain. With the arrival of the sunny summer, a thrill-seeking motorcyclist gears up for a breath-taking tour along the scenic routes. Regardless of the season or the ride, one essential item, a powersports jacket, remains a top gear priority.

Curiosity led us to the question: What elements steer consumers in their choice of these jackets? Is it the brand prestige, the assurance of a snug fit, the appeal of a particular color, or the influence of the price tag?

To understand some of these questions we conducted a comprehensive survey to a group of powersports consumers. We intended to find interesting insights into the elements influencing consumers' choices when selecting and purchasing powersports jackets, including such factors as brand, fit, color, shopping channels, and more.

Finding 1: Powersports Jacket Ownership & Size Preference

Intriguingly, we found that the majority of powersports consumers owned two and three jackets, predominantly opting for size XL (given that the majority of participants were men). This trend holds true across powersports categories – predominately motorcycle and snowmobile – and has considerable implications for manufacturers and retailers in terms of inventory management and product design.

Finding 2: Price Sensitivity

The survey shed light on the consumer's willingness to invest a substantial amount in quality powersports gear. A significant number of respondents were prepared to spend in the range of $200 to $299 on a quality jacket. This pricing bracket, often seen as the mid-high end range, could attract a niche market segment for top-notch, feature-rich jackets. The fact that consumers are prepared to dig a bit deeper into their pockets signifies the value they place on their gear, underlining the important role of the powersports jacket in their sport.

Finding 3: Material Matters

Digging deeper, we found consumers exhibiting a strong preference for durable, breathable materials such as Gore-Tex and eVent. This finding underscores that consumers are not merely purchasing a jacket, but seeking gear that amplifies their overall riding experience. Some of the important jacket features consumers look for are durability, breathability (ventilation system), and waterproof/windproof features. Companies should respond to these preferences by investing in material innovation, which could grant them a competitive edge in the market.

Finding 4: Color Preferences

Unsurprisingly, black emerged as the victor in the color preference category. This classic, versatile color remains high in demand, affirming the role of personal expression in selecting powersports gear. Companies should remember to maintain a diverse color palette to cater to those seeking to make a style statement while continuing to offer evergreen colors that persistently dominate the market.

Finding 5: Brand Loyalty & Preferences

Further analysis revealed the sway of brand reputation over consumer decisions, with brands like Klim, FXR, and Ski-Doo garnering the most favor. Trust and positive perception significantly influence purchase decisions, and brands that have managed to build trust and consistently deliver quality have nurtured loyal customer bases. Emerging or less popular brands should focus on improving their reputation through quality assurance, innovative design, and overall customer satisfaction.

Finding 6: Shopping Channels

Our survey highlighted a clear consumer preference for online shopping. The convenience, ability to compare products and prices, and the recent global shift to digital platforms owing to the pandemic have all contributed to this inclination. This insight is a call to action for brands to fortify their online presence, ensuring not only smooth transactions but also providing comprehensive product details, customer reviews, and a user-friendly shopping experience.

Finding 7: Importance of Reviews and Salespeople

Finally, online reviews and the advice of knowledgeable salespeople (in places that sell powersports related jackets) emerged as essential factors influencing purchase decisions. The majority of respondents affirmed the importance of these sources in finalizing their choice of jackets. This finding shows the critical role of maintaining a positive online reputation and equipping sales staff with adequate product knowledge.

Implications for the Powersports Industry

This article highlighted only a few of the key findings we found regarding consumers’ behavior and preferences for powersport jackets. We hope our findings can help stakeholders fine-tune their product design, marketing approaches, and sales strategies to meet consumer demands. These findings encourage brands to rise to the challenge, nurturing their relationship with customers, enhancing their online presence, and staying responsive to consumer demands. By adapting to these trends, companies can ensure their growth, profitability, and longevity in the dynamic and ever-evolving powersports industry.

about the author

Tristin Burdick

Research Analyst, EPG Specialty Information

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