“My dear, your shoes really look shabby. Let’s get you a new pair.” As much as most teenagers are proud of their worn-out favourite kicks, they would most probably be excited to be invited by their grandma to go shoe shopping – and immediately start a buying frenzy. This scenario is as old as Run DMC’s “My adidas” song, which made a significant contribution in bringing sneakers and sportswear from the courts to the streets and in establishing sneakers as a way to express oneself (Read the interview with Run DMC here). But what has changed dramatically – accelerated by the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets – is what this buying spree looks like in today’s world.
In excited anticipation of a tour of the nearby mall, granny puts on her own pair of sneakers, getting a confused gaze from her grandchild who is busy browsing the iPad for blogs with the latest fashion trends to compare styles, ratings and prices. If the object of desire isn’t purchased and ordered online, granny’s chances are good that the “analogue” old school shopping tour to the mall starts now… well, maybe not totally analogue: obviously granny’s opinion alone is not enough and friends have to be consulted on-the-go and via facebook or instagram.
This – and much more – is modern shopping routine. Sure, granny can still just go to a couple of shops in the mall to return with shoes that she likes and that fit. But the number of aspects that influence a buying decision has exploded. And with this change in people’s shopping behaviour the work of consumer goods brands has changed, too.
INDIVIDUAL SHOPPING - WHENEVER AND WHEREVER
At the adidas Group, the process used to be pretty straightforward, too. We designed, developed and produced shoes and shirts, passed them on to our wholesale partners, where you checked out the collections and bought your favourite gear. Easy. Today, the importance of our wholesale partners is unchanged, but at the same time we have advanced and finetuned our approach to answering your individual shopping preferences (and are continuously doing so). We want our products to be available whenever and wherever you want to shop them.
Today, we operate three distinctive channels: Wholesale, Own Retail and eCommerce.
The “classic” approach. Our wholesale partners, such as sporting goods retailers, department stores and lifestyle shops (just to name a few), remain key in our sales concept. Did you know that we work with around 40,000 partners worldwide to make our products available for you, no matter where you are?
Let’s call it the “pure brand” approach. As of 2013, the adidas Group has established more than 2,400 own retail stores around the globe for the adidas and Reebok brands. You may wonder why we do this on top of our extensive wholesale network. As our consumers are at the heart of everything we do, we want to present them with our latest collections (of course!) and showcase the breadth of our brands. Especially in emerging markets such as Russia or the Middle East, where no extensive sporting goods network exists, we want to make sure our consumers find our products easily. This is where adidas and reebok own retail comes in.
The “cyber” approach is our latest addition. Since more and more athletes and sneakerheads choose to shop online, we do not want to miss the opportunity to be available for you 24/7 and share what we have to offer. The internet has turned into an omnipresent and highly convenient medium to seek product and company information, engage in discussions, get recommendations and buy online at the click of a fingertip. To keep it as easy as possible, we have launched one single online destination per brand, no matter what language you speak and where you are located: www.adidas.com or www.reebok.com.
The future of shopping
However, the change in consumers’ shopping behaviour has impacted the speed of the digital landscape. Therefore, here at the adidas Group, we feel it is crucial to be where you are and create new and exciting shopping experiences to keep our brands competitive and enticing for you as a discerning consumer. We think it is crucial to look for new ways of optimising and interlinking these business models to provide you with exciting and fun shopping experiences across channels.
As the example of granny and grandchild shows, typical behaviour includes, for example, searching the internet for product information, trying on shoes in physical stores, consulting experienced sales staff for product features, using a mobile app to find the nearest retailer in town, getting “style” recommendations from friends via social media, and purchasing in a store, e-shop or via smartphone. Our consumers all want the same without even thinking about it: seamless and high-quality shopping, anytime and anywhere.
Technology and digital business models are key ingredients in putting together our prime shopping recipe. We are proud of some of our recent projects, such as the “NEO Social Mirror”, “Window Shopping”, “Next Generation Fashion Store” or the “Virtual Wall” which is currently set up in selected stores globally. Some concepts have even been awarded the 2013 Cannes Lion or the CeBIT Innovation Award. Among a huge bucket of new ideas, all these projects give us the opportunity to break new ground, to try and test in order to eventually provide you with rewarding, seamless and innovative point-of-sale experiences.
We are confident that one day our classification “Classic”, “Pure Brand” and “Cyber” will flow into something called “classicpurebrandcybermobileseamlessfunexperienceacrosschannels”. You probably agree that we then have to find a proper synonym for this one – it could simply be “Omni-channel”. Stay tuned!