With shoppers flooding the internet in order to make their purchases in 2020, some e-commerce sites have outperformed the rest. New data from digital marketing solution provider SEMrush Inc. shows that the top websites belonged to a mix of retail categories, with Nike clinching the top spot.
Almost all of the top 10 e-commerce performers reported growth year-of-year, despite the challenges that faced retail in 2020. Nike.com saw YoY growth of 30%, while second-place Trendyol.com saw 39% and third-place H&M.com saw 11%. For Nike, its popularity resulted in almost 147 million average monthly visits to its website – almost 30 million higher than its next competitor.
“With the majority of brick-and-mortar retail spaces shutting their doors this year, e-commerce capabilities became more important than ever,” said Semrush in the data report. “This was especially true in the fashion industry, where pivoting to provide consumers with the products they wanted — and quickly — was key.”
While the top 10 included traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Macys and online retailers like Asos.com, direct-to-consumer fashion brands dominated the list. In fact, 70% of the highest performers were in the fast fashion category, suggesting that consumers were more interested in searching for lower prices and trend-focused pieces.
This may be due to the temporary apparel and footwear needs of consumers who were predominantly staying at home. SEMrush found that 8 of the top 12 trending fashion items for 2020 were in the comfort and athleisure categories: sweatpants (119% growth YoY), slippers (77% growth YoY) and joggers (73% growth YoY) took three out of four top spots. Only gloves were more popular (129% growth YoY) in search results.
“While searches for gloves may be directly linked with attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19, the rise in searches for sweatpants indicates the world embraced a more casual work-from-home lifestyle — after all, virtual business meetings only require your visible top half to look professional, meaning your hidden bottom half is free to stay comfy,” said the report.
The pandemic’s financial repercussions have led many shoppers to be more budget-conscious. Particularly when purchasing items to make shelter-in-place more comfortable, consumers may have wanted to opt for affordable basics, rather than investment pieces – hence the popularity of fast fashion brands and retailers.
More broadly across e-commerce, Amazon.com took first place for most traffic in 2020 with 3.68 billion average monthly visits; this was 263% higher than second-place eBay, which reported just over 1 billion. But even smaller players will have benefited from the surge in digital browsing. SEMrush reported that searches for “buy online” almost doubled in March of this year, with Etsy included in the top 10 e-commerce sites.
“As most consumers turned to digital shopping carts, some started shopping smarter with the help of technology, leveraging cyber-deals by timing appropriately with major discount days like Black Friday, or by using coupon or cash-back retailers like Rakuten, which saw a 19% increase in YoY monthly traffic,” said the SEMrush report. “Despite protests against the global retail website mammoth [Amazon], online shoppers this year still value convenience, value and immediate delivery above all else.”