Nike’s New House of Innovation: The Future of Retail
February 27, 2019
As consumers shop seamlessly across all formats and platforms, it’s clear that brick-and-mortar stores still have a place in retail. Though customers do still frequent physical outlets, they increasingly expect a digital in-store experience. Digital interactions influence up to 75% of all in-store visits, and mobile is leveraged in almost half of all in-store shopping experiences.
Nike’s debut of its ‘House of Innovation’ experiential stores in Shanghai and New York are the sportswear giant’s latest efforts to take a leading role with the latest industry trends. Drawing largely on Nike’s app features, the store transforms into a personal and interactive retail environment. Wondering what awaits shoppers at Nike’s digitalized mortar doorsteps? Read on to join us on this futuristic tour.
Reserve Online, Try In-Store
Despite the undeniable advantages of online shopping, consumers still want to try items before making a purchase. 42% of millennials and 38% of Generation Z say it’s important that before purchasing, they try items on in-store after viewing them online. Nike allows shoppers to go one step further through the free ‘reserve and try’ feature on their app.
Upon receiving reservations, staff reserves the items in digital lockers which shoppers unlock with their phones. Shoppers can then complete the purchase via the Nike app.
For convenience, lockers used for reservations and pick-ups are strategically located on the store’s ground floor and have a separate entrance, enabling customers to quickly get in and out of stores. Online shoppers can also opt to pick up their new products from an in-store digital locker via the Nike app.
In today’s hyperconnected world, customers are creatures of convenience, and Nike’s House of Innovation demonstrates how online purchasing can be broken down.
In-Store Technology Enhances Customer Experience
In retail overall, 67% of shoppers leave stores empty-handed because they can’t find the products they’re looking for. To combat this obstacle, Nike’s House of Innovation uses digital scanning technology to transform frustrating in-store experiences into positive value-add visits.
Using the ‘shop the look’ app feature, shoppers can scan QR codes at mannequins’ bases to see the details of every item, including size and color options.
To try on any of the mannequin pieces, shoppers add items to a try-on list and request that sales associates bring them their selection or send them to a fitting room where they can try on the outfit in different lighting conditions.
Shoppers can even research and try on shoes without interacting with a store associate, by using the app to scan the barcode on a shoe to search the model, color options, and inventory online and in-store. To try on the shoes, shoppers tap the “request try-on” button and a store associate brings the shoes to them at a designated pickup area for app users.
By leveraging technology that improves the in-store experience, Nike’s House of Innovation redefines self-service and helps customers shop with ease and speed.
While the concept of self-checkout isn’t new, it’s still far from perfect. Nike’s instant checkout option eliminates speed bumps found at other retailers’ self-checkouts, such as purchase verification and tag removal stations.
At Nike, not only can shoppers check out anywhere in the store, but the app eliminates the need for checkout lines: shoppers scan products, tap the purchase button, receive their payment receipt within the app, and walk out of the store. The app uses new or previously stored payment details and supports payment services like Apple Pay and PayPal to further ease the transaction.
Personalization and Speed Through Data
Following Nike’s acquisition of consumer data firm Zodiac, it’s no surprise that their latest venture, backed by digital commerce data, brings the online shopping experience to life. When a NikePlus member walks into the store, their app homepage instantly features new content and offers.
The company also uses data to forecast demand and proactively fulfill shoppers’ “right here, right now” retail expectations. Building off discoveries from their retail concept Nike Live, Speed Store merchandise — top-selling items stocked using insights based on in-store, online, and other sales data — is customized to meet local demand.
Welcome to Your Future
As 2019 unfolds, we’ll likely see other big brands following Nike’s lead, building digital brick-and-mortar stores that deliver hyper-personalized, omnichannel experiences — anticipating customer needs and offering real-time value with high levels of digital integration.
Stores remain an important part of the shopping journey, but the recently paved intersection of digital and physical environments is crucial for retailers. When rethinking your omnichannel strategy, invest in journey mapping to proactively address and solve customer pain points.
The future of retail has few ‘traditional’ stores, and only brands that are fluid, hyper-responsive to consumer needs, and able to deliver a seamless shopping experience online and in-store will thrive.
Originally published at postfunnel.com on February 27, 2019.