Next-gen ecommerce to maximize growth and customer satisfaction

adidas partnered with Reaktor to build a next level ecommerce offering, placing technical excellence and a superior customer experience in online retail at the centre of their business strategy.

Vertically sliced, rebuilt from the ground up, and iteratively redesigned, is setting new standards in digital shopping.

Project highlights

  • A bespoke shopping experience for consumers in 40 countries and a new service layer built on a modern tech stack, enhancing the existing IT-infrastructure
  • Page load times reduced by 60%, significantly increasing conversion rates and revenue
  • From four to 200 releases per year; daily deployment and a focus on CI/CD replacing the previous 6-week release cycle
  • High-performance middleware for heavy traffic times, such as Black Friday and campaign launches

World’s biggest Three Stripes store

Top of the podium ecomm experience

The digital store is adidas’s fastest-growing sales channel, generating double-digit growth rates annually.

In early 2017, adidas set an ambitious goal to quadruple their online sales from €1 billion to €4 billion by 2020. To do this, the company made a pivotal strategic decision to partner with Reaktor to rebuild their digital presence, drive direct relationships with their customers, and elevate the adidas brand through exceptional online experiences.

The results of our work speak for themselves. Last year, the €4-billion goal was not only reached but surpassed. And, CEO Kasper Rorsted refers to e-commerce as the future of the company.

Our strategic partnership empowers adidas to deliver on their mission like never before by paving the way for a new, agile working method – one that champions swift iteration, a focus on personalization, and the emergence of a performance-led methodology. 


“Our single most important store in the world is our dot-com store, there is no comparison”

Kasper Rorsted, CEO of adidas

A customer’s journey, digitalized

Step into the store

Search engines, multiple active campaigns and campaign sites bring customers into the store. Our goal is to have the first thing they see be as close to their ideal product as possible.

Be inspired and discover

From the homepage to the product detail page, engagement is maintained through telling stories and providing relevant options to keep discovering.

Pick up a product

To convert, the customer needs exactly the right information at exactly the right time, accompanied with content that builds confidence. Succeeding results in 'add to basket', failure in closing the tab.

Bring it to the cashier

The checkout phase is where a retailer stands to make the easiest wins. Through creating efficiency and simplicity, opportunities for shoppers to abandon their basket are vastly reduced.

Premium user experience

A confident user converts to a happy client.

The adidas experience is a combination of varying rich media, optimized page composition with product at the center, pragmatic functionality, and benchmarkable efficiency.

Design decisions are research-driven and backed up by meticulous iteration and testing. The experience can always be improved, and at a global scale, even a small tweak ends up creating a big impact.

Improving discoverability and storytelling, cross-selling relevant items, and decreasing the amount of returns are some of the challenges we work on. The end goal is to always serve better: when engaging the customer directly, it is crucial to remember they are king.

The full impact of design decisions are seen in the long-term, but big leaps can also be taken quickly. adidas is constantly developing their ability and systemic design tools to boost creative experimentation as part of any process. 

Increased site performance

Loading speed equals money.

For an online store, speed directly translates to revenue in the form of conversion and reduced bounce rates.

By shaving 3.5 seconds off adidas’s product pages load time, site speed was increased by 60%. Constant optimization for performance takes commitment to continuous iteration, trimming off load times from multiple moving parts of the site, rigorous testing, and a headless ecommerce system.

Speed matters later on in the customer journey as well. At the checkout phase, a 69% improvement in page response time sparked a major uptick in conversion. Removing obstacles, constantly reviewing the cart-to-order ratio, and optimizing the checkout flow for effortlessness are at the center of the checkout experience.

Renewed tech stack

Faster speed to market, happier developers.

To achieve the ambitious goals for 2020 and integrate into existing third-party services, such as SalesForce, a new backend solution was built with Node.js and TypeScript.

With the new backend solution, the existing e-commerce services could be kept in place, while simultaneously taking a performance leap in page load times and handling traffic peaks with confidence.

The chosen stack of new technologies serves to increase speed to market – and, no less importantly, developer satisfaction. With the new tech stack, onboarding new developers as demand fluctuates is painless, and new features are fast and easy to develop.

Collections with hype

A Yeezy drop is a cultural act.

When a Beyonce, Kanye, or Pharrell collaboration drops, sneaker heads and fashionistas all over the world refresh their browser.

For each hotly-anticipated collection launch, a dynamic tool helps verify the authenticity of the shopper to keep the army of bots at bay and the hype ranges exclusive to real fans.

Online Waiting Rooms funnel traffic and balance the demand to make sure the store stays up and running. In late 2018, a record number of Yeezy shoes were sold in one drop – and the site handled all orders with ease.

Our contributions

  • Backend development of a scalable middleware solution
  • Design sprints
  • Frontend development of a responsive webapp
  • High fidelity prototyping
  • Software architecture and design
  • Product design
  • 24/7 support & maintenance
  • Proof of concepts


Let's talk!

Thom Hos

Director of Operations at Reaktor Amsterdam

Get in touch