Athletic apparel and footwear brand manufacturer Nike Inc. launched its mobile shopping app two years ago, but only recently stepped up the features on it. Nike’s apps accounted for nearly 40% of Nike’s online revenue in its fourth quarter for the fiscal year ended May 31, a Nike spokesman tells Internet Retailer.
Within its main shopping app, Nike is currently piloting the Nike App at Retail, which offers store-specific features available at Nike locations in Portland, Santa Monica, California, and The Grove in Los Angeles. It plans to roll the features out to other U.S. stores over the next several months. Similar features eventually will be available at Nike Factory Outlets as well, the footwear retailer says.
When building the new features, Nike surveyed 500 consumers—both nonmembers and members, or those who have signed up for a member account with Nike on its website or app—over the last year about their in-store experience and what they like about the app.
“There are moments from that research where we did extensive shopping-journey mapping and emotional-journey mapping, figuring out where are people most excited, and where are they not so happy and running into friction,” says Michael Martin, Nike’s vice president of digital product. “Wherever they were running into friction, that’s where we focused from a product standpoint to eliminate that.”
Test driving the Nike App at Retail
Internet Retailer took the Nike App at Retail for a test drive at Nike at the Grove in Los Angeles. It functions as an app within the general Nike app, which a shopper can pull down from an arrow at the top right of her screen. Approaching the store with location services enabled, the app recognized that we were nearby. When opening the app inside the store, it says “Welcome to Nike The Grove,” lists the store’s hours of operations and displays the available in-store features, including scan products, reservations, unlock bonus rewards and orders.
Inside the store, consumers can use their phone’s camera to scan the barcode of an item, and a compact version of that item’s product page will display on the app, including information about colors available both online and in store and the product’s in-store, real-time availability.
Nike took it a step further with footwear, says Michelle Warvel, senior director of member and athlete services. When a shopper scans a shoe’s barcode, the same product information will come up, and she can tap ‘request to try on.’ Every store associate, which Nike calls athletes, receives the notification for a try-on request with a doorbell sound on their smartphone device. Once an associate claims the request, the shopper will then see another notification that reads: “We’re grabbing your shoes.” The shopper can request to try on up to three pairs of shoes at a time.
“That’s typically taking five minutes or less,” Warvel says. “Athletes are loving it too because it eliminates the awkward conversation of, ‘Hi, how can I help you?’”
Internet Retailer also tested the reserve and try on feature available in the Nike app. After choosing an item that was available in the desired size at The Grove location, an email and app notification confirmed that Nike received the reservation. Within ten minutes, another notification through the app and email confirmed the reserved item was ready.
“The reserve feature helps consumers and athletes not to be on the phone all day,” Warvel says. “Any athlete can do it for you, and it’s usually available in under two hours.”
The recently opened Nike by Melrose shop in Los Angeles offers shoppers a Nike unlock box, which allows Nike members to scan their member QR code and unlock a new, free product from a vending machine, such as a pair of Nike socks. Shoppers who are Nike members can unlock new items at the vending machine every 14 days—no store purchase necessary.
At other retail locations—such as The Grove—Nike offers other rewards and exclusives through the app by walking through the door: When the app recognizes a shopper is in a Nike store, she will receive an inbox message in her app that a new member reward is available. She can unlock a coupon on the app and talk to a store associate so he can unlock another special deal after scanning the member QR code, such as a free month of workout classes through ClassPass.
More omnichannel features to come
Future plans within the Nike App at Retail include giving shoppers the ability to shop on the Nike app “through the lens of their chosen store,” and view that store’s available inventory, Warvel says. For example, a shopper in Los Angeles may prefer to shop at Nike by Melrose rather than The Grove. Soon, she will be able to filter the product selection by store so it is easier for her to buy online and pick up in store, Wavel says.
Additionally, shoppers will be able to shop the Nike mannequins displayed throughout stores. After scanning a QR code at the base of the mannequin, a head-to-toe look will appear on the app, allowing the shopper to see all available in-store sizes and colors and send try on requests to the store associates. Shoppers can request the items be sent to a fitting room or brought to them.
“The creation of these mannequins is being done by the expertise of the athletes,” Martin says. “With ‘scan the look,’ we can find out which mannequin is getting the most attention, who’s the best stylist and who knows that city the best.”
Nike is No. 27 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.