Adidas uses mobile apps to deliver products and premium service

The fundamental problem with the traditional retail supply chain, according to Adidas, is that the consumer is right at the end.

But Olga Bressers, director omnichannel models development at Adidas, said the brand is completely changing this to ensure the consumer is at the heart of logistic operations.

Speaking at the Metapack Delivery Conference in London, Bressers described how the Adidas customer wants more than just a brown box delivered on their door step.

"And whether they're shopping on mobile or PC, they want to track it so they know exactly when it arrives."

And when it comes to the retailer's limited edition ranges, Adidas has trouble balancing the coveted pair of trainers with the less satisfying experience of getting hold of the exclusive product. Bressers said some Adidas products are so popular, lines of customers form outside stores the night before a launch.

A couple of years ago, Adidas released a mobile app to ensure customers could get their hands on the latest products without having to queue.

"If you can't wait to get the latest product, you can download the app, and fill in your profile with your shoe size," she explained. "The moment they are released you get a notification to make your reservation and pick up in store."

She added: "You no longer need to sleep outside our doors or put the tent up in the evening – this is a premium consumer experience."

And at the end of last year, Adidas released another app to provide a premium experience for its football customers.

Glitch is both a customisable football boot and a service-orientated mobile app, available in the UK. Playing on the recent retail trend of personalisation, customers can change the colour and design of the boot's skin using the app. To download the app, customers must be part of the football community to get their hands on a special code, making it an exclusive experience. 

Bresser said the app is used to select different skins and also book a fitting session in London or even at a customer's home. London customers can also utilise Glitch's same-day delivery option.

"And if the customer has been playing football wearing the boots for two weeks, they can still return them if they are not satisfied," she explained.

"The app brings delivery, and experience around delivery, to the next level," she said.

"But the future is about the salability of solutions," she added. "It's easy to launch in one city, but the challenge is to scale it – we're a globally company. And the answer is integration and agility through partners like Metapack."