What StockX Has Learned About Shifting Consumers Habits During the Pandemic

The online marketplace's CMO shared insights on its marketing strategy

StockX CMO Deena Bahri
StockX CMO Deena Bahri spoke with Adweek's Heide Palermo during Commerce Week. Adweek

The past year has seen an explosion in ecommerce due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has accelerated the growth of the category well beyond expectations.

For StockX, an online marketplace and resale platform, these trends have expanded the company’s growth beyond the Gen Z sneakerheads that made up its initial consumer base. While sneaker fans and collectors remain the core of its business, StockX is also attracting consumers looking for all of 2020’s most popular items, from jigsaw puzzles and face masks to the latest merchandise from the McDonald’s and Travis Scott collaboration.

At Adweek’s virtual Commerce Week event, StockX CMO Deena Bahri sat down with Adweek’s Heide Palermo to discuss how its strategy has shifted during the pandemic and what makes up its winning combination of user experience and brand messaging. Bahri also noted how the company is benefiting from some of the broader trends in fashion, such as the mainstreaming of sneaker culture.

When Detroit-based StockX was founded in 2015, “it wasn’t as commonplace that people wore ‘hype sneakers’ to work,” she said. And in contrast to the extremely niche audience that the platform was created to serve, a full 30% to 40% of Gen Z now consider themselves sneakerheads, according to Bahri.

Early in 2020, the StockX marketing team was planning to rely heavily on in-person activations to promote its brand, with a lot of events planned around the Olympics. When Covid-19 hit, it forced a pivot to virtual that Bahri said has proven to be very successful.

“In some ways it opens the aperture even wider,” said Bahri. While in-person events can reach 200 to 2,000 people, taking them online can amplify the message to millions, she added. “That’s an unlock.”

As far as its marketing strategy overall, Bahri said the marketing team at StockX works closely with its counterparts in product development, consumer insights and customer service to ensure that the overall experience leads consumers to come back, tell their friends and ultimately spend more.

“It’s equal parts quantitative and qualitative,” she said. “Every touchpoint that the customer experiences forms their opinion of you as a brand and influences whether they’re going to be loyal.”

@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.