Rediscovering the Great Outdoors: Americans Are Heading Outside Again!

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This summer, the Great Outdoors is experiencing a renaissance and Americans are going outside again. With pandemic restrictions easing, people are eager to get out of the house and into the fresh air. Rather than heading to crowded indoor spaces for recreation (after all, we’re not completely out of the danger zone yet) the outdoors not only feels much safer, but offers a level of fun, freedom and excitement that has been missing after being cooped up inside for over a year. 

For most, heading outside means endless possibilities. Camping, fishing and hiking take the lead, but although these are the most popular activities, they are only the tip of the iceberg. For some it’s a day of boating, biking or sports – the list is perpetual. And most of these activities require gear, equipment and clothing – and this means shopping.

A June 2021 Sezzle “Outdoor Consumer” survey of 1,330 participants found that in a typical year over half of all shoppers participate in an outdoor recreation activity during the summer, at least once a week. But this year, the numbers are even higher – a whopping 58% of survey participants are planning to spend more time than ever enjoying outdoor activities.

What does this mean, other than quality time spent with family and friends, fresh air and exercise? For consumers it means shopping for new gear, equipment and apparel aimed at these activities. In fact, this year 40% of participants intend to spend more money on gear, equipment and apparel than they did last year.

Consumer trends when purchasing outdoor gear

Knowing what customers are looking for and how they decide what to buy, where to buy it, and how much they are willing to spend can mean more, and larger purchases. In the Outdoor Consumer survey, Sezzle found that 65% of participants spent up to $200 on their last purchase of gear and equipment for their outdoor activities, and 34% spent $200 or more. Nearly 40% say they prefer to make these purchases using BNPL. Specifically, 85% of Sezzle users said they would shop an outdoor brand more frequently if they offered a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service, and 83% of Sezzle users would spend more at an outdoor brand if they offered a BNPL option. 

Of other factors considered most important by consumers when purchasing for outdoor activities, reliability was cited by 73% of participants, with 48% also wanting items that are budget friendly. 27% were factoring in whether the products are sustainable and eco-friendly. When asked whether they would go out of their way to shop an outdoor brand who is dedicated to social good, 67% answered in the affirmative. 

When it comes to their online shopping experience, the most important factors for survey participants were payment options (78%) and price (77%). In the end, BNPL increases buying power, which in turn enables retailers to increase order volumes. And perhaps most noteworthy of all: 94% of Sezzlers said that they would shop their preferred brand more frequently if Sezzle were accepted!

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