Although most watch brands sell directly to consumers through their own sites, the bulk of online watch sales take place on e-tailers. Both pure play e-tailers and Department Stores attract far more traffic than watch brand sites. They also outpace brand sites in search visibility, according to L2’s Insight Report: Mass & Licensed Watches E-tailers.

The study finds that when shoppers search for non-branded keywords such as “Men’s Watches,” 61% of Index brands fail to generate a first-page result. Pure play e-tailers such as Amazon and Overstock fare much better, appearing on 63% and 64% of non-brand searches respectively. Department Stores also perform well: Nordstrom and Macy’s generate first-page results for 32% and 42% of non-brand keywords.


While watch brands generally maintain control over their top organic results, they share the remainder of first page real estate with major e-tailers. Those with a reputation for providing steeper discounts and gray market listings, such as Amazon and Overstock, once again outpace Department Store competitors. This suggests that watch brands might see superior returns on investment by customizing merchandizing and product pages on e-tailers than by investing in DTC e-commerce on their own brand sites.




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