InScope: How Nike is tapping into the future of retail by evolving convenience.

Hannah Carlos-Bertollo is an Account Executive for OMD Create Melbourne, helping solve a wide range of client challenges with content and data lead solutions.

What the modern consumer considers the ideal shopping experience continues to change.

Online shopping was my saving grace last Christmas. The thought of going into a physical store, fighting my way through a crowd to pick out gifts and then waiting in line after line to make my purchases, was soul destroying.

However, my mum enjoys the experience of going into a shopping centre. This is because she needs to try on her next perfect outfit and physically hold it before committing to a purchase.

So, it’s quite clear that what is convenient for one consumer differs to the next. Therefore, to create a valuable experience to suit all types of potential customers, retailers need to pull from the best of both online and in-store worlds to reshape the way they offer their products.

Nike recently stepped up to this challenge by making shopping in a physical store as convenient as shopping online. They recognised that consumer behaviours vary and focussed on three key areas to dictate the layout of their latest New York City store to appeal to all their potential shoppers.

  • Providing Nike customers with the physical experience using a digital output

Nike discovered that 80% of their consumers still want to experience a physical store, but don’t want the hassle of searching through a variety of products, battling crowds or trying to find somewhere to sit and try their sneakers on.

At the new ‘Speed Shop’, customers can reserve whichever shoes they want to try online. When they arrive at the store they are able to open a locker using their smart phone, and the shoes they want to try on are inside. Once they are happy with their shoes, they can use their phone to pay and check out – just as they would online. You can be in and out of the store in minutes.

  • Customers can use smart phones within the store to unlock convenience

Nike recognised that customer experience must be seamless to ensure they keep a customer browsing through their range for any possible incremental transactions. Therefore, if a customer sees an item on a mannequin they are interested in, they can request those items to be sent to a fitting room by simply scanning a QR code, removing the frustration of finding items on the shop floor.

  • Direct relationships with customers to evolve the store layout

And what’s in it for Nike? Data! For all these conveniences to work, a customer must have the Nike app and be a member. This is because Nike wants to recognise when their customers are near their stores giving them the ability to send personalised notifications to help build direct relationships with their customers, as well as prompting them to come into store. Nike will leverage data and will continue to revise the store experience based on their customer’s intent.

The key to Nike’s new store fit-out is undoubtedly data. While this is already part of the retail world now, it will become increasingly vital in the years to come. To make this store a success, Nike became a regular part of their consumers’ lives to understand what convenience means for them.

What does this mean for Australian retailers?

For Australian brick and mortar retailers to be successful, especially with more online start-up brands coming into the market, retailers need to prioritise having a one-to-one relationship with their customers to truly understand their preferred retail experience. Finding the ideal shopping model won’t be an overnight fix. It’s going to take constant innovation, building direct relationships with consumers through owned assets, experimental retail experiences and keeping up with digital marketing to be ahead of the game.

With brands such as Nike taking up the challenge of colliding the physical and online shopping models together, the future of retail is exciting.

At OMD Create we believe in using data to not only inform our clients digital planning, but to understand offline and online experiences. This provides the capability to report on what drives transactions, which can help clients evolve their consumers’ shopping experience in store.

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