The Future. Nike receives 12 billion bot attempts on its SNKRS app per month (and allegedly blocks 98% of them), but that doesn’t mean bots are solely to blame for the lack of high-profile shoes available. In reality, the footwear giant doesn’t make nearly enough of its product to meet demand. As the collectible market reaches a fever pitch, companies may be able to start producing more limited-edition products and still deem them “exclusive.”
Short supply and demand
The drop for the Kobe 6 Protro “Reverse” highlights how bots are only part of the supply issue, argues Business of Fashion.
- After many customers couldn’t snag a pair of what are known as the “Reverse Grinch” late last year, they took to social media to complain — calling out that bots were to blame.
- But it’s estimated that only 300,000 pairs were made available, despite millions of people wanting them (it was the fifth-most in-demand sneaker on the app last year).
- That means even if bots were taken out of the equation, most people who wanted the sneakers still wouldn’t have gotten a pair.
What gives? Keeping supply low juices up demand. Nike VP of Footwear Phil McCartney said the question of how many limited-edition sneakers the company should produce for a given drop is “the most debated question that we have as a team.”
At the end of the day, people love exclusivity… even if it leads to frustration.