Nike relaunches its Nike+ app and acquires Virgin Mega
August 11, 2016 03:16 PM
Nike Inc. is racing for mobile sales with an updated version of its Nike+ app.
The athletic apparel and footwear manufacturer debuted the much-touted app at the beginning of August. Features in the app include personalized product recommendations, shopping, 30-day product trials, chatting with Nike employees, tips from famous athletes and access to Nike events, such as Nike group workouts. Nike distributes access to events via QR codes that can be saved in a consumer’s mobile wallet, which is a separate app on a smartphone that stores payment information, loyalty cards and coupons.
Consumers can log in to the Plus app, available for both iOS and Android, with the same credentials they use on Nike.com, and all of Nike’s other apps including the Nike+ Training Club, Nike+ Running and Nike+ SNKRS. This allows the retailer to track consumers across each platform to better market to them. For example, if a consumer recorded a long workout in the running app and is later shopping on Nike.com, the retailer can recommend a pair of running shoes. The more consumers use the apps, the better the recommendations become, a Nike spokesman says. This is the first time Nike has had one login for consumers to use across all of its digital products.
After a consumer downloads the app she is prompted to set up a profile and tell Nike what her interests are, such as tennis and running. That information gives Nike more insight into the product recommendations and workout tips it shows her.
Consumers who interact with Nike’s digital products, such as its apps, social media and website, spend “exponentially more” on products than the average Nike consumer, a Nike spokesman says. Nike+ has more than a million members globally, he says. Nike declined to say how long it has developed the app now how much it invested in it.
Nike, No. 47 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, also announced it acquired Virgin Mega, which was a part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The tech startup of 12 employees will staff Nike’s new digital studio in New York City. The studio will focus on Nike’s mobile initiatives. Previously, Virgin Mega staff created an app that lets consumers get in a virtual line to play games and chat with other people in line to move up the line to eventually win a prize from a brand
The redesigned Nike+ app is a part of the retailer’s ambitious plan, unveiled in 2015, to grow its e-commerce business to $7 billion by 2020.
Nike does not break out online sales in its quarterly earnings but did report a 51% year-over-year gain in online sales in fiscal 2016. Based on Internet Retailer-estimated e-commerce sales of $1.00 billion in 2015, Nike’s announcement suggests it sold roughly $1.51 billion online last year. It also suggests that the web now represents around 4.7% of total sales, up from 3.3% last year.