How Adidas is Leveraging a New Social Selling App to Create a New Sales Channel

iPhone and a Notebook

By Tricia McKinnon

Imagine if you could get a commission for selling a pair of sneakers from Adidas’ latest drop all from the comfort of your own home.  Well, now there is an app that will allow you to do that. The app is called Storr and it was founded by Eric Senn in 2016.  The app allows anyone to set up an online store with merchandise from established brands like Adidas in just three clicks using a mobile phone.  To get started using Storr all someone has to do is sign up, choose a name and select inventory from a variety of brands and then they are ready to sell. Unlike other platforms sellers do not have to worry about inventory management, shipping or returns as those activities are managed by the brand.  That allows the seller to focus only on selling while brands get another potentially lucrative sales channel.  

Some view peer to peer eCommerce as a significant part of the future.  This is not that surprising given that word of mouth has always played a strong part of the buying process. In an eMarketer survey, when respondents were asked:, who do you trust for recommendations when shopping 86% of millennials and 87% of gen X shoppers said family and friends and 27% and 24% respectively said an in-store employee. Clearly we still turn to family and friends when making most of our decisions.

In addition to capitalizing on word of mouth another reason why the Storr app may have legs is that it provides the opportunity to turn a brand’s customers into influencers and then into entrepreneurs which could be a lucrative value proposition for someone that is looking to add to their side hustle.  Consider the resale sneaker market.   The fact that people have been known, in some cases, to make six figures reselling sneakers, it shows what an enterprising individual can do when they have the right tools.  

Speaking about Storr, CEO Eric Senn said: “we came up with the idea while working with a few professional athletes on a completely different concept.” “Some of the athletes we were working with had more followers on social media than the brands they endorsed. So, we asked one of the athletes why he didn’t have a store and he said ‘I’d love to have a store but I can’t build it, I don’t want to manage it, and I don’t want to invest any money in it.’”

Adidas is one of the over 200 brands that are on the platform and Storr was also part of Adidas’ Platform A Sports Accelerator.  As part of Adidas’ Creators Club program where members are given a number of benefits including early access to drops and exclusive events, Adidas recently announced that 10,000 members will be invited to sign up for Storr. Sellers receive a 6% commission from Adidas on the merchandise they sell. Speaking about the initiative Chris Murphy, Adidas’ Senior Director of Digital Activation said: “if you think about where our consumers go to get advice or ideas, it’s their friends, it’s sneakerheads, it’s people in their social sphere already, so why not let those people sell on our behalf?” “We do interesting stuff through Instagram, or through our affiliate marketing where we’re utilizing sneakerheads, influencers, and even our athletes to sell our products, because they’re influential and consumers are spending time with them. The next evolution of that is the democratization of social selling, allowing our consumers to act as wholesalers or retailers on our behalf.”

In addition to Adidas other brands on the platform include: Jonathan Simkhai, RE/DONE Denim and Solid&Striped. The app is also backed by some industry veterans including the former CEO of Neiman Marcus, the former CEO of Macy’s.com as well as a co-Founder of Rent the Runway. Spark Capital who made early investments in Glossier, Postmates, Twitter, and Warby Parker has also invested in Storr.  Storr has raised $7.8 million in pre- Series A funding.  

According to eMarketer’s Andrew Lipsman: “social commerce is gaining momentum as platforms like Instagram and Pinterest add shopping-related features, and influencers have only added fuel to the fire.” “While it’s not the most important direct-referral channel for retail, it's growing the fastest.”  While apps like Storr make it easier to sell the platform is only as good as the number and quality of brands as well as the ability of the seller to sell.   While Adidas is on the platform which is not surprising as Storr was part of Adidas’ accelerator Storr will need more high profile brands for it to take off. And while some have had great success with peer to peer selling it is still not as easy as it looks.

 

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Tricia McKinnonTrendsComment