Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense Strengthens With Latest Acquisition

After acquiring Zodiac Inc. in late March, Nike now has added Invertex to the help push forward the Consumer Direct Offense. Invertex develops software to scan the body for proper product fitting. The 3-D scanning technology is designed to help customers, both in-store and online, find and purchase the right size shoes, clothing, or other apparel that is exactly right for them.

How will Invertex help Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense?

Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense is an initiative to connect with customers digitally and sell through e-commerce. Through initial investments, such as Zodiac and now Invertex, Nike plans to increase North American sales and lead to more positive results going forward.

As part of the Tech Lab showcase in Los Angeles later this month, Invertex will introduce the ScanMat. The ScanMat will allow customers to have their feet scanned and have a profile created in a matter of seconds. Customers can then scan shoes to see if their feet are a good match, and if not, recommendations will be made by the software for a shoe that better fits their profile.

Nike CDO Adam Sussman said, “The acquisition of Invertex will deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point.”

Buying shoes online is a tricky endeavor. No matter how much research or customer reviews are read, the consumer never truly knows if the shoes will fit right until they can try them on. An Invertex ScanMat created profile can be used with e-commerce and make shoe buying the same experience as visiting the brick and mortar stores and trying the product on. Invertex software will also help the rate of returned shoes because of poor fit. Put a check beside connecting digitally and selling through e-commerce for Nike.

An added benefit for Nike will be increased visitors to the retail locations to use the Invertex ScanMat technology. This will increase brand awareness, impulse buys, and the opportunity for sales associates at these stores to increase revenue with an up-sell.

The future of Invertex ScanMat technology could allow a user to scan their feet from an app on their phone. This future technology will be a key factor in Nike’s Consumer Direct Offenses’ vision.

What’s Next for Nike?

Since President and CEO of Nike Mark Parker announced the push of the Consumer Direct Offensive on the 2018 Q3 Earnings call, Nike has made two significant investments.

The first was acquiring Zodiac which allows Nike to dig into their core demographic and learn behavior and buying patterns of current and future customers through analytics. With this data, Nike can improve marketing efforts and tailor special offers to the right segment of consumers to increase sales.

The second investment is obviously Invertex whose software can help Nike remove pain points in on-line shoe shopping for customers and make it an easier and more precise experience. Nike will also benefit from having less returns to process and a technology in their retail stores that will increase foot traffic.

What will the third move be for Nike? Could it be an announcement that the Amazon and Nike partnership is out of the beta stage and ready to be unleashed? Will wearables be re-visited by Nike, learning from the FuelBand’s rise and fall and entering into a strategic partnership? How about making custom shoes with 3-D printing more accessible, affordable, and mainstream?

The latest acquisition a great chance for Nike to be proactive in creating full-scale customization as part of the consumers in store experience. Whatever the next step is for Nike, the Consumer Direct Offensive has come fast out of the starting gate with the intention of staying ahead of the competition now and in the future.

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