Activewear brands have focused on creating a more sophisticated, seamless direct-to-consumer e-commerce in the past year, as evidenced by the spike in e-commerce related features on brand sites. As of early 2016, 94% of Activewear brands had cart continuity between sessions. Similarly, 72% of brands in the study allowed users to edit item features (e.g. size, color) from the cart, up from 42% in 2015. Update payment methods are another way brands add sophistication to their sites; of the 64 Activewear Index brands with direct-to-consumer e-commerce, 86% offer expedited payment methods. Eight percent offer more than one type of payment option, with Paypal being the most widely incorporated alternative payment (adopted by 83%) followed by Visa Checkout (8%), Amazon Pay (3%) and Amex Express Checkout (2%).
However, despite working on improving the shopping experience on the brand site, brands are neglecting third-party e-tailers. Just 22% of brands (Canada Goose and Arc’teryx are among exceptions) link to third-party product pages. While the majority of consumers prefer to purchase directly from brand sites, by linking to third-party e-tailers brands can take advantage of their larger stock, offers/discounts, better fulfillment offerings, and more extensive product offerings.