It’s common knowledge already: the pandemic accelerates digitization in all areas–especially in retail. We talked about the matter to Erik Fagerlind, CEO and co-founder of Stockholm-based sneaker and streetwear retail chain Sneakers’n Stuff (SNS) running a web shop and seven physical stores between Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles.
In times of Corona the online presence has gained importance more than ever. How have you digitally developed in order to face Covid-19?
SNS have been digital first for a long time, so we did not have to develop much to adjust to the current pandemic. I guess what we had to focus on is being creative on social media platforms. They have had a re-gained importance during this period as a source of inspiration for people.
Are there new technical/digital tools that have been implemented due to Corona on your web shop?
No new tools due to corona, no. We have always seen it as important to be in the forefront of digital excellence. That mindset has defiantly helped us maintain our top tier position during this pandemic though.
We have been online since 1999. 90% of our global business is being done online. Pre-corona. But we are not really acting as a retailer, we are here to support and build our culture (street culture) and our community rather than trying to sell a lot of product. So perhaps difficult to compare us to what other retailers have done.
What role does social media play in general?
Social media in general is where a lot of people seek inspiration, and a lot of people use social media as a creative outlet where they, if they do it right, can get acknowledged by their peers.
The role of joining global marketplace platforms... Would this make sense to you?
I am not sure I understand the question. I guess you have to define “global marketplace platforms”. SNS have always had the ambition to be global, and with the expansion we have done in the past 5-6 years we can now call ourselves truly global. But despite the world shrinking, we still need to understand that there are many regional difference in the markets. So a global platform where we have one global voice, does not always work in our favour.
First of all: Instagram. We have worked out a decent following over the years – so natural to work with that.
Then Tiktok: it’s emerging and the choice for the next generation and crucial for brands to understand on how to behave on.
And also Twitter – is arguably still the channel that encourages the most to dialog. And dialog and inclusion are important to our brand.
What lessons do you draw from the Corona crisis in terms of online business?
In my point of view–the pandemic has spead up an evolution that would have been inevitable within the next years anyways. Those who would have struggled the most with the digital transformation of the society in general are the once struggeling the most now.
How do you use digitization now and in the future?
SNS will still have the need to create something in the physical world. But we will use this period to learn to better create and inspire in a pure digital form.