For Nike, the experience was about much more than selling limited-edition sneakers. It was an experiment that could one day be applied throughout the company. Until last year, Nike primarily saw itself as a Adidas Campus Womenswholesaler creating product for retail partners at various levels: hypebeast boutiques at the high end, chains like Foot Locker in the middle, and discount outlets like DSW at the bottom. But after decades of outpacing its sneaker rivals, the once indomitable athletic-wear company has been losing ground–and buzz–to No. 2 Adidas. Adidas ZX 700 Damen In the U.S., Adidas’s market share surged from 6.8% in 2016 to 10.3% last year, according to the NPD Group. During the same period, Nike’s share dropped from 34.5% to 32.9%. Meanwhile, the shoemaker’s longtime brick-and-mortar partners have floundered Nike Air Max 90 Dames Roze as the retail landscape changes. “We realized that the market was moving fast, and consumers were moving fast,” says Adam Sussman, who became Nike’s first chief digital officer in 2016. “Mobile was becoming the main way that people were connecting with brands and shopping.”
In response, Nike CEO Mark Parker Nike Air Presto Femme announced a plan last summer to overhaul the way the company reaches customers: Though it still works with some 30,0Nike Air Max 2017 Femme 00 retailers worldwide, Nike began focusing its efforts on just 40 of them, including Foot Locker and Nordstrom. (It also began working with Amazon.) Even more important, it prioritized selling directly to customers through its own channels, which include physical shops and, increasingly, digital storefronts such as, the Nike app, and Snkrs. Parker dubbed the effort Nike Direct. “When a brand wants to fully control how a consumer perceives it,” says NPD adviser Matt Powell, the leading authority on the sneaker business, “the best way to do that is to become its own retailer.”Parker has described the moves as “a massive transformation,” streamlining the company’s process from design to manufacturing and refining its sales experience using the data it has on more Nike Air Max 270 Femme than 100 million “members” (Nike parlance for anyone who uses its Nike Air Max 2017 Damestraining apps or makes a purchase through digital channels). He tapped Sussman, along with Heidi O’Neill, president of the new Nike Direct division, to oversee the efforts. Sussman is focused on using Nike’s own channels to offer richer and more personalized shopping experiences–and to deliver them on a vast scale. To that end, he’s been rolling out a slew of experiments across all of the company’s digital properties, which also include the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps.
But these days, the company’ s boldest–and perhaps most impactful–experiences are playing out on Snkrs. Though limited-edition drops aren’t an especially big part of Nike’s business (according to NPD’s Powell, they make up less than 5% of the entire sneaker industry), sneakerheads are highly coveted customers–and their enthusiasm has a halo effect. (Adidas’s Adidas Superstar Womens relationships with the likes of Kanye Nike Air Max 2017 Donne West and Raf Simons, for example, have dramatically changed perceptions of its brand.) What’s more, by tapping into its most obsessed customers, Nike is gaining insights on how to develop and activate a community, ideas that it can use in the sneaker wars to come.