Last September, Jumpshot ran an in-depth analysis of Nike customers’ path-to-purchase activity. We noticed Nike was lagging behind Adidas on Amazon, which dominates the eCommerce retail space. The recent announcement of a limited partnership between Nike and Amazon confirms our suspicion—there’s a ton of sales upside for Nike. Recent Jumpshot data reveals that’s holding true. During the last three months, Nike’s share of shoe purchases on Amazon has trailed the other top five shoe brands:
Skechers has dominated this summer, taking nearly 35 percent average share of purchases among the top five. Adidas and New Balance have run roughly even, taking about 18 percent of the top-five share, and Asics was generally slightly behind the two, with a slight purchase uptick in July. Nike, though, doesn’t sell its own products on Amazon, and the third-party retailers who do are not approved sellers. Even without the best inventory, Nike’s products have still managed to take a respectable 12 to 15 percent of the market among the leading shoe brands.
Given Nike’s positioning, the partnership has the potential to yield real results. Nike may be anxious that their brand equity could take a hit, since Amazon’s model prioritizes transactions and low-prices, a strategy that runs against Nike’s desire to maintain a premium image. Nike will likely institute a branded storefront on Amazon, similar to efforts from Adidas and Sketchers, and an added benefit will be the sharper control they’ll have about what products will be available for purchase on the site.
One dimension to watch will be Nike’s ability to sell to women, where sales of Nike products have truly lagged behind the other major shoe brands. In the last three months, Skechers’ supremacy has largely been driven by female buyers. Men, however, have been about as likely to buy Adidas and New Balance as they have Skechers shoes, and male appetite for Nikes has been somewhat stronger.
Nike’s cautious deal will thrive if they balance their careful brand story with Amazon’s e-retail dominance. We’ll keep a close eye on how the collaboration plays out.