Oct 25, 2019

How Running Shoe Brands Can Win the Amazon Digital Shelf Race

Running Shoe Brands Race for Digital Shelf Space
While it may seem like athletic shoes would be a less popular product to buy online - after all, without trying them on you might not get the best fit - consumers today are far more willing to purchase products online that they traditionally have bought in-store. Additionally, Numerator survey data shows that 80% of shoppers are influenced by digital interactions on their in-store purchases - so, for athletic shoe brands, ensuring your products are easily discoverable on the digital shelf is vital for success in both the digital and brick & mortar realms.

If you search “sneakers” on Amazon right now, you’ll probably get some mixed results at the top of the page - MEVLZZ, Ecco and a 1992 film starring Robert Redford, to name a few. While a “complex thriller about computers and cryptography, government and espionage, secrets and deception and betrayal” does sound queue-worthy, it’s probably not what a consumer looking for footwear would expect to see as the first product on the search page for that keyword.


And, if you happen to be looking for a particular kind of sneaker - say, running shoes - those results aren’t particularly useful to you. Getting more specific, a search for “running shoes” returns Reebok, Mizuno and Adidas above the fold, but also some unusual brands like JSLEAP and TSLA.


Page placement is a key metric to look at when measuring digital shelf performance, as it’s a critical driver of traffic, conversion and, ultimately, sales. About 95% of conversion happens on page one of any product search - particularly for categories like running shoes, where there is established brand awareness among consumers. So getting premium space on the first page is vital if you want a chance to earn the sale.

To get a broad view of how running shoe brands are currently performing on, we looked at aggregate brand share of shelf across a set of common keywords associated with the running shoes category. The results are unsurprising. Our analysis revealed that, despite having very little to no sponsored listings on Amazon, Nike still has the highest share of both top ten listings and page one listings, followed by Adidas and Asics.


However, when drilling down to specific keywords, the results start to look a little different. We analyzed brand share of page one search results during the month of September 2019 for two popular keyword phrases, “running sneakers” and “running shoes”. This time ASICS tops the list for both keywords, meaning they have the most products appearing on the first page of product listings that are returned when a shopper searches using those keywords. Nike comes in second, but after that the results are mixed, with several unknown brands making the top ten list and even earning higher share of shelf space than some established name brands.


Sponsoring products is a highly effective way to ensure your products appear on page one of, but sponsored space is both limited and expensive. So optimizing the content of your product pages is key to organically appearing on page one and increasing product discoverability. This is especially important now as we head into the holiday season.

There are a few things running shoe brands can do to optimize their content ahead of the holidays:

  1. Categorize Products Correctly. Ensure your products are categorized as correctly and specifically as possible, so they show up in the proper search.
  2. Improve Listing Titles. Make sure your product listing titles contain as much basic product information - like brand, color and size - as possible.
  3. Enhance Listing Content. Add descriptive content to your product pages - large images, lots of product specs, reviews, videos, and in-depth fitting guides.
  4. Check Pricing and Availability. Ensure that your pricing is competitive, and that your products are always in-stock.
  5. Gather more reviews. Ratings and reviews are influential factors for driving conversion - even poor reviews. A healthy digital shelf has plenty of feedback from past buyers.

Remember, customers can’t buy what they can’t find. To capture a larger share of holiday sales on Amazon this season, running shoe brands must be where the consumers are - on the first page of related search results.

Attaining (and maintaining) premium space on Amazon's digital shelf requires constant vigilance. Numerator Digital Shelf Intel brings clarity to the constantly changing online landscape. Contact us today for a demonstration of how you can use our Digital Shelf solution to improve performance and drive sales during the holidays and into 2020.