Words by Daniel Ramsdale-Harris
Let’s roll back beyond the 2000’s, where in 1999, only half of all UK adults held a credit card. Also, let’s not forget this was a time where the ‘internet’ was only starting to evolve, and going into stores was known as the only and best way to shop your favourite garments. Back then, we would have never imagined seeing ‘click and collect’ shopping, ‘contactless shopping’ and ‘order in store technologies’. However, emerging technologies today blow these inventions out of the water!
As time has progressed over the years to the 21st century today, new and emerging technologies have taken the world by storm. In 2018, online retail sales were estimated to hit $2,489 trillion dollars. Mind blowing!
This stat is one of the key factors in retailers trying to nail their omnichannel approach, taking emerging tech such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Facial Recognition and contactless shopping, that requires no checkout. Yep, you heard it you now don’t even have to pay in store! Whilst these technologies have seen great success online in recent years for major fashion players, they have only started to come in to play in the last couple for physical stores.
We are now seeing more and more global brands bringing their ‘stores of the future’ to life, as they aim to bridge the gap between online and physcial, by creating experiences that you truly can’t get online, whilst providing a seamless and integrated shop for the consumer.
So, let’s breakdown Nike’s new House of Innovation store with the top 5 features that I, you and everyone will find truly mind-blowing.
1. The “Nike Arena”- Customisation, Customisation & More Customisation
The first floor of Nike’s flagship doesn’t have any product on it whatsoever. Instead, it’s a large customization area where consumers can make changes to their famous silhouettes and clothes. Customers can change the colours of laces, the swoosh and even the whole shoe. What’s more impressive is that these customizations usually only take 5-10 minutes, while longer projects mean that consumers get to have a one-one-one meeting with a Nike employee to create their dream sneaker or trainer, or shoe- whatever you want to call them!
This is what you call allowing customers to take their shopping experience into their own hands.
2. Behind The Scenes Content- Inside Nike’s Creations
Within the store, Nike are focused on showing their customers where the brand has been. There is a display on their sneakers floor which holds over 300 different pairs of in-season shoes, and shows foot scans, design sketches and prototypes.
The retailer also plans to host footwear designers to talk about their creations, with the aim being for their customers to feel inversed in joining the sneaker community.
No one can argue that this is a great touch in attempting to tell their customers the whole story behind the effort and time in which it takes to bring products to life.3. QR Codes & Digital Fitting Rooms
Nike have placed QR codes across all mannequins in the store to let shoppers find out exactly what they’re wearing there and then, without having to wonder around the store to find the look.
Shoppers also have the ability to access a ‘request to try on’ feature, where they can add products they want to a digital fitting room. At this point, a store employee will find their size and colour specified, set up a fitting room and then send a push notification to the shopper when it’s ready for them to try everything on.
They say male shoppers are lazy, but now they have a reason to be!
4. Instant Check Out Kiosks
It’s not quite Amazon Go, but it’s ever so close. Nike have set up instant checkout kiosks on every floor of the store, complete with bags and a slot for hangers, where customers can check themselves out using the Nike App if they don’t feel like waiting in line.
Again, it’s as if the average lazy shopper male is their perfect target customer!
5. Reserve Items In Your Own Nike In-Store Locker
Nike also don’t forget about their online consumers in their aim in providing a seamless shopping experience across both platforms. Using the app, Nike Plus shoppers, who have browsed products online but want to check them out in store before they buy can pick up reserved items in a set of lockers by simply scanning their member pass.
The retailer has said that this feature is available for those who are known as ‘speedshoppers’, with convenience sitting at the upmost importance for them.
Convenience, a word that all men want hear right?
All in all, Nike’s Six Floor New York House Of Innovation store showcases where the technology side of the retail industry is today. For Nike, using these emerging technologies is all about leveraging more enhanced data through their app, so they can continue to offer ground-breaking in store features like we’ve discussed today.
More importantly, us males have no excuses now when complaining about just how long shopping takes!