• Retail Dive

Amazon continues to gain share in apparel

PUBLISHED April 16, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • More than 70% of apparel shoppers bought clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past 12 months, up 10 percentage points from last year and almost 25 percentage points from 2018, according to Coresight Research's latest survey of clothing consumers, released April 14 and emailed to Retail Dive. The gains are costing Macy's, Walmart and J.C. Penney, among others, Coresight found.

  • Prime is a major factor. Just under 80% of Prime members said they bought clothing or footwear, compared to just over 42% of non-members. "Fast and free delivery" was the top reason for buying clothing from the site, according to the report.

  • There are signs that Amazon's share is plateauing, however. And, with almost 43% saying they expect to pay less than full price for apparel at Amazon, the e-retailer "has not yet shaken off the discounter tag," Coresight said, noting that could be a boost "during and after the coronavirus crisis."

Dive Insight:

Amazon has long been viewed as a major challenge to Macy's in particular, and Coresight's third annual survey on this topic shows that fewer Amazon apparel shoppers are also looking elsewhere for clothes.

Its own private labels, taken together, are the second-most popular apparel brand, behind Nike — despite the sportswear giant pulling its partnership to sell directly on the site. Amazon customers continue to find Nike items from third-party Marketplace sellers, who list 92% of Nike products there, according to the report. The percentage of survey respondents citing Amazon private apparel labels for the reason they shopped for clothing and footwear at the e-commerce giant rose to 10.4% this year, from 7% in 2019.

"Amazon's apparel private labels are showing significant momentum, jumping from the fourth most bought brand in 2019 to second this year," Coresight researchers said, noting that this private label effort competes directly with the leaders in each category. "Brands can no longer view Amazon as solely an online intermediary but need to acknowledge the company as a competitor."

That's not even across the board. Adult footwear is the top category (gaining 5.2 percentage points year over year to reach 45.7% of Amazon apparel customers), while women's casual wear (up 6.8 percentage points) is second and men's casual wear is third. But children's clothing and footwear, formal wear, and coats and jackets "are significantly less popular," Coresight said.

Amazon is reportedly working on strengthening its luxury fashion play, and Coresight found that 21.7% of its apparel customers would like to see that. If Amazon retains its reputation as a place for discounted apparel, those looking for premium fashion may also be hoping to get it cheaper than elsewhere.

Coresight Research said its results were from 1,934 U.S. respondents to a February 25–26​ online survey; among them, 1,308 had bought clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past 12 months.