What StockX discovered about altering shopper habits throughout the pandemic

Last year, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, there was an explosion in e-commerce that accelerated the growth of the category well beyond expectations.

For StockX, an online marketplace and resale platform, these trends have extended the company's growth beyond the Gen Z sneakerheads that made up its original customer base. While sneaker fans and collectors continue to be the company's core business, StockX also attracts consumers looking for 2020's most popular items, from puzzles and face masks to the latest items from the McDonald & # 39; s and Travis collaboration Scott.

At Adweek's virtual Commerce Week, StockX CMO Deena Bahri sat down with Heide Palermo from Adweek to discuss how the strategy has changed during the pandemic and what makes the successful combination of user experience and brand messaging. Bahri also noted how the company is capitalizing on some of the broader fashion trends like mainstreaming sneaker culture.

When StockX, based in Detroit, was founded in 2015, "It wasn't that common for people to wear 'hype sneakers' to work," she said. And unlike the extreme niche audience that the platform was created for, 30% to 40% of Gen Z's now consider themselves sneakerheads, according to Bahri.

In early 2020, the StockX marketing team planned to rely heavily on personal activations to promote their brand. Many events were planned around the Olympic Games. When Covid-19 hit, it forced a pivot to be virtual, which Bahri says has proven very successful.

"In a way, it opens the opening even wider," said Bahri. While in-person events can reach 200 to 2,000 people, attending online can grow the message to millions, she added. "This is an activation."

Speaking of the overall marketing strategy, Bahri said the StockX marketing team works closely with their peers in product development, customer insights and customer service to ensure the overall experience leads to consumers returning, telling their friends about it and ultimately spending more.

“It's in equal parts quantitative and qualitative,” she said. "Every point of contact that the customer experiences forms their opinion of you as a brand and influences whether they will be loyal."

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