Amazon’s Shoe Business Growing Faster Than Traditional Retailers

Amazon’s shoe business has already experienced 18 percent growth year-over-year during the first two quarters of 2017— an indication that the online retailer’s investment in the footwear market is paying off.

Chain Store Age reported that Amazon had a total 35 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, according to a study by One Click Retail. These growth rates surpass the total U.S. shoe revenue for last year, which topped out at a 5 percent year-over-year increase and was based on online and offline purchases among shoe-specific stores.

Amazon’s best-selling category for the first two quarters of 2017 is athletic shoes, which so far, has generated $205 million in sales. Adidas is the top-growing item in Amazon’s shoe portfolio for the first two quarters.

The athletic category, however, has only experienced a 45 percent year-over-year growth rate to date. The company’s biggest growth category so far is juniors, which is at a 235 percent year-over-year growth rate, generating $120 million in sales to date. In addition, comfort shoes are at a 210 percent growth, and kids’ shoes are at a 40 percent growth rate so far.

Amazon bought online shoe retailer Zappos in 2009 for $1.2 billion, giving the eCommerce giant an advantage in the category.  On July 25, Amazon introduced The Fix, a new private-label shoe and handbag line, and in June the company launched its Prime Wardrobe service, a program that allows Prime members to try on shoes, clothing and accessories for free. Shoppers can keep the merchandise for seven days, returning unwanted pieces and paying only for the items they keep.

In addition, Amazon is testing out a pilot that will allow Nike to sell a limited selection of footwear, apparel, and accessories on the site. While Nike products have long been available on Amazon through unauthorized third-party sellers, this program is the first time that Nike has sold directly on Amazon.


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