The shift in consumer behavior in China towards a healthier and more active lifestyle, as well as the rising per capita disposable income, forms a prosperous sports market in China. Additionally, the State Council issued a national fitness scheme in 2016 which implies consumption on sport should reach RMB 1.5 trillion by 2020. Interested in how the internet has changed the way people workout? Click here to read more about it.

The objective of the client in the sports market in China: a higher level of consumer engagement

Daxue’s client, a recognized retailer, operating in the sports market in China, sought to enhance its in-store experience by providing unique digital support to its consumers. The client approached Daxue Consulting to assist with priorities towards its mobile app features. Thibaud André, Senior Consultant at Daxue Consulting, explains: “You first need to identify the users’ needs and concerns before being able to design a relevant digital offer.”

How Daxue Consulting realized the client’s goal

As a first step, Daxue’s team conducted a preliminary research to gain insights into the sports market in China, its key players, and target groups, as well as to support the preparation process of the following phases:


The research team screened, recruited, and trained relevant participants for the study used to determine the customers’ experience with the brand.The consultants designed appropriate questionnaires and implemented them into Daxue Consulting’s unique survey platform which allows for efficient and reliable data collection in the field by using mobile phones and real-time monitoring. This step enabled Daxue to identify the customers’ perception towards the company’s stores comprising the atmosphere, product range and placement, pricing, or customer service, and the main difficulties arising in-store.

Focus groups

Also, the consultants organized focus group discussions in different tier cities to evaluate the acceptance of the app’s features. Daxue Consulting aimed to create a sample of participants representing the client’s customer profile and likely to use mobile apps. The purpose of the focus groups was to identify

  • the needs and wants regarding app functionalities before, during, and after a purchase
  • their opinion, interest, concerns, and ranking of the mobile application features
  • their sports practices (such as using monitoring tools)
  • their buying behavior (for instance, if they research online before an in-store visit)

André adds, “We also asked the participants to comment on their favorite retail and sports apps which helped us identifying important aspects with regards to the interface design.”

The previous steps guided the research team towards the final deliverables

After statistical analysis and ensuring the veracity of the results, the research team provided the client with the findings of the sports market in China. It included a mapping of consumers’ preferences concerning features of the app ranked according to their importance. Additional to the essential features, Daxue Consulting made the customer aware about avoidances.Also, the research team highlighted pain points in-store and recommended the client the most suitable after-purchase service.

Our report on the licensed sports merchandise market in China:

The licensed sports merchandise market in China by Daxue consulting de Daxue Consulting

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