Jon Wexler has found a new home at Shopify.
The former Adidas executive, who oversaw the Yeezy business, has joined Shopify as the vice president of its creator and influencer program. In the role he will assume on Sept. 14, Wexler will help artists and creators scale their brands and businesses, thus enhancing Shopify’s relationships with entrepreneurs.
“I’m a longtime admirer of Shopify, and I strongly believe in its mission to level the playing field for entrepreneurs,” Wexler said. “Joining Shopify to build and lead their creator and influencer program, I’ll have a unique opportunity to help makers and artists of all sizes and scopes build connections with their customers. That’s incredibly special.”
Wexler parted ways with Adidas on Aug. 31, ending a 13-year tenure with the company. He served in global brand manager and entertainment and influencer marketing roles before overseeing the Yeezy brand as general manager. Adidas also credited Wexler for establishing partnerships with Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams.
Shopify has made several bold moves this year. The Canadian e-commerce platform added 3-D modeling and video for its product pages, launched its shopping assistant app, signed an exclusive deal with Affirm, allowing for installment payment plans, and expanded its partnership with Walmart Inc.
Shopify made several moves this year. The Canadian e-commerce platform added 3D modeling and video for its product pages, launched its shopping assistant app, signed an exclusive deal with Affirm, allowing for installment payment plans, and expanded its partnership with Walmart.
According to global data captured by Shopify, new stores created on the platform grew 62 percent from March 13 to April 24, 2020, driven by the mass shift to online and Shopify’s extended free trial period from 14 days to 90 days.
In the U.S., in April, new online store creations grew 53 percent month over month, the number of consumers estimated to have made their first purchase from any Shopify merchant grew 65 percent month over month. Sales through point of sale declined 71 percent due to suspended in-store operations, but retail merchants replaced 94 percent of lost POS sales with online sales.
“Combining Jon, Shopify and the creator community will be a game changer in how this group uses its influence to create world-class brands,” said Loren Padelford, vice president and general manager at Shopify. “Our goal is to help as many aspiring entrepreneurs as possible go from just an idea to a thriving and successful business. Creators and influencers are a unique type of entrepreneur — and we want them to build their brands and legacies on Shopify. This is why I am so excited to have Jon join our team.”
Padelford added that creators primarily found Shopify on their own and this more focused effort is an evolution of that. He said the trend of creators, artists and influencers engaging their communities with product separate from company sponsorship began five to six years ago, citing Kylie Jenner’s makeup line as an example and video game streamer and competitor Ninja’s merch line.
“What fed the fire was watching these influencer driven brands get big,” he said. “People saw it and said this is a thing and now everyone says I have a community, they really follow me and are interested. How can I extend that?”
Enter Wexler who experienced tapping into creatives’ passion points to create products and cultivate movements at a high level. “Everyone has an idea within themselves and it’s about creating a space for them to find what they want to accomplish and helping them achieve that,” Wexler said. “Social media leveled the playing field for people that believed they had more to offer to level up their persona and grow their influence.”
This new project is not limited to just fashion or merchandise either. Padelford believes the sky is the limit as there isn’t a limitation on what creators can make. “We can’t fathom what’s possible so bringing in someone like Jon with this much experience is necessary. It sounds blue sky, but this is relatively new so the opportunities are relatively fast.”