Rise Rise of the Purchasing Programs Reluctant Adoption of ‘Bots’ within Sneaker Consumer Culture

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Sneaker consumerism is a rapidly growing industry in which scarcity leads to an enormous resale market. Subsequently, this scarcity can encourage resellers to adopt purchasing programs (colloquially known as ‘bots’ in the sneaker community) to acquire the desired sneakers. However, using these programs – combined with the scarcity of limited sneakers – can create dissatisfied feelings of unfairness in customers. Thus, some will reluctantly adopt a technology they may view as problematic. Prior theories on adoption assume a utilitarian view of adoption wherein cultural meanings are neglected. Likewise, these theories do not consider consumer culture within conceptualizing adoption. This research will contribute to existing adoption theory by theorizing a new form of adoption, specifically reluctant adoption within a cultural approach. To answer the research question, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 participants. All participants were selected before conducting this research to ensure all different arguments could be enlightened: sneaker consumers who do not use purchasing programs to resellers deeply involved in the use of purchasing programs. The results showed multiple barriers that occur while reluctantly adopting a purchasing program, which can be separated into three main aspects: (1) a financial aspect, (2) a technological aspect, (3) and a moral aspect. If financial resources or technological knowledge is missing, customers will be less likely to adopt a purchasing program. Moreover, if a customer is morally involved in the sneaker consumer culture, their opinion about the use of purchasing programs will be perceived as more negative. Given the specific community in which this research has been conducted, future research could help generalize this phenomenon within other industries.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen