Among the biggest names in sneaker resale, the newly minted unicorn StockX is emerging as one of the most powerful players in an increasingly crowded field. Its secret: The company has an astonishingly high degree of web traffic, far above that of its competitors.

According to data from web analytics company SimilarWeb, StockX’s web traffic averaged in 2017 around 2 million page views per month, while competitors GOAT and Stadium Goods saw page views of just under a million per month. However, 2018 saw that gap grow wider and wider as the web traffic of StockX’s competitors remained relatively constant, while StockX’s more than doubled. In December 2017, StockX’s site saw around 3 million page views, but in December 2018, that number had skyrocketed to nearly 8 million, hovering far above that of its competitors, which stayed at around 2 million hits per month. The majority of this growth came from organic search, with almost none of it coming from paid.

“In December 2018, StockX gave shoppers the opportunity to bid $1 to win sneakers with a resale value of over $1,000 by logging into their accounts, which probably caused the peak,” said SimilarWeb’s market insights manager Liat Piazza, who helped compile this data.

GOAT actually has a lower bounce rate (the rate at which customers visit and leave the site without actually buying or selling anything) than StockX, but it also has a longer average visit duration and a higher rate of pages viewed per visit than StockX. StockX’s advantage in terms of sheer volume of visits still puts it far ahead of its two competitors. The combination of a streamlined user interface and a focus on power sellers who move large volumes of sneakers through the platform has helped StockX stand out from its competitors in an increasingly crowded field.

“StockX has stronger brand strength than competitors, which is demonstrated by a higher amount of direct traffic compared to competitors,” Piazza said. “In addition, StockX has the highest amount of visits per unique visitor compared to competitors, which means that it has a higher potential for repeat customers than competitors.”

The number of returning visitors is a good indicator that StockX is doing well with one of its target customers: the power seller. While some StockX users are casual sellers who may have landed on the site after buying something new and then deciding they didn’t want it, many are power sellers who move large volumes of sneakers through the site, buying them with the intention of reselling at a profit.

StockX’s appeal is in how fast-paced and simplified it is. At other resellers, multiple photographs of the shoes being sold must be uploaded, and a description of its condition is required. This is great for casual sellers looking to unload older pairs, but not for power sellers. StockX only accepts unworn shoes in their original box and no photographs are required. Every shoe of one type is hosted under a single listing, making it far quicker and easier to sell brand new, unworn shoes. 

StockX incentivizes high-volume sales by reducing fees and offering earlier payouts for people who sell frequently. After 100 successful sales within 12 months, sellers can apply to get paid the moment they ship their sneakers to StockX, rather than waiting for the shoes to get authenticated first.

“As far as our platform and the advantages, it’s the ease of selling,” said Scott Newman, director of streetwear at StockX. “It eliminates the things a lot of other platforms can’t get rid of. It just gets even easier when people are selling multiple shoes. Instead of having to find multiple boxes and going through the same process multiple times, you can do a bunch all at once.”

While StockX’s web traffic growth does coincide with a general increase of traffic to resale platforms in general, the platform’s growth is still notable. Of the top 30 fashion resale sites analyzed by SimilarWeb, including streetwear, luxury and casual fashion consignment platforms, StockX accounted for 22% of all web traffic in March of 2019. The majority of that growth was on mobile, where traffic grew 73% year over year. 

As the sneaker resale marketplace continues to become more crowded, these platforms may ramp up focus on their respective niche markets in order to differentiate from each other. StockX is doing quite well for itself catering to online power sellers, but GOAT, while it does offer some power-seller-specific tools like Goat Storage and a power seller dashboard to keep track of high sales volume, has placed more of its focus on lowering the barrier for entry for more casual sellers. 

GOAT’s efforts to streamline its selling process include leveraging machine learning in the authentication process to speed it up, opening up its API so that sellers can use third-party apps and services to monitor their sales, and integrating online sales at GOAT with offline sales at its brick-and-mortar sister platform Flight Club.

“One-time sellers are 60% of our business,” said Matt Cohen, vp of business development and strategy at sneaker reseller GOAT. “Only 40% are people who sell more than that. And if you consign at Flight Club, it also gets listed on GOAT, which is helpful for getting people interested in selling. As we look to the future, it’s about creating these incremental innovations.”