Adidas is better than Nike at sustaining visits on its own platform, according to a report from digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb emailed to Retail Dive. From Jan. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, nike.com saw a conversion rate of 3.1%, while adidas.com saw one of 2.4%.
Both brands also sell through Amazon, and customers search for the brands through that platform as well — and in some cases, actually start their search there, according to the report. Looking at crossover traffic from Nike and Adidas to Amazon during a single session, SimilarWeb found that 25.8% of nike.com users visited Amazon in the same session, while 15.4% of adidas.com users visited Amazon.
Nike and Adidas each receive significant monthly traffic — Nike 23 million and Adidas 10 million visits on average — but traffic growth has been slow, despite the brand recognition they enjoy, according to the report.
Nike and Adidas are locked in a war these days, leaving Under Armour relatively in the dust for now.
Both employ a similar digital strategy, with direct traffic making up some 40% of total site traffic, SimilarWeb said. "A further 80% of search traffic to each site, both paid and organic, is branded," according to the report, later adding that this helps them "... retain many of the visitors who are actively seeking the brand, but it may open up doors for third-party retailers to gain traffic against the brands' names."
Branded traffic to nike.com and adidas.com, which includes keywords that reference either brand or one of its key product lines — Air Jordan or Converse for Nike, or Yeezy for Adidas, for example — shows that 83.5% of organic search traffic goes to nike.com, adidas.com or converse.com, indicating that "search leeching to third-party sellers is not a major source of traffic loss for either company," SimilarWeb said.
In fact, the third-party retailer getting the next-highest proportion of branded traffic (after the brands' own sites) is sneaker marketplace flightclub.com (2.9%), followed by footlocker.com (2.1%) and finishline.com (1.3%). Amazon ranks just 19th, receiving 0.4% of the organic search traffic for Nike and Adidas-branded keywords. All told, fewer than 100,000 visits went to Amazon from searches involving the keywords Adidas or Nike, while on-site at Amazon there were as many as 9 million searches for Adidas and 15 million searches for Nike. That works out to 270-680 times more searches for branded products on Amazon than to Amazon.
That pays. Amazon enjoys a high conversion rate: 8.4% of its desktop visits end in a purchase, and both brands' conversion rates there (4.3% for Nike searches on Amazon and 4.1% for Adidas) are higher than on the brands' own sites (3.1% at Nike.com and 2.4% at Adidas.com).
The lower proportion of crossover traffic between amazon.com and adidas.com suggests that Adidas is able to retain, and potentially convert, visitors to its own site more than Nike does, according to the report. That leads SimilarWeb researchers to see Adidas as making "significant strides in the digital space" in recent years.
"Though traffic to the site is lower than to nike.com, adidas.com manages to keep people on the site, and maintain a higher conversion rate for consumers who also shop around at Amazon," they note. "A key part of this success has been the careful curation of their product line with event releases of new items, particularly Kanye West's Yeezy brand, available exclusively at adidas.com. This way all the industry buzz drives traffic to the owned property while reflected brand awareness maintains traffic for other adidas products at third-party retailers."