EQL Ran Hot in 23’. But Just How Hot?
What a year it was.
EQL partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the hyped Nike AF1 drop, saw Joe Freshgoods do it again with New Balance, and even sold a car (not just any car, an Ariel Atom 4). We helped The Whitaker Group drop the hottest collab of the century with Jordan (we’re maybe a bit biased) and got some 14K gold Pikachus into fan’s hands…and that’s just the tip of the high-heat iceberg.
We’ve looked back at all the action and rounded up some of our most interesting insights below. Check em’ out.
Passion continues to fuel commerce
We saw more than 3 million people submit entries this year across all 2,700 EQL-powered launches and analyzed more than 60 million signals from those entries to get 400K products into the hands of genuine fans. One stat we're insanely proud of? Those launches also saw an average 4.8/5 fan satisfaction score. The drops ranged from hyped sneaker drops to limited-edition whiskeys and rare collector coins.
Interestingly, regardless of launch type, we found that 80% of entries for a launch usually come in in the first 15 minutes, proving fans are still anxiously awaiting drops, even when they have a longer entry window.
Speaking of entry windows, we see a sweet spot for low-inventory, high-heat in launches being open for a minimum of 48 hours, and up to 4 days for launches with a bit more inventory to sell. Fandom is expanding, and different types of fans with different lifestyles and commitments (9 to 5s anyone?) have shown appreciation to brands who make it possible for them to enter at more convenient times, while not having to jump online for a first-come-first-serve launch.
Bots Gonna Bot
You can’t blame the bad actors for trying. More than 22% of all entries in 2023 used some sort of shady behavior this year and got filtered out, but we still saw them trying several interesting tactics to get their first win.
Sneaker launches are still a primary target for botters, and they have an expert grasp of the size runs with 10 being the most common, followed by 11s, 9,s, 12s, and 9.5s. They generally know size runs, what’s hot, and what they can resell for top dollar.
In 2023 we saw bots coming from every region of the world, with the largest bot-to-true fan ratio coming from Italy. Why? We may never reveal that mystery. But our year ensuring better outcomes for fans was a reminder that bad actors certainly not going away, and it’s more important than ever to have the right tech partner if you want more connection with more genuine fans.
On the topic of creating multiple accounts and entries, we explained approximately 150 times that doing this won’t help your chances. (Ok, not really, but we do say it a lot. Fans, if you want to win, just play fair. We’re on your team!)
Who’s shooting their shot?
Fans from ages 18 to 65+ entered EQL launches this year, and we loved seeing that passionate fandom has no age limit. Though there were patterns across categories on which launches appealed most to which age groups:
- Sneakers still conquered the hearts of the 18-24 age group
- Collectibles (toys, coins, trading cards, etc.) found love primarily in the 25-34 demo, a generation known for its strong nostalgia
- Art enthusiasts aged 35-44 wanted to claim the most prints
- And whiskey and wine appealed evenly to the 35-44 and 45-54-year-old crowds.
The majority of entrants came from the US, with the top city being Los Angeles, followed by Brooklyn, and Chicago. The largest international entries came from London, Singapore, and Auckland.
How did your launch stack up?
Below, we break down some stats on our 5 hottest launches of the year using several considerations and leaving the brands anonymized (because legal).
Currently an EQL partner? Check out your dashboard to see how your launches compared:
Yes, in our top five most in-demand launches, 400K+ people decided to take their shot at winning 5.4K products. It blew our minds, too.
Heat varied from category to category. If we look solely at hype score as a benchmark (inventory divided by demand), we were surprised by which categories came out on top, with limited-edition apparel being the most ‘hyped’ followed by whiskey and wine, collectibles, and art, all before the historically red hot sneaker drops.
As the curtain falls on the 2023 heat, there is a lot in store for 24'. Coins, cars, cards, collectibles, apparel, sneakers, alcohol, and everything in between. We will be bringing you more hype, more global brands, and fairer access to products across the globe.
Want to see more insights EQL’s garnered on fandom, high-heat commerce and what trends we expect to see in 2024? Sign up now to get early access to The Fandom Forecast 2024, dropping early January.