One Click Retail has revealed Amazon shoe sales are outpacing US retail footwear revenues

One Click Retail has revealed Amazon shoe sales are outpacing US retail footwear revenues

Online retailing giant Amazon has posted an 18% jump in first and second quarter footwear sales, adding to retailers' concerns that the channel is emerging as a serious industry player.

According to a new report from One Click Retail – an organisation that measures sales data for the world's top eCommerce marketplaces – from 2015 to 2016 shoe sales increased by 35% to US$1.6bn.

Based on new data from the US Census Bureau, revenues for the first two quarters of this year have increased further – and the growth is moving at a greater rate than total US shoe revenues last year, which were up 5%.

One Click Retail found Adidas-branded women's footwear has pulled in the highest sales so far in 2017. Five different variations of the Women's Superstar Foundation Casual Sneaker appear in the six fastest-growing items on Amazon.com, ranging from 480% to 890% growth. 

And while sports-shoes were the best sellers, juniors' shoes saw the highest increase in sales growth for the year to date.

"2017 is just getting started – we're bound to see a major increase in shoe sales during Q3 and Q4," read the report. "As we approach back-to-school season, we'll see the expected spike in kids' shoes, while Nike's recent partnership as an Amazon first-party seller, as well as the launch of The Fix – Amazon's private shoe line – are going to drive sales growth. In light of the e-commerce giant's renewed focus on shoes and fashion, now is the time for brands to update their Amazon strategy to make the most out of the fastest-growing sales channel in the industry".

The news adds to retailer's worries that Amazon is becoming a significant threat as it increases its presence in the footwear and apparel space.

In June the online giant rolled out a beta-version of its "try-before-you-buy" clothing service, Prime Wardrobe.

Amazon to offer "try before you buy" service 

Offered as a benefit included in Prime membership, it features 1m items, including brands outside of Amazon's private labels, such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Levi's and Hugo Boss. Customers can order clothing, shoes and accessories at no upfront charge, take seven days to decide if they want them, and pay only for what they keep.

The returns policy includes a 10% off if a customer keeps three or four items, and 20% off for five or more. A free pick-up can be arranged for unwanted items, or customers can drop the items off at a UPS location. Shipments will come in a re-sealable box with a prepaid label to make the return process less of a hassle for shoppers. 

News of the launch sent shares tumbling nearly 8% for Ascena Retail Group, the parent of Ann Taylor, Charming Shoppes and The Dress Barn; while shares of Gap Inc declined 4.5%.