Amazon is without a doubt the one-stop-shop for consumers’ online shopping needs. With the e-commerce giant now pushing into the fashion industry, we wanted a clearer picture of the apparel market. We analyzed apparel product sales on Amazon as well as other popular 3rd-party marketplaces to benchmark apparel brands by marketplace transactions. We went a little deeper too, and attributed marketplace sales to brand marketing campaigns to understand the influence of marketing efforts on off-site transactions.
What we found was a standoff between two iconic prepster brands: Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. While Ralph Lauren is in the lead for Zappos sales, Tommy Hilfiger dominates the market with double the market share across Amazon and other 3rd-party sites. Our analysis shows that not only is Ralph Lauren lagging behind in 3rd-party marketplace transactions, but that its marketing campaigns aren’t receiving adequate attribution on sales, as nearly ten percent of the ad-driven transactions take place on 3rd-party marketplaces.
Ralph Lauren product purchases on 3rd-party marketplaces
We looked at three months of consumer purchases on Amazon, Macy’s and Zappos to identify the leading brand by online transactions, while focusing our analysis on Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Tommy Bahama. The data revealed that Ralph Lauren is missing out on a major piece of market share, and needs to adjust its strategy to remain competitive.
Ralph Lauren dominates share of wallet on Zappos, but falls behind the competition on Amazon and Macy’s, which account for an astonishing 98 percent of the total marketplace transactions. Ralph Lauren seems to be focusing its efforts on Zappos, but this particular marketplace only drives a mere 2 percent of transactions. Tommy Hilfiger, on the other hand, consistently ranks first or second for transactions on Amazon, Macy’s and Zappos, crowning it the most popular brand across marketplaces with 40 percent of the market share.
To grow market share, Ralph Lauren should partner with other marketplaces as it partners with Zappos.
Ralph Lauren’s ad-driven marketplace transactions
Ralph Lauren’s relatively small share of wallet on 3rd-party marketplaces compared to Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica drove us to evaluate its digital marketing campaigns more closely. We looked at its paid search, product listing ads (PLAs) and retargeting campaigns to get a better understanding of the brand’s overall marketplace performance by attributing transactions to marketing initiatives. This is an exciting new way of looking at sales information, as companies currently cannot connect digital marketing campaigns to off-site transactions on their own.
We matched the Tracking ID parameter from Ralph Lauren’s digital marketing campaigns to activity from our online behavioral data, and found that Ralph Lauren’s campaigns influence an incremental 9 percent in transactions and lift the brand’s marketplace conversion rate by 10 percent. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the attribution and lift rate would only increase if Ralph Lauren’s complete distribution network was taken into account.
|On-site conversion rate||Off-site conversion rate||Lift|
|Product Listing Ads||7.4%||1.2%||16%|
As for the specific advertising channels that drive off-site conversions, paid search is the leading traffic generator accounting for 84 percent of the click-throughs. However, PLAs are the most efficient advertising channel for marketplace transactions, yielding a 16 percent lift.
Bottom line: Our analysis of the U.S. apparel market looked into brand product sales on 3rd-party marketplaces, and attributed off-site sales to marketing campaigns. We found that Ralph Lauren neglects the most influential marketplaces for apparel sales, opening the door for competitors to steal away share and dominate the market. Based on the marketplace transaction data, to remain competitive and increase share of wallet Ralph Lauren should lift the restrictions it has with Amazon and Macy’s and invest more in PLAs.