Nike has launched an in-store service that lets people customise a pair of shoes and then manufactures them in less than 60 minutes.
Upon entering the Nike By You Studio in New York, shoppers are given a pair of white Presto shoes embedded with sensors in the heel. They can then select from a range of graphic options, and can incorporate personal details into these graphics.
For instance, specific phrases or dates (i.e. anniversaries or birthdays) can be included. These graphics can then be customised by changing the size, text and colours. Voice activation means that people can quickly design the shoes by simply speaking to the Nike Makers’ machine.
Customers must then choose between a traditional Nike Presto or a Presto X (a slip-on version) as their shoe option. Shoppers can see the design of their new kicks in advance via object tracking and projection mapping. When shoppers are happy with the look, the new shoes can be ordered in-store and are ready in less than 60 minutes.
The Nike Makers’ Experience, created by W+K Lodge, Portland, is currently available for Nike family and friends and selected Nike+ users. The whole experience, including the shoes, is currently free.
Mass customisation, evolved / Inviting people to design their kicks is not a new trick for Nike. The company launched its NikeiD service back in 1999, and it’s now available in more than 102 physical locations where shoppers can co-design trainers, bags and clothing. The service has been incredibly successful: a study by WPP The Store and digital customer experience agency Fluid reported that NikeiD generated more than $600m in revenue in 2015 and is responsible for more than 60% the brand’s dot com sales.
That said, shoppers who use the current service have to wait between four and six weeks before their customised shoes arrive. If and when the Nike Makers’ Experience becomes available to the public, the decreased waiting time could give people a reason to choose the brand over competitors offering similar customisation tools.
RETAIL PLAYGROUND /
‘Young people enjoy physical experiences; the problem is the retail industry is boring them to death,’ Doug Stephens, retail futurist and author of Reengineering Retail recently told Contagious. According to Stephens, physical stores are transforming from distributors of clothes to important media channels which, in turn, require brands to think about their physical locations in a completely different way.
‘Rather than just building stores, [retailers] have to build immersive experiential points where consumers can go to learn, play, be inspired, try things they’ve never tried before and see things they’ve never seen before. The store will be the gateway to the whole brand ecosystem,’ he explained.
The Nike Makers’ Experience is a perfect example of this philosophy in action. It’s a bricks-and-mortar location where the focus isn’t on shifting stock. Instead, it’s creating an environment where customers can become part of the creation process and where they can become immersed in a deeper, more memorable and exclusive experience.