The Future of StockX: How Values and Community Are Creating a Globally Innovative Marketplace
StockX was launched in 2016 in Detroit, Michigan, as an online marketplace for hard-to-find sneakers. In the years since, StockX has expanded geographically — with 13 offices and authentication centers around the world — and commercially across several categories, including apparel, electronics, collectibles, and accessories. The company now employs more than 1,000 people globally and serves consumers in more than 200 countries. We talked with StockX CEO Scott Cutler about the exciting challenges of the company’s rapid growth, as well as the guiding values that keep it on track.
What does StockX do today, and where is the company going?
Our vision is to be the leading global marketplace for consumers of current culture. Today, a consumer sees something on the feet or the body of an athlete, a musician, or an artist, and they want to buy it for themselves. But the product is often not available from the brand or from a traditional retail channel. So the consumer finds what they’re looking for on StockX.
And we’re creating that experience around the world. We have customers in more than 200 countries and territories, so this is a global opportunity — and it’s much broader than sneakers, which is very exciting for us. We’re now providing access for consumers across multiple verticals — sneakers, collectibles, apparel, electronics — and we’re at this inflection point where we’re experiencing incredible growth. What’s also exciting is the economic opportunity StockX unlocks; our platform enables a vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of sellers to flourish in a digital space, which is pretty powerful
Why did you decide to join StockX?
I was actually one of the original investors in StockX back in 2016, and in my prior career experiences I ran marketplaces at eBay, I was CEO at StubHub, and I’d spent a decade at the New York Stock Exchange. So when StockX put out a press release stating that they wanted to reinvent e-commerce based on the principles of the New York Stock Exchange, StubHub, and eBay, I knew I had to reach out to the founders about joining the team. I was eager to help bring this vision to life and to scale what I knew could be a multibillion dollar global business.
Can you elaborate on the company’s values and culture?
We’re still very early in our legacy as a brand — we’re barely five years into our journey. But our cultural foundations are values that we created collectively as a team early on. We’re champions for our customers. We’re part of a dream team. We’re committed to doing what’s right. All these concepts drive our decision-making. And because we’re a company that reflects current culture in our products, we also want to reflect the current culture of the world. On the retail side, that means releasing a product that provides a consistent experience for our customers. As an employer, it could mean taking a stand on a social issue that’s important to our team because it’s the right thing to do.
Tell us more about the importance of diversity and inclusion at StockX.
We’re a global company with operations around the world. What we’re building across our supply chain — our logistics, our transportation, our technology — is technically complex. We know we need to attract people who are solving problems that nobody else is solving today, using a unique combination and sequence that is our secret sauce as a company. And because we know the best solutions can come from anywhere, we stay open-minded as we grow our teams.
“Because we know the best solutions can come from anywhere, we stay open-minded as we grow our teams.”
Our head of D&I, Marlin Williams, has come up with a great six-point strategy that focuses on not only talent acquisition, but also how we participate in the communities in which we operate, and how we want to be as a company. We’re not asking, “What’s the project plan for diversity and inclusion?” Our plan is in our actions: It’s how we show up when we recruit and how we interview. It’s how we show up as leaders. It becomes a part of who we are, and it’s highly connected to our values. Inclusion cuts across everything — it’s not just a program.
Unless inclusion is built into the culture of everything a company does, it tends to get lost. When it’s lost, you lose connection to the business, the people, and the customer. So we put it front and center of everything we do. I’m proud of the inclusion work we’re doing. We still have a long way to go, but this work is essential to how we think about the business.
You mentioned the complexity of StockX’s business and supply chain. What is the process? What is happening behind the scenes that you’re hiring for?
When a buyer and a seller come together in our marketplace and they complete a trade, that seller sends an item to our authentication center, which involves a logistics transportation provider partnership. We confirm the authenticity of those items in a day, then we send those items out to the buyer. We’re connecting buyers and sellers in countries around the world with products from around the world, and we’re authenticating the condition of every product. It’s a very sophisticated and complex system that is central to providing an unparalleled customer experience.
“Nobody else in e-commerce has created a matching engine that’s based on a buyer’s location, with supply that’s coming from hundreds of thousands of sellers globally.”
At the center of that complexity, we have a patented and proprietary order-matching engine that shows people the market for products based on where a buyer is located. If we can’t get buyers connected to products locally, we’ll show them supply from another location around the world. Nobody else in e-commerce has created a matching engine that’s based on a buyer’s location, with supply that’s coming from hundreds of thousands of sellers globally. It’s a dynamic, third-party marketplace, and more sophisticated than other third-party marketplaces out there.
What else differentiates StockX from your competition?
StockX provides access to items you can’t find anywhere else. Our model is rewriting the rules of commerce and is changing the way people buy and sell online through transparent market pricing, a rigorous authentication process, and anonymous transactions. No other marketplace offers the experience StockX offers. And our mission is to deliver the best possible consumer experience.
It’s an intensely competitive business, but we’re fortunate that our core customer base is the target consumer every major brand and company wants to go after. We’re among the top apps for next-generation consumers. Many of them shop StockX more often than they buy directly from the brands sold on StockX — that’s how powerful our platform has become.
What are some of the challenges that employees joining in the next year might work on?
One of the values we hold high is Hungry for What’s Next. This value represents our commitment to learning, growing and disrupting — and always pushing against the status quo. So we look for team members who are going to help us uphold this value and consistently push us into the future and think beyond what you see on our platform today.
We’re also universally committed to creating a best-in-class customer experience for our customers around the world. This means we need to speak to the customer in their local language, transact in their currency, accept payment methods in their country, handle customer service issues — again, in their language — and then be able to deliver products to them. Right now, our platform offers over 115,000 product listings across multiple categories and we’ll be adding even more categories in the near future to solidify StockX as the platform of choice for consumers of current culture.
Do you need to be a sneakerhead to work at StockX?
We’re a technology company building the world’s leading e-commerce platform, so most assuredly you don’t have to be a sneakerhead to join. But you do have to be committed to the customer experience. And as we’ve discussed, delivering that customer experience is a complex technical challenge, so we’re recruiting specialists in business intelligence, machine learning, security systems, transportation systems, customer service platforms, finance engines, marketing engines, deep personalization — as well as people to authenticate products of current culture. We want to attract top talent across marketplaces, industries, and geographies. We need the brainpower and energy of people from all sorts of different industries to deliver this experience.
Although I will say—no promises you won’t catch the sneaker bug.
Interested in joining the StockX team?
Check out open roles.