Adidas, Amazon, and Brand Consistency

From Amazon to eBay, most manufacturers attempt to sell their products in as many online retailers as possible. After all, it makes sense to diversify your market segments and capture as many sales as possible… right?

The highly curated Adidas storefront on Amazon.

The highly curated Adidas storefront on Amazon.

Apparently Adidas thinks differently. After several months of articles claiming Adidas and their sub-brands were pulling out of online retailers entirely, January marked the start of Adidas’s new online strategy. They’re not leaving Amazon entirely, but they are banning third-party retailer content on eBay and Amazon and creating their own, highly curated content for those marketplaces.

As efulfillmentservice.com reports, “Adidas wants more consistency and control when it comes to how and where they reach their customers.”

A spokesperson for Adidas went on to say that the new guidelines “will ensure that Adidas and Reebok will be presented in the right environment at all times.”

Controlling Your Brand

In a brick-and-mortar store or with Adidas-produced online content, customers get information that is both relevant and beneficial to their buying decision. But some third-party retailers may not provide such informational content, which can lead to unhappy customers who feel misled.

Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said regarding the new policy, “We get lots of cases where people say ‘your shoes didn’t make me faster.’ We removed eBay and Amazon from our network because we want our products to be sold by experts.”

Beyond Content

While accurate content is essential to satisfied buyers, manufacturers must also consider customer satisfaction after the purchase is made. Whether it’s the price paid, the delivery speed, or even the packaging and marketing collateral that accompanies the product upon delivery, there are a plethora of ways in which a purchase can quickly sour when a manufacturer has no control.

As Adidas and Reebok attempt to consolidate their customer experience through Amazon and eBay, it’s clear these pre- and post-purchase forces are playing an increasingly large part in online customer relations.

Ping Takeaway

Despite the revenue they may bring in short term, third-party online retailers may not provide a consistent brand experience that yields loyal customers. By taking control of online merchandising, you can ensure your customers get the brand experience you want.