As more consumers do their holiday shopping online, for instance, spending a record-breaking $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday alone this year, many are wondering just how big a role Amazon is playing in the Internet shopping boom.
Although the company hasn't released official sales numbers yet, it did say it was on track to have its best Cyber Monday in history in terms of sales. Considering that it generated 36.1% of all Cyber Monday sales last year, Amazon has clearly had a great start to the holiday season.
Amazon is considered a major threat to retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart, but it is rarely thought of as a viable competitor to individual fashion brands.
Apparel companies should keep an eye on Amazon this holiday season, as more consumers view the marketplace as a go-to destination for buying clothing, according to the results of a recent survey we commissioned at Onestop Internet.
Of the 57% of respondents who said that they plan to purchase apparel online during the holidays, 64% said that they intend to buy apparel from Amazon.
That is a substantial percentage of shoppers, and we are advising our entire portfolio of premium apparel companies to adjust their holiday strategies to encourage as many shoppers as possible to buy direct instead of via Amazon.
One might wonder why it hurts a fashion company if a consumer buys products through a marketplace such as Amazon instead of directly from the brand's website. A sale is a sale, right?
To an extent, yes, and in the competitive retail climate, companies don't want to miss out on sales, so selling on Amazon makes sense. The company has done a great job of building an extremely loyal customer base especially among its Prime members, and those that don't sell via Amazon risk losing out on that entire segment of shoppers.
That said, there are still several reasons that apparel companies want shoppers to buy direct.
For starters, Amazon charges a 99-cent fee per item on every sale for sellers that don't pay a subscription fee. That might not sound like a lot, but when one considers the volume of purchases made during the holidays, it can add up quickly.
Next, if a consumer buys through Amazon, he or she isn't necessarily exposed to that brand's full inventory, which can result in lost sales opportunities.
For example, let's say a shopper goes to the 7 For All Mankind website planning to buy a pair of jeans for his sister. Once that shopper is on the site, it is possible that he will explore other merchandise and buy additional items.