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Feb 24, 2021
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Fashion e-commerce sites straggle behind in search visibility

Feb 24, 2021

With Covid-19 disrupting traditional brick-and-mortar retail, e-commerce saw a boom in 2020. But according to a new report from Searchmetrics, fashion retailers lagged behind in terms of online search visibility.

Top apparel performers in terms of search visibility included H&M, Asos and Lyst - Pic Jumbo

Inspired by the 44% increase in U.S. e-commerce sales in 2020, Searchmetrics’ study examined the evolution of the Google rankings of popular e-commerce sites in the country in order to determine how their search visibility developed over the course of the year.
Generally speaking, traditional retailers performed less well than their digitally focused peers, with fashion stores, in particular, slipping behind. Department store retailer Macy’s, for example, saw its search visibility decline more than 20% during 2020, despite the e-tail explosion.

Indeed, Home Depot and Target were the only brick-and-mortar-focused retailers whose online platforms made it into the top 10 e-commerce sites in terms of absolute growth in U.S. search visibility in 2020, taking seventh and 10th place, respectively.
Overall, the top 10 was dominated by online marketplaces and the sites of technology giants, with Apple taking the top spot, followed by Amazon and Ebay. Etsy and Verizon rounded out the top five, while Microsoft snatched sixth place, Nintendo came eighth, and Audible claimed ninth position.
Among apparel retailers, the strongest gains were at H&M, Asos and Lyst. However, in absolute terms, top apparel performer H&M’s search visibility increased 61,709, less than half of the absolute increase of 137,706 posted by Target, the last of the top-10 e-commerce platforms.
Searchmetrics also analysed the evolution of the search visibility of e-commerce platforms in the UK and found that the results were similar to those of its U.S. study. In the United Kingdom, Ebay saw the largest absolute increase in search visibility, followed by Apple, Etsy and Netflix. Health and beauty retailer Boots took fifth place.
Looking to the future, Searchmetrics highlighted a range of priorities that companies with e-commerce platforms should take into account in an increasingly crowded and dynamic online market.
In particular, the analytics firm called attention to the importance of maintaining competitive pricing, responding to ever greater consumer demand for professional service, and achieving a competitive edge through a well-defined USP.

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