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The next phase of retail: Adidas is turning influencers into sneaker salespeople

A new partnership with the Storr app envisions eventually getting us all to sell the brand’s sneakers.

The next phase of retail: Adidas is turning influencers into sneaker salespeople
[Photo: Bogdan Glisik/Unsplash]

Last year, Adidas launched a membership program called the Creators Club, essentially giving some of its most enthusiastic consumers early access to products, exclusive drops, and special events.

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Now the company is taking this relationship to the next level, allowing members to sell Adidas goods themselves. Social influence is becoming social selling.

Today Adidas announced a new partnership with a social commerce app called Storr that boasts the ability to let anyone open a store from their phone in just three clicks. Creators Club members who become social sellers will receive a 6% commission from every sale, or have the option to donate to Girls on the Run, an Adidas partner organization helping young women reach their fullest potential.

The company will start by inviting approximately 10,000 Creators Club members to participate.

“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?” says Chris Murphy, Adidas’s senior director of digital activation. “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.”

Earlier this year, Storr was part of Adidas’s Platform A sports accelerator at Paris’s Station F startup campus. Murphy says getting the brand’s biggest fans to become sellers is part of its overarching program to be a bit more consumer-centric. Instead of relying on people to find the right place to buy Adidas after seeing something they like on someone’s feed, this could remove some barriers by letting them buy it right away.

“It’s allowing the consumer to have more control,” says Murphy. “There’s no such thing as a linear shopping journey anymore. They exist, but there are millions of potential opportunities. If we want to truly be consumer obsessed and live up to the things we say, we have to find the spaces [where] consumers already are and engage with them in innovative ways to become aware of, consider, and purchase our brand in a more seamless way.”

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The current plan is to expand social selling gradually within Creators Club first, and then move into the brand’s higher-end women’s products. “We can see getting unique with the products we put on the platform,” says Murphy. “At one point, long-term, I see Storr being available to anyone.”

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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