Nike Building the ‘Marketplace of the Future’ With More D-to-C and Digital
Nike is moving to build the marketplace of the future, reports PYMNTS. The brand has moved into the second phase of its marketplace strategy, executives said on a conference call Monday, including an increased amount of direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) sales via Nike Direct and a reduced reliance on its retail partners. During the call, Chief Financial Officer Matt Friend said Nike has “finished communicating the big account pivots,” noting that wholesale partners will play an integral role authenticating its brands and creating scale of distribution via a larger retail footprint, albeit within an enterprise that's consistently, and purposefully, trending toward digital.
Total Retail's Take: Nike continues to stay aggressive in transforming its business. The athletic brand is acting on its previous promises to focus heavily on its D-to-C and digital businesses, most recently acquiring virtual sneaker company RTFKT in a push to enter the metaverse. Nike has pulled out of more retail partnerships in the last few years, including DSW, Urban Outfitters, Macy's and other significant wholesalers. It's betting on the power of its own business following quarterly results that report NIKE Direct sales up 15 percent and NIKE Brand Digital sales up 19 percent. "NIKE’s strong results this quarter show that our Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy is working, as we invest to achieve our growth opportunities," said President and CEO John Donahoe.
A primary concern for Nike is controlling the customer's experience with the brand, both on its owned physical and digital channels as well as its remaining retail partners. “This is going to require us to invest with our partners in their consumer experiences so that the consumer has a premium, consistent experience as they move across the marketplace and can find Nike products when and where they want it,” said Friend. With Nike's impressive roster of athlete influencers and strong brand recognition, the retailer is betting it can profit big on its own terms.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.