Sneakers For Two? Adidas Reservation App Takes Its Cue From OpenTable

The athletic apparel marketer looks to build — and manage — demand for Kanye West branded shoe.

Considering the way Adidas’ star-inspired clothing tends to fly off the shelves of retailers, the company’s release of its Confirmed app, which lets consumers reserve items on their phones for in-store pickup, doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

The timing of the app could hardly have been more opportune, as consumers have been primed for years with the ease of e-commerce and the mainstreaming of convenience apps like Uber’s mobile connection for car service and StubHub’s secondary market ticket sales. As retailers battle showrooming and other e-commerce methods with the introduction of mobile payments and “m-commerce,” Adidas’ targeting of younger mobile consumers with Confirmed could be a good bet on retail’s next stage.

Size 8, reserved.
Size 8, reserved.

The Google Android and Apple iOS 8 accessible mobile app can be activated by geo-targeting that directs shoppers to the nearest location where they can reserve and pay for selected Adidas-wear.

Unveiled ahead of the highly anticipated debut of the Kanye West-designed shoes, the new app is meant to help open consumer access to limited-edition sneakers. In many cases, the marketplace for hotly-hyped products is stripped by bots, buying the item in mass amounts to sell online, rendering many a would-be in-store buyer disappointed.

Adidas is claiming the title as the first brand in the footwear category to launch a mobile reservations app. Typically, the call-ahead and request model is used in commercial territories where appointments normally take place. The ZocDoc site and app, which is used to book a physician, is one example; Open Table, which has pioneered the practice of securing a table — and more recently, paying the bill — at restaurants, all in-app, is another.

“I think [the Adidas app] is brilliant,” says Gary Knudson, CEO & Founder at sports sponsorship consultancy AdSport. “I can only imagine the insane demand around the launch of this new Adidas collaboration with Kayne West.” Knudsen says, adding, “If I’m not mistaken, the Yeezy and Yeezy II that Kanye worked with Nike on are two of the most sought after sneakers of all time, with secondary market sellers still getting thousands of dollars from the poor consumers who couldn’t get a pair at launch. The app should help mitigate the huge lines at retailers that a consumer would undoubtedly experience and at least give them the sense that they have a chance at buying the shoes.”

Adidas is no stranger to experimenting with the boundaries of mobile marketing. In early 2013, for example, the company worked with mobile ad agency iProspect and Google to launch a mobile search campaign that included location extensions to drive users to the store locator feature on its mobile site.

It’s unclear what tech companies are behind Adidas’ foray into mobile reservations. One of the partners appears to be proximity retail platform, GPShopper. GPShopper could not be reached for comment. Still, GPShopper generally provides beacon programming for in-store connections and branded apps, so other tech and software companies are also surely involved.