Chart of the Week: Where do Americans Shop Online?

As Verto Analytics data has shown, Amazon dominates the e-commerce landscape and is on track to drive 80% of e-commerce growth in 2018 alone. So how are traditional retail stores and brands maintaining their competitive edge, especially when it comes to clothing and apparel? Nordstrom is piloting a series of concept stores that allow customers to order clothes online and then try them on at local Nordstrom outlets, complete with juice bars and nail salons, while Instagram has optimized its platform so that in-app purchases are easily accessible through brands’ stories. With an ever-increasing number of brands battling for consumer attention (and their dollars), which American clothing brand is attracting the most online shoppers?

Rankings: Gap Dominates Online
Verto Analytics examined the user numbers and reach of five of the top U.S. clothing retailers in June 2018 among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above). Gap Inc. comes in first with almost 12.5 million users and a reach of 5%, while Nordstrom follows with 8.9 million users and a reach of nearly 4%. J. Crew comes in third with 7 million users and a reach of 3%. American Eagle Outfitters follows with 3.4 million users and a reach of 1.5%, while Forever 21 comes in fifth with 3.2 million users and a reach of 1.4%. How is Gap Inc. maintaining a nearly 3 million user lead against its closest competitor? In 2017, Gap Inc. made a move towards bolstering its online sales and presence by meeting with leading tech startups and reconfiguring its e-commerce strategy. In addition, Old Navy, one of Gap Inc.’s brands, recently launched a buy online, pick up in-store service. It’s no coincidence that the two leading retail brands, Gap Inc. and Nordstrom, both offer buy online, in-store services that offer consumers maximum flexibility to try on and return their purchases.

Who is shopping at the Gap  and J. Crew?
Verto recently released an Audience Spotlight Report on Shopaholics. We discovered that Shopaholics – the top 20% of all adults based on the amount of time spent on e-commerce content – were 60% female, and showed a higher representation among audiences in age groups 35 – 44 and 55 and above. As of June 2018, Gap Inc.’s demographics differ slightly from the average shopaholic as its users are nearly 80% female and its largest groups of shoppers falls between the ages of 25 – 34, who comprise 26% of all Gap Inc. shoppers. In comparison, J. Crew’s shoppers are 58% female and 53.5% of its shoppersl are aged 55 and above, aligning closely with the profile of a typical Shopaholic. And while both Gap Inc. and J.Crew have greatest appeal to female shoppers, they attract vastly different audiences when it comes to their shoppers’ ages. Gap Inc. owns brands such as Old Navy and Athleta that appeal to a younger crowd due to their more affordable prices. Meanwhile, J. Crew’s inventory has higher price points and is geared towards working professionals. Understanding who is most likely to shop online at your store is vital to creating compelling personas. With the right data and insights, personas that uncover a customer’s motivation for choosing your organization over the competition can become a great asset to your market research strategy.

With e-commerce revenues poised to hit $4.88 trillion by 2021, it is vital that brands update their digital strategy to stay competitive online. While Gap Inc. dominates U.S. e-commerce, Nordstrom is already changing their online strategy to mirror the successful buy online, pick up in-store model.

Interested in learning more about shopaholics? Download the Audience Spotlight Report on Shopaholics.