Adidas is no stranger to the world of apps. It has already released two in the form of Confirmed and All Day, allowing users to reserve new products and monitor their fitness and nutrition. 

Now, the sports brand has released Shop & Style – a shopping app that allows users to buy Adidas products and browse editorial content without the need to use their mobile browser. 

It’s slightly surprising that Adidas is only just delivering this, but it is reportedly due to a larger focus on optimising the web experience. And I guess it's better later than never right?

The app is designed to ‘personalise and enhance’ the Adidas shopping experience, but is it any good? I downloaded it to find out. Here’s what I think works, and what misses the mark.

An app tailored to you

Adidas Shop & Style is a shopping app that uses artificial intelligence to learn about its users. Essentially, this means that it will take your previous shopping and browsing behaviour into consideration, and deliver personalised content and commerce recommendations on this basis.

Bear in mind that this was my first time using the app, so I’m not sure how effective or relevant the results. However, video on the homepage is bound to be an effective way to grab the user’s interest as they enter the app.

I was particularly impressed with how different content is integrated. There’s a good mixture of video (which automatically plays as you scroll), featured product imagery, plus editorial articles from high profile sports personalities. 

Again, the app will deliver content relating to particular sports or athletes you show interest in, which means that it feels like it is much more tailored to your own enjoyment rather than a single experience that caters to everyone.

 

Browsing and buying

So, onto the shopping experience, which I assume is what most users will be focused on. 

Clicking onto the category pages, I like how everything is clearly set out – the category menus are in a list format in the middle of the screen, making it very easy to choose the shoes, clothing, and accessories you're interested in. Over time, the app will automatically stay on whatever over-arching category you use the most, e.g. men or women.

There’s also the option to scroll through imagery of ‘new in’ products without leaving this main navigation, which is a nice touch if you’re someone who regularly checks back for new-in stock.

 

While the category set-up is good, there is one immediately glaring flaw – and that’s the absence of any kind of filtering tool. This means that, bafflingly, users are required to continuously scroll through products to find what they’re looking for. There’s no sort function either, so even if you’re hoping to search from low to high prices, there’s no way to do this.

It’s unclear why Adidas has failed to include these features. It’s not like the brand has a limited amount of products whereby a lack of filtering would not be quite so terrible. Its categories are pretty fleshed out, meaning users are bound to be left frustrated, potentially leading some to abandon the app or switch back to the mobile site.

 

Reviews and checkout

Luckily, there are other features that (might) make up for this. The product pages themselves are particularly good, integrating the same rating and reviews section that can be found on the main ecommerce site.

The highly visual nature of the overall percentage rating is a nice touch, making it easy for users to gain an instant impression of a product. Similarly, the slider tool – which gives an indication of how a product rates on certain features, like comfort or quality – is very useful. 

 

The checkout process is fairly quick and frustration-free, with one-touch Apple Pay integration making it even more so. The option to sign in or register via Facebook also reduces steps to the checkout, which is always a handy feature to help prevent basket abandonment.

Social sharing and app integration

Another nice feature is the ‘share how you wear it’ section, which encourages users to send in photos of themselves wearing their Adidas gear for the chance to be featured on the app. 

This type of content encourages interaction and involvement, but it also serves as a nice bit of social proof, with inspiring imagery perhaps encouraging users to go on to browse products and buy. The content is also linked to the featured users Instagram accounts, which is handy if you want to click through and further explore a particular profile.

 

Features from Adidas’ other apps are not available as of yet. There’s no indication of soon-to-be released products, meaning users will still have to use the Confirmed app if they want to be kept in the loop. Similarly, there’s no sign of any option to sync or access All Day features, meaning that the app will also be kept separate.

It’s unclear whether Adidas will combine or integrate these features in future, however, as examples from Nike have also shown – consumers do seem happy to download different apps depending on their particular need.  

Where’s the chat?

That being said, the decision to leave the new app as a shopping platform could also be wise, especially considering there are still some pressing issues to figure out. 

The chat option is another one I came across, as despite promising ‘24/7’ advice from a live Adidas representative, I was told that there were no agents available on the multiple occasions I tried. This also looks to be a common issue, as I also spotted a few reviews citing this problem. 

Not disastrous – perhaps I was unlucky, and I'm sure Adidas will work on this if the problem continues to result in negative feedback. However, it was pretty frustrating to encounteer this, especially considering it’s such a heavily promoted feature.

In conclusion…

I was hoping that Adidas’ shopping app was going to be worth the wait, but it hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.

As always, there are positives that will keep some users satisfied, such as effective personalisation and rich video content. There’s nothing wrong with the product pages or final checkout stages either. Search is also highly responsive, returning suggested results almost immediately.

However, the lack of basic features like filtering and in-app help is a let down. And sadly for Adidas, this might be enough for users to abandon the app, or simply revert back to the main ecommerce site. 

Related reading:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 16 November, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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