Revolutionizing Retail: How Adidas Utilizes Jasper for Success in B2B

Learn how the retail giant ran a Jasper pilot program and launched the platform in the business.

Published on Feb 26, 2024

Adidas is a household name in sports, fashion, and retail. They’re a Jasper customer and we were lucky enough to chat with Siddhi Saraiya, Adidas' Global Head of B2B Digital Product Management, on a recent webinar to hear how the influential retail giant launched an AI pilot and eventually grew to more wide-scale AI adoption at the company.

Saraiya and her team at Adidas work to push the boundaries of B2B e-commerce, user experience, sales performance, and customer satisfaction. This webinar peels back the layers of their successes, challenges, and learnings using Jasper to meet those ends in a digital-first marketplace.

You can watch the full webinar here or check out the summary we provided below. Dive into the AI + retail insights that Saraiya unpacked – insights that might be indicative of the future of retail content creation and customer interaction.

Involving various departments in AI problem-solving

A major first step for launching AI at Adidas was having proactive and bold discussions about the technology's potential within the company. Saraiya stressed the crucial tactic of securing executive buy-in and fostering excitement around the initiative. That initial step involved creating an educational slide deck focusing not on technology but on the business challenges AI could address.

The leader then underscored the importance of involving individuals from various functions within Adidas in the problem-solving process for launching an AI pilot successfully. Adopting new technology is a process, one that can change over time, "and there are many different functions in a big company that have their place in that process," Saraiya said. "So how do you get representatives from those functions and bring them along as you're solving the problems?

"Because when you present people a finished product. It's hard. There are a lot of reasons why it won't work. But when they go along with you in the journey to say, 'Okay, we're doing our best, there's really good intent and we don't know all the answers either.' I think it helps create this spirit that it gets people on board who say, 'Come on, let's solve this together.'"

Ultimately, creating a cross-functional group that could collaborate around AI's implementation challenges early made a huge difference for Adidas given the company's size.

The importance of testing

The importance of piloting a small AI program and testing its effectiveness within the business was a key focus for Adidas initially. Saraiya emphasized the significance of defining small, safe tests when introducing new initiatives in a large organization.

“In the beginning, we were thinking about whether we want to use AI to cover 100% of our catalog, or 50 or 25%,” said Saraiya. “You're really figuring out the next problem as you go. You don't know everything from the beginning. But [you’re] working in an agile way to set up the process. Another challenge was trying to figure out how to be lean with it. So where do we need to invest and where can we use workarounds?”

Eventually the team decided to focus its AI use on product pages, specifically for 150 shoe models. Testing these models with different AI technologies like ChatGPT and Jasper provided valuable insights not only into the technology itself but also into the optimization of the underlying processes.

"Not only does it help you test the technology, but also a bit of the process,” said Saraiya. “How do we train the language model so the output for those models is better? Finding small subsets of the catalog we could test and improve with was very impactful and helpful for us.”

She then stressed the iterative nature of refining AI models through continuous experimentation. By gradually investing more resources into training the AI models, Adidas was able to enhance the quality of outputs over time. This iterative process of testing and refining not only improved the AI technology implementation but also deepened the understanding of how to leverage AI effectively within the business.

Balancing AI and human creativity

Saraiya discussed the essential balance between AI capabilities and human creativity in the realm of B2B sales content creation. She highlighted the significance of utilizing a pyramid approach in product storytelling, where top-tier products benefit from intricate storytelling (that only humans are capable of). At the same time, more common items can initially leverage AI tools like Jasper. Eventually, through more fine-tuned methods, AI could be used to support more nuanced storytelling. However, Saraiya said full creative control could never be given to the tools themselves. And even when details like consumer intent and key attributes inform AI content creation, humans are still there to guide and edit the outputs.

“There are also different types of creativity,” Saraiya said. “For example, I am a technologist. So [I wonder], how can we train the model in the right way to say this voice needs to sound different to reach this audience that's buying this type of product?

“At Adidas, we have great fashion products that are selling to key influencers in the fashion space. We have sports specialists. The way we need to talk to different audiences is different…Then we get our colleagues involved from the right [teams] and ask how we can better create outputs at scale that represent the need for those segments. So the creativity changes a little bit.”

This nuanced approach highlights the importance of adapting voice and messaging to click with specific consumer segments. Looking ahead, Saraiya underscored the evolving nature of creativity within this collaborative framework, emphasizing the ongoing need for close partnerships between AI experts and content creators. This approach creates a synergistic relationship where technology complements human ingenuity, resulting in a blend of data-driven insights and creative expression to meet retail's diverse market demands.

[.blog-quote]"Instead of being excited about the technology for technology’s sake, you need to also understand your users. Don't pitch the technology, pitch the business problem."[.blog-quote]

AI ROI: measuring the impact of incorporating Jasper into their workflow 

Saraiya discussed the impact of incorporating Jasper into workflows at Adidas, focusing on cost efficiencies and operational aspects. She said transitioning from a cost-per-shoe-model service agency fee to a technology license fee with Jasper allowed for a more scalable and cost-effective approach. She highlighted AI's operational efficiency and emphasized the reduction in time required to create content across different teams, resulting in smoother processes with a lighter touch from the humans involved.

In the B2B space, measuring conversions was a different challenge compared to B2C or e-commerce due to the involvement of sales reps and multiple touchpoints. Despite that complexity, Saraiya said they noticed an increase in coverage without any negative impact, which the team noted as a positive outcome. The cost reduction, enhanced coverage, and absence of negative effects were viewed as great results, ultimately driving a positive ROI conversation.

"The other thing around the ROI conversation was the learning," Sarayia said. "It's not as numbers oriented, but just the fact that we got to play with an emerging technology in a really practical use case and learn was also quite valuable from an ROI perspective. We're still early in the journey so I'm sure [more of that will come. We will have those comparisons on quality, on conversion, and especially as we start exploring more on the B2C side where that is so much more numbers-driven."


What aspects of Jasper were you using to kind of train for better results?

Saraiya said Adidas closely collaborated with Jasper customer services reps by providing substantial samples of copy for training the platform and enhancing its results. The focus was on specific product details, which were meant to be included in the Jasper Knowledge Base. From there, the content in Jasper's central nervous system ensured every output was bolstered with accurate details about Adidas' offerings.

The leader also said Brand Voice was vital to maintain consistency for product-related specifics, style guides, tones, and brand characteristics.

What advice does Saraiya have for other retail companies starting their AI journey? 

Saraiya emphasized the importance of boldness and effective communication in the business world. She highlighted the need to shift focus from technology to understanding users and addressing business problems. By advocating for a customer-centric approach, she stressed the significance of pitching solutions that resonate with the target audience.

"Instead of being excited about the technology for technology’s sake, you need to also understand your users. Don't pitch the technology, pitch the business problem," she said.

Saraiya also doubled down on highlighting the importance of building a team of individuals from specialties within the company. Involve sales, branding, technology, legal, and other stakeholders to tackle challenges collectively. Conducting small-scale tests to demonstrate effectiveness and foster innovation is also huge, she said, and she urged budget holders to allocate resources for such initiatives.

Why did Adidas choose Jasper as its AI of choice?

Adidas chose Jasper as its AI of choice due to two key aspects; the first being technological. Saraiya said Jasper served as an aggregator layer atop various models (interoperability), streamlining integration processes and ensuring access to the latest technology advancements. This allowed Adidas to focus on its core products — shoes and shirts — while relying on Jasper's technology expertise. The collaboration provided a competitive edge by aligning Adidas' product focus with the platform's technological specialization.

Secondly, the decision was influenced by cultural compatibility. Jasper struck a balance between maturity, experimentation, and flexibility that resonated with Adidas. This balance differentiated Jasper from other AI startups and vendors, offering the right mix of stability and innovation. The partnership thrived on open communication and collaboration, with frequent discussions and feedback loops enhancing the consultancy aspect for Adidas. This blend of technology prowess and collaborative culture made Jasper a strategic choice for Adidas in advancing its AI initiatives.

Find out how Jasper might help your team. Book a demo and speak to a rep who can walk you through a pilot program.

[.blog-demo-button]Book a demo[.blog-demo-button]

Meet The Author:

Alton Zenon III

Alton Zenon III

Jasper Content Marketing Manager
All Things AI
Writing & Editing

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