You've got quite a few obstacles these days when it comes to buying popular sneaker releases. There's lines, resellers, limited stock, and it just seems to get more and more difficult every year. Andrew Raisman wants to change that with Copdate, a new app that will make the sneaker buying process easier than ever. Raisman took some time out to tell us about the app and how he hopes to improve how big sneakers releases are bought in the future.
To go and create something like Copdate you must have had some rough sneaker release experiences. Was that the genesis behind the idea?
My love affair with sneakers goes way back. I got the bug as a kid and have been collecting kicks in one form or another for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve watched the market transform from a casual pastime for a relatively niche group of enthusiasts to the hype-fueled monster it is today.
Copping heat used to be as simple as walking into a shop on release day and grabbing your pair off the shelf. Nowadays, it’s obviously not that easy. Line-ups, resellers, bots, and skyrocketing demand have made the process for the average customer virtually impossible and extremely frustrating.
As for Copdate, the tipping point came a couple of years ago. I had been thinking about ways to solve the massive pain-point in the sneaker market for a while, and was toying with different ways of approaching the problem. The one thing I knew for sure was that we needed to find a way to make the experience as easy and as painless as possible… “Hassle-free”… The impetus to start working on the app was a conversation I had with a friend who owns a sneaker shop in Miami.
We were talking about the state of the sneaker market and how things were generally getting out of hand with big releases. I told him about the concept I had in mind for Copdate, and his enthusiasm really solidified my conviction, and eventually made me take the plunge to put the project together. I came up with the name “Copdate” driving back from the shop later that day. That was the moment it all crystalized for me.
You’re still less than a month old, how’s the reaction been so far from stores?
We actually launched the first beta of the app a couple years ago, and did our first official release about a year ago! Reaction from our partners has been great and really encouraging.
We’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing retailers and their continued support is extremely meaningful. In addition to the platform consistently delivering results, we also work hard to ensure we deliver on our promise of a “hassle-free” experience from start to finish.
Our retail partners receive our undivided attention before, during, and after each release. Our team is available around-the-clock for anything they need, day or night. We’re extremely attentive to their needs and making sure they’re happy is, without question, one of our top priorities.
Obviously, a line down the block on release day is a good look for any store, but this could quickly change that. Virtual lines might not have the same impact, but do you feel like this could be just another factor of the sneaker buying experience or would you like lines and camp outs to be a thing of the past?
Copdate is versatile and allows retailers to manage releases in many ways. They can manage the crowd virtually (no line up) or even set up events where users must be physically present at a specific location to access the drop. They can set up Lists or RSVP events, “locals-only” or worldwide drops, we can set up cool hybrids as well that combine aspects of online and offline engagement… the sky’s the limit.
We don’t impose any fixed structure. The retailer can control all aspects of the release. Whether they want to eliminate the line up altogether or bring users physically to the store is up to them. We can adapt the mechanics of any release to suit the shop’s needs and achieve their specific objectives. Our job is to make the release day experience as easy and hassle-free as possible for their customers and their staff, whichever way they decide to go.
The internet has affected the sneaker world in countless ways both good and bad. An idea like Copdate is certainly in the good category, but there’s also the darkside: lines, resellers, and outright mayhem at the very hint of a Yeezy drop. How would you architect the ideal sneaker release?
Thank you! We’re sneakerheads ourselves, so we understand the struggles first-hand. We built the platform to solve those issues for both the retailer and the user. The reality with these types of releases is that there are never enough pairs for everyone, and inevitably some people are going to miss out. For a user, camping out in front of a store for days or spending hours on end refreshing a bunch of browsers can be stressful and requires a lot of time and energy for an ultimately uncertain result.
There is no guarantee that all this effort will result in a successful cop. We’ve all been there before… catching L’s and ending up empty handed on release day. The point of Copdate is to eliminate the headaches and to make the experience as easy and as painless as possible, whether they cop that day or not. Notifications are sent to everyone at the same time. When you get it, just open the app, and tap to reserve your pair. That’s it.
A couple taps and you can get on with your life, win or lose. For the shop, it can be a logistical nightmare as well. Whether it’s lingering crowds occupying the staff’s time (processing raffles etc.) but not actually there to shop, phones and emails going non-stop with the same questions, websites crashing, frustrated customers, and so on… lots of headaches and extra work. So for us, a successful sneaker release is two-fold: It needs to hassle-free for both the shop and the customer.
For the customer, it’s about democracy. Copdate levels the playing field and makes the release process as fair as possible. Giving everyone an equal shot and not making them sweat for it. For the retailer, it’s about easy efficiency and results. No heavy-lifting. We do the work for them and make sure that each release achieves the results they want. Whatever their objectives are, we will deliver.
Are sneakers the only focus? Do you plan on expanding to other categories?
At the moment, we are focused on the sneaker market and establishing the platform as the new standard for retailers and consumers worldwide. Looking ahead, we definitely plan to expand into complimentary verticals that fit the basic DNA of our users.
We are also working on a host of new features that will further facilitate the release process and streamline the experience even more for both sides.
Following that, we will target brands, retailers, and content producers across a wide variety of industries, markets, and regions as well as exploring ways to further optimize the platform based on the analytics we are collecting. Suffice it to say that we’re just getting started and that sneakers are only the tip of the iceberg!
Now that Copdate is out, what do you have your crosshairs set on these days?
We have a couple of targets in our crosshairs… On the retailer front, we’re focused on solidifying the existing partnerships we’re fortunate to have, and working to introduce and invite new retailers to the platform. For our users, we’re committed to delivering on our promise of hassle-free releases, and are continually working to provide that experience for everyone using the app.
Our mission is to help sneakerheads by empowering retailers. Our goal is to become the standard for sneaker releases worldwide. Everything we do is focused on those two principles.