A lot has been said about managing multiple brands, with pros and cons for both connecting them under a brand umbrella, as well as crafting unique brand identities. Connect them and you improve your SEO, but risk cannibalization of brand sales. Keep them separate and unique, but risk losing customers to the competition. We decided that data should determine the best course of action.

We looked into Gap and Nordstrom customers’ cross-brand visits and purchases and found that those who visited more than one brand under the same umbrella were 2-3x more likely to purchase than customers that only visited a single brand.  

Customer likelihood to purchase increases with cross-brand visitation

We analyzed three months worth of Americans’ browsing and shopping activity on Gap and Nordstrom brand sites, focusing on cross-brand activity. We found that consumers that visit multiple brand sites are more likely to make a purchase. Customers that visit more than one brand site are 1.9x more likely to purchase Nordstrom brands, and 3x more likely to purchase from the Gap family of brands. The likelihood to purchase increases with every brand visited, with visitors to all four Gap brands converting at an astonishing rate of 27-35%.

Jumpshot transaction data

Conversion attrition and cross-brand visitation

Many companies are weary of cross-linking between their brands for fear of conversion attrition for individual brands, or cannibalization of sales among brands. However, this fear results from focusing on the bottom line of an individual brand instead of the the bigger picture of product sales across brands. We found that cross-brand navigation brought in an incremental 14 percent in sales, and a 9 percent lift in conversion rates across the Gap brand umbrella.

Drilling down to individual brands, we found that at least 42 percent of the customers that converted purchased a product from the first brand they visited. Old Navy saw the least amount of conversion attrition, as two thirds of the customers that began their multiple-site journey on Old Navy and ultimately purchased a product converted there. This also results in Old Navy having the highest share of conversions among the Gap family of brands, accounting for 62 percent of the overall transactions.

conversion-heatmap

Bottom Line: Our online shopping analysis found that cross-brand linking has powerful benefits, beyond SEO. The data reveals that customers that visit multiple brand domains are at least twice as likely to purchase, and that the bottom line sales volume and conversion rate across the brand umbrella sees incremental increases.