Nike’s retail tech investment drives 35% digital revenue growth

Nike has celebrated strong revenue growth over the past year thanks to major investment in its digital and technology operations.

For the fiscal year 2019 the sportswear giant reported revenues of $39.1 billion, up 7.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Its stellar growth was largely due to the runaway success of its digital operations, which are understood to have accounted for a significant chunk of the $1 billion investment it made throughout the year.

Sales through its digital platforms, including its SNKRS app and were up 35 per cent year-on-year, as the retailer plans to see digital commerce comprise 30 per cent of its total sales by 2023.

The key driver of this digital growth was its SNKRS app, which more than doubled both its active user base and its annual revenues to $750 million accounting for around 20 per cent of its overall digital business.

READ MORE: Nike to introduce “transformational” app to measure shoppers’ feet

“The sneakers app has become an incredible asset to our brand, with users checking in daily, and has acquired more new members than any other digital channel for Nike,” its chief executive Mark Parker said.

Furthermore its Nike app, which allows users to shop its entire catalogue, saw a massive triple digit revenue growth during its final quarter in the US, set to expand even further in 2020 when Nike launches the app in China and 13 new markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Throughout the year Nike has also been allowing shoppers in the UK, US and France to link features of the app to physical in-store retail experiences.

“A few of the insights that we gained in our early pilots are that physical retail can be an exponential driver of membership,” Parker added.

“Product scans in-store often fuel online purchases later. And in-store exclusive offers through mobile tend to drive higher conversion rates and outsized spending.”

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It is poised to begin rolling out its new “transformational” Nike Fit app in the US this month and the UK in August, which uses the customers smart phone camera to accurately measure their feet and determine the perfect Nike products and sizes to fit their feet.

This will also be integrated into physical retail stores after launch, increasing the relationship between its digital apps and instore experience.

“We believe a more accurate understanding of a consumer size will not only minimize returns, reduce costs and drive healthier growth, the insights we gain will also improve the way Nike designs and manufactures product,” Parker said.

In a further bid to reduce costs and increase efficiency, Nike introduced RFID technology to huge swathes of its retail estate in the first quarter, allowing it to leverage insights to determine which products to scale.

“I think this will help us create the capability to grow profitably across the breadth of the portfolio and ultimately, again it’s putting ourselves in position to serve consumers in a way that gets them the product that they need when they want it and where they want it,” he continued.

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