Trends in eCommerce: The Footwear Edition

 In Blog

The footwear industry is a mature one. We’ve seen an uptick in ecommerce shoe sales in recent years, a trend not likely to die down any time soon. The global footwear market is slated to hit $371.8 billion by 2020, across all styles of shoes, from athletic to dress.

Here are a few fun facts we’ve uncovered using the Jumpshot Insights tool about the current state of the footwear industry.

Amazon Might Not Keep Its Foothold in Footwear Long

In the US, Amazon (to no one’s surprise) took more than half of all shoe transactions. But the retail giant was actually down 9% year-over-year overall, in Q2 numbers. Shoe specialists DSW and are prominent competitors, both in the top 5 retailers, and posting very strong growth numbers, 42% and 146% year-over-year for the quarter, respectively. Likewise, Adidas’s brand site showed remarkable growth at more than 141% year-over-year.

Discount retailer Nordstrom Rack is also growing rapidly at 33%, YoY in Q2, far faster than its full-price counterpart. (Interestingly, discount Nordstrom Rack stores outnumber the full-price stores in the U.S. and continue to spread across the country).

The rest of the market outside the top 11 above amounts to just 17.4%.

Breaking It Down By Brands

Skechers surprisingly has the largest market share of shoe purchases across ecommerce. People have the impression that Skechers isn’t a formidable player in the footwear space, but this year’s SuperBowl ad may have helped changed that perception. Not because the ad was particularly memorable, or funny, or led to a big boost in sales. Just because Skechers was able to afford it at all.

The brand seems to be positioning itself to be taken as a serious contender against well-established athletic shoe brands Nike and Adidas. 6% of all shoe sales online are of Skechers shoes. Go figure. People like what they like.

Speaking of Nike: the brand’s sales increased compared to Q2 2017, but its overall market share is down 20%. Shoe sales overall are growing at a faster rate than Nike’s sales, though their marketing still dominates the industry.

Amazon Keywords Leading the Way

Skechers’ success is all the more surprising considering the brand doesn’t show up in the top 10 of Amazon’s on-site search. Crocs, which ranks number 4 in terms of conversions on Amazon, draws the most searches, which makes sense given their distinctive design. “Crocs men” and “crocs women” come in high too, ranking 8th and 9th. 

“Birkenstock sandals women” was the second ranked keyword in Q2, which makes sense as buyers were gearing up for summer. I also just checked for the last 30 days and “rain boots for women” is coming in at number 4, which makes sense as the nation edges ever closer to winter precipitation—though here in San Francisco it’s hard to imagine having actual weather.

I was surprised to see “shoes” so low at only the 6th ranking keyword, because I always type the category I’m searching for. I find it impossible to browse by department first.

Gender Differences in Shoe Purchases

It turns out that men and women purchase different shoes on different eCommerce sites. Men purchase 18x more athletic shoes than dress shoes, almost overwhelmingly from Amazon (74%). For women, sandals beat out boots in terms of purchases (again, likely due to the weather). Nordstrom sells 19x more women’s sandals than women’s boots.

And a Surprising Fact to Close Out the Report

We were surprised to learn from the data we gleaned that the highest converting shoe brand is Cherokee (a beloved, comfortable shoe targeted for nurses).

Shoppers who view Cherokee shoes purchase 30% of the time, compared to an average of 13% for shoes in general, indicating people who view Cherokee shoes know exactly what they’re looking for, rather than are comparison shopping the way they do for other brands or shoe categories.

Footwear is another category that remains stable, even in an economic downturn. We’ll keep you informed of interesting changes and trends in this industry in the future.


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