Adidas to expand the endless aisle

Adidas is reported to be extending the concept of the endless aisle, through building near field communications (NFC) into its products (footwear, apparel and sporting equipment) in the hopes of being able to extend its communication with customers through millions of new touchpoints.

Speaking on a SXSW panel, innovation specialist Jon Warner, said the decision to implement NFC technology into its products came from a recognition that the brand doesn’t really know who is buying its products. It is planning to rectify this lack of data by creating ‘products with benefits’, enabling the company to generate customer information on where and how consumers are using its products. This is expected to help the company make more accurate predictions in its marketing and production teams.

The strategy is being trialled in limited editions of its Stan Smiths and Superstars trainers. By tapping a NFC-enabled smartphone to their shoe before they set off, the wearer is sent personalised messages, ranging from shop suggestions to exclusive content, depending on what they’ve done in them. For those shoppers not sure which pair of Adidas’ to buy while in-store they can also tap their phone on either the Stan Smiths or the SuperStars to receive additional information that could sway them.

What this could help to do is find a way for products to maintain their value to the consumer, instead of wearing away with the product. This isn’t the first time that the brand has attempted such a move, as in 2013 it tried embedding an NFC chip into its Boost line.

Given the growing interest in wearable technology, and the massive amounts of data that could be available through contact with customers post-purchase, this could prove the next big step in ecommerce.