New Nike App and Concept Store Bring Enhanced Omnichannel Experiences to LA
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Digital technology presents many challenges to the brick-and-mortar retail space. With online giants such as Amazon cleaning up in the digital world, it can be difficult for physical retailers to put up a fight.
However, one way in which these retailers can stay relevant is by offering experiences which consumers simply cannot get online. One of the best ways to achieve this is by finding ways to incorporate digital technology into the physical shopping space.
Bringing Digital and Retail Experiences Together
The new app and store are part of a mission to bring the Nike digital and retail experiences together in an intuitive fashion, allowing customers to experience a new level of in-store service and turning their smartphones into the ultimate shopping companion.
With the app, shoppers can browse the in-stock range at their local Nike retail outlet and make sure it has the correct style and size available. If the location has the specific shoe the customer is looking for, it can be reserved through the app as well, cutting down on wasted journeys. Reserved products are held for one day (so no reserving for weeks at a time while you wait for payday, unfortunately) and can be collected either in-person or, in certain locations, held in a Nike Locker.
(Image source: nike.com)
Presently being tested at brand new Nike innovation center/store Nike by Melrose, Nike Lockers allow customers to scan their Nike Pass QR code and retrieve their reserved items to try on and complete the purchase. The special QR code can also access special free gifts from an in-store vending machine. The gifts include items such as official Nike socks, and a new prize can be unlocked every 14 days, giving customers a reason to keep coming back in (and checking out the latest styles while they're there).
Also being tested at Nike by Melrose is curbside pickup. Products can be reserved in the app and then brought out to the customer's car at a pre-arranged time. Returns can even be facilitated this way as well, with associates picking up returned items curbside.
"Everything we know about our members in this neighborhood informed how the store came together," said Senior Director of Product at Nike, Sean Madden. "The store features new products tailored for shoppers in Los Angeles in the front, while Nike "tried-and-true" items - such as the women's Nike Classic padded sports bra, or Nike Pro training tights - are located toward the back of the store. Nike plans to feature exclusive products tailored for the Nike by Melrose location based on data collected from Nike members through its app, which is three times faster than product turnaround at other Nike stores."
While shopping in-store, customers can scan the barcode of any product on the shelves and the app will retrieve online and store inventory to save them having to wait for an associate to be available.
Members of the NikePlus rewards scheme can also access their rewards - as well as exclusive offers and discounts, and special partner rewards - all within the new Nike app. These can be bestowed by an associate as they enter the store, or even before they've decided to pop in. The app also comes complete with push notification functionality to keep customers informed of the latest news.
The kind of offers and recommendations presented by the app are not only tailored to geographical location, they are also personalized to each and every customer, helping Nike fans feel like they are being treated as an individual.
"If we think you will be interested in a product based on our algorithm, we'll reserve a pair of shoes in your name and in your size for you to pick up," said President of Nike Direct, Heidi O'Neill. "This kind of personalized mechanism online converts 40 times past any other mechanism Nike has in the field now. The store is the first time we can take that digital mechanic and apply it in a physical setting."
Store concepts such as Nike by Melrose are a great way for brands to test new innovations in the field and gather real data on how they've performed. It's this spirit of invention which gives physical retail the best chance of surviving in the future.
Omnichannel experiences are set to be a hot topic at Future Stores Miami 2019, taking place in February at the JW Marriot Miami, Florida.
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