Amazon says that 70 percent of all purchase journeys start on its site — which means that even brands like Nike and Adidas, which have loyal fans and strong traffic on their own sites, are facing stiff competition.
Digital intelligence company SimilarWeb analyzed desktop and mobile traffic on Nike.com, Adidas.com and Amazon.com over the period from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, and found that while the two sportswear giants attract a significant number of visitors — Nike’s site averages 23 million monthly, and Adidas’ averages 10 million — many users also turn to Amazon to search for, and ultimately purchase, their products.
More than a quarter of Nike’s visitors also navigated to Amazon.com in the same session, versus 15.4 percent of Adidas shoppers, the researchers found. Of those visits to both sites, 7 percent ultimately resulted in a sale on Amazon. The research suggested that Adidas was able to keep visitors on its site largely thanks to its exclusive drops and much-hyped Yeezy collection, which is available exclusively through Adidas.com.
Though sales through third-party retailers are less profitable for brands than selling direct-to-consumer, they can provide significant volume and brand awareness. Nike announced early last summer that it would partner with the e-commerce behemoth to offer a limited product assortment on the site, a move that analysts said could boost its revenue by $300 to $500 million.
Per the report, Amazon.com gets an average of 1.74 billion monthly visits, but many fashion brands have historically been reluctant to sell through the site because of how little control they have over branding and pricing once they do, as well as Amazon’s notorious struggles to keep counterfeiters out of its third-party marketplace.
Thanks to the strength of Nike’s and Adidas’ brands, they aren’t competing with Amazon on Google: among the top 100 branded search terms for Nike and Adidas, Amazon captures only a tiny share of organic search traffic (0.4 percent, putting it at 19th on the list of third-party retailers that shoppers visit when searching for the brands’ products).
But Amazon’s strength lies in its direct traffic, which accounts for 57 percent of its total traffic. In fact, while less than 50,000 visits came onto Amazon.com from searches involving Adidas or Nike keywords in the fourth-quarter of 2017, on-site searches told a different story: shoppers searched Nike keywords 6.8 million times, and Adidas keywords 4.5 million times on Amazon.com.