Nike Unveils Immersive Store in South Korea
While the Internet has brought amazing things to life in industries all over the world, one thing it has done by circumstance is reduce the value of in-person stores for even the mightiest brands. How much does Apple need to spend on a brick-and-mortar store at the local shopping complex when its customers are going to its website - or Amazon - to price its products, compare models virtually, and enter special codes to get free shipping, special offers, or badges they can display on social media. Online might be less expensive for companies, but there’s still something to be said for a flair for the dramatic and giving customers the kind of experience that they simply can’t find inside an app or on an ecommerce platform.That’s where Nike and its “Rise” concept come in.
Rise is a 24,000-square foot store located in Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, that engages customers who visit the brick-and-mortar store at every turn. It is powered by sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, and data-driven features that personalize the shopping experience for every customer in a fluid, real-time way that has sneaker enthusiasts dazzled and even those who have never considered buying a pair of Nikes in awe of what is possible. Among the more eye-popping features are a three-story screen that displays real-time running stats from the local community where the store is located. Customers can also put two different shoes on an interactive table powered by RFID and get information displayed on the two shoes before they decide to purchase one pair or another.
Nike is one of a few larger corporations experimenting with the “event” concept of in-person stores that engage the customer in multiple ways that an online store could do, but not without connecting a person to dozens of apps all at once. Shoes, particularly athletic ones, also remain an industry where being able to touch, see, and try on the apparel is vastly superior in person to online, no matter how impressive augmented reality gets with shopping applications.
Nike’s overarching idea is to provide seamless technology with real-life interactions to give shoppers a one-of-a-kind experience that cements their enjoyment and brand loyalty to Nike products. The store isn’t just about new shoes, however. An area designated as The Sport Hub allows customers to find sporting events that they can participate in the city that are sponsored or endorsed by Nike, thus improving physical fitness. Another area, The City Replay, offers consumers the chance to repair old/worn Nike shoes and apparel while on-site.
In addition, The Huddle lets shoppers get inside the mind of what Nike believes are the five touchpoints of fitness: sleep, nutrition, recovery, mindset, and movement. These all come to life with interactive screens and LED monitors throughout the store to keep visitors constantly engaged, constantly moving, and able to use all five senses to engage with the Nike brand, far beyond the level of content that even the company’s best website or app can provide.