Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Sports brand launches new customised mobile app, the latest component of its increasingly personalised approach to customer interactions

Adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted (left) with Salesforce chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff
Adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted (left) with Salesforce chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff

It’s through data and an ability to act on a customer’s preferences and behaviour that adidas can realise its ambition of being the top sports products producer in the world, its CEO says.

The comments were made during the Salesforce Dreamforce conference, where adidas took the wrappers off a new mobile app that customises content, product and interactions based on a customer’s personal preferences and behaviour identified via the brand’s various digital engagement points.

The mobile app is being delivered via a combination of platforms including Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud. Features include customised product recommendations as well as colour preference and location, personalised articles, blog posts, videos and real-time updates relating to an individual’s sporting and sporting star preferences.

The app is also directly integrated with Apply Pay and Android Pay, allowing consumers touch-based payment. The service capabilities, meanwhile, include order tracking and the new Einstein bot-based chat tool.

Speaking at the Dreamforce keynote, adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted, said the company has its sights set on being the best sports shoe company in the world.

“We believe through data that we create the best products,” he said, noting the 3D printed sports shoes he was wearing customised to his feet. “We sell 1.2 million pairs of shoes per day. The more we customise, the more money we can make and the happier the consumers.

“By using technology, we can understand who consumers are and the more we know about them, the better we serve them... Having software capability in our organisation is fundamental to our ability to design great products.”

The latest mobile app is part of adidas’ quest to shift from a bricks-and-mortar player and towards a digital economy where meeting consumer expectation is the cornerstone of commerce. The company noted its ecommerce site is now its most profitable point-of-sale channel. The ambition is to achieve €4 billion through this owned ecommerce platform by 2020.

Adidas head of digital brand commerce, Joseph Godsey, said showcases the premium, connected and personalised experiences the brand wants to create across all consumer touchpoints.

“The new app helps us connect and create direct relationships with our consumers, inspiring them in their own journey with sport and style, while also offering the products and services they really want and need, when and where they want them,” he said. “The app is an integrated part of the adidas digital ecosystem; it enables us to further evolve our business and ensure eCommerce continues as our fastest growing sales channel.”

Speaking on the deployment of its technologies with adidas, Salesforce EVP of product marketing, Stephanie Buscemi, said the brand is tapping cloud-based software to deliver personalised, one-to-one engagement at scale.

Using Marketing Cloud and the built-in journey builder, for example, adidas marketers can connect activity across every channel to make more contextually relevant connections, she said. The team also uses Einstein vision for social to detect adidas products in social feed photos, creating a more tailored campaign for the consumer in that space.

Adidas is also using the Krux DMP platform acquired by Salesforce last year, to capture online and Web behaviours, marry those with CRM data and unifying campaigns served across all devices that are personalised. In addition, the brand uses Salesforce Commerce Cloud to power its ecommerce platform to deploy its centralised site globally, covering every language and currency required.

“These consumers not only have the site in the language and currency preferred, they also get served up only things they will like, with Einstein predictive product sorting built-in,” Buscemi continued. “Einstein is surfacing, based on those online Web behaviours, only those products those individuals like and that are of most interest to them.”

It’s this capability that helped the adidas.com site to grow revenues by 66 per cent year-on-year, Buscemi said. Adidas then uses Service Cloud and Einstein bots to continue personalised engagement through post-sales service.

Godsey, speaking in a video screened during the keynote, said the age of sub-par digital performance is gone. That’s because the people engaging in those experiences know the speed of a site and what it looks like.

“We need a platform that knows what to do, engages with us and really understands our business. That’s where Salesforce comes in,” he added.

  • Nadia Cameron travelled to Dreamforce in San Francisco as a guest of Salesforce.

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