Did Nike just unlock the code for the future of retail?

Nike’s six-story, NYC-based flagship store opened (November 15, 2018) with a plethora of digital features rolled out in-store. According to Nike’s Chief Design Officer, John Hoke, the future of retail is a mix between digital and physical.

And it looks like they’ve accomplished just that – aiming to make shopping in-store as convenient as shopping online.

The store definitely offers an experience and even addresses the quick in-and-out convenience sought after by most of today’s consumers. For those who don’t want to deal with the crowds but need to try on items before placing their online orders, Nike’s flagship store offers “Speed Shop” – allowing shoppers to reserve shoes online to try on in-store.

According to Fast Company, shoppers select the shoes online, head into the flagship store where the ‘Speed Shop’ area has marked a locker with the shopper’s name that is then unlocked with their phone. After the right pair is selected, shoppers use their phone to checkout, never needing to stand in line and are in and out of the store in minutes.

On top of all that ease, the Speed Shop is located in the store’s basement with its own separate entrance making it even that more convenient and seamless for shoppers.

So, what’s the actual key to unlocking that future of retail code? It’s the brand’s app.

“Nike app’s retail mode pops up when it recognizes that a user has entered a retail store. Retail mode allows customers to request items, unlock their locker, and checkout in-store.” (Fast Company) Retail mode does more than just work within Speed Shop, it also enables shoppers to scan QR codes on mannequins and have all articles of clothing appear on their phone or even request to have them sent to a dressing room to try on.

The best part of the app is that you no longer need to stand in line to complete your purchase. All POS is done within the Nike app using the same payment methods as online. For those shoppers new to the mobile app checkout and payment process, Nike’s flagship shop has also included designated self-checkout points.

For all the digital and physical convergence to work, shoppers need to have the Nike app, be Nike members (it’s free), and allow location tracking.

“This is a great extension of an overall experience with Nike. It blurs the lines between the digital shopping channels and the tangible nature of interacting with the brand in the store. I expect to see more and more branded manufacturers and retailers making investments like these to create a unique overall brand experience,” said Harry Chemko, CEO, Elastic Path.

Nike is definitely setting the bar and setting it high with experiential shopping and building that consumer relationship beyond just the physical store.