Amazon’s continued moves into the apparel space have paid off for the retail giant, which gained 1.5% of market share last year and is expected to be the top player in the US apparel industry in 2018. It currently trails only Walmart, with Target rounding out the top three. But the big box retailers are not standing idly by. Both Walmart and Target are making news as they launch new, fashion-forward private label apparel lines.
As the battle heats up, brands will need to use all the digital levers available to them without losing sight of margin—arguably private label’s largest benefit. L2’s recent private label report finds that brands are generally not using more expensive digital marketing tools like paid search, instead opting to use their own brand sites to surface private label.
Walmart and Target outperform Amazon when it comes to showcasing private label options on category pages. L2 analysis of women’s tops category pages found that new Walmart private label brand Time and Tru make up 45% of product listings, while Target private label brand Universal Thread accounts for 33% of product listings. On the corresponding Amazon page, none of the listings are private label.
Amazon takes a different approach to private label, featuring its brands on curated pages as opposed to standard category pages. For example, Amazon’s curated page for “That Perfect Spring Dress” is 27% private label. Target also excels in this space, surfacing brand store content when customers search for “universal thread” instead of simply showing search results.
These major apparel retailers reveal that there is no one-size-fits-all way to surface private label onsite. As brands continue to battle it out, big box and department stores alike should look to these onsite tactics as a way to increase private label awareness at minimal cost.