While the beauty and sports industries are two different channels, both categories have shared a substantial growth in recent years, and as NDP Group’s sports industry analyst Matt Powell points out, beauty was the fastest growing in 2017, although, sports trailed at a paltry low single-digit growth only.

Tapping NPD’s beauty industry analyst Larissa Jensen to chime in on the top five trends on why beauty has exceeded expectations, which is natural/wellness, Indie brands, social media, experiential retail and dotcom -- Matt Powell shares his opinion on how these specific channels can be applied into the sport industry to further improve the business.

Here's a brief rundown:

...on natural/wellness.

MP: "The sports industry has always had a strong connection to sustainability. Perhaps a renewed focus on this goal and a greater understanding of Gen Z’s interest in “clean living” could benefit sales. Brands that share the values of their consumers will win in 2018."

...on Indie brands.

MP: "Today’s consumer wants unique products, sold by unique retailers, made by unique brands. Mega brands must come up with ways to “act small.” Brands and retailers that try to be all things to all people will struggle. Curated assortments, clearly defined muses or niches, and fresh retail approaches will be the keys to success in 2018. No brand or retailer has gone out of business by listening more closely to their consumers."

... on social media.

MP: "'Rent-a-celebrity' is starting to play itself out of sports. Athletic endorsers no longer produce significant retail results. Paid celebrities are viewed by the consumer as phony, but honest, unpaid influencers continue to have sway in the market. Peers remain the most important influencers. Brands that can harness this trend will win."

...on experiential retail.

...MP: "Retailers need to 'surprise and delight' their customers. Retail stores that look the same, visit over visit, are uninspiring... Beauty specialty stores are particularly hot right now. Some feature a “mass to class” product lineup, and offer sampling add-ons, and hair and nail services. Consumers can spend hours in these stores and share that experience with their friends. Sports retailers must think about how they can replicate this kind of experience."

...on Dotcom.

MP: "Footwear is one of the highest e-commerce penetrated categories. Yet, it seems that the sports industry’s online approach is purely transactional, rather than relationship building as we see in beauty. The big challenge is how to get customers to visit websites often, not just to shop but to build a relationship with the retailer or brand, as the beauty industry has done.

There are many important teachings for the sports industry to learn from beauty. In today’s retail landscape, industries cannot live strictly in their silos, but must see the bigger pictures and learn from each other. Retailers and brands that take a more progressive approach can expect success in the future."

For additional details, be sure to read the full story on NPD.

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