– ” When I’ll grow up … cars will fly in the sky! In ten years from now… we’ll pay for everything on our phone … we will absolutely do everything with it! ”

We are there, we are “tomorrow”, I am older and we are ten years later.

Then, even if all my mini-me’s speculations from ten years ago haven’t been all reached yet. Even if we’re not going to come back from parties in the Fifth Element taxis tomorrow … one thing is sure: consumer habits have changed. Our lives changed and our experiences too. But it is not ready to stop right? Then, what is the in-store customer experience of tomorrow?

Today we’re going to talk about Nike, who for me has already taken a first step in the future. Please, feel free to tell me what you think at the end of this article. In the meantime, I will take you to NY! For this last point, focus, close your eyes there we are … you are in New York City!

Everything started in mid-November in New York with the opening of a flagship where smartphones guide the experience in store. Touch-sensitive screens, personalized lockers, QR codes … Did you say Tech? In the 5th avenue corner, surrounded by Cartier and Sach, this cube with tinted windows becomes the new temple of the customer experience where technology and digital make one. Welcome to the new store Nike “House of innovation 000” 100 % phygital.

Unique prerequisite to live the experience: have a smartphone. Because for those who would not have been able to download for free Nike’s app, a WiFi network in the store makes possible to do it directly in the store. Once the application installed on your mobile, the experience can finally begin declined in 6000 m2 and on the 6 levels of the store. By the way, what is phygital and why does it work so well?

 What is ‘’the phygital’’?

Definition: The phygital is one of the retail trends which regroups the physical world and the digital world. Leaned towards customer’s needs, the objective is to propose him the best possible experience. Real convergence point of the online and the offline, the objective is to pick the best of both worlds to offer simplified, continuous and personalized experiences to customers. This new retail trend makes the implementation of personalized promotional offers possible. It develops and optimizes the simplicity of purchase.

 5 phygital success factors applied to Nike

1- Immersion

People have to live a real experience that changes from ”regular shopping”.

Let’s return to our flagship visit, on 5th Avenue. Welcome to the ground floor nicknamed ‘’Nike Arena’’, with an electro music background. Customers are directly attracted by the central block with its white sneakers, the jars of colors, the colored laces. It contrasts with the employees in white laboratory blouses who come to explain to you how this “workshop” works.

2- The custom-made product

If you want to: you can customize your shoes from A to Z. And it works because customers hurry to take pictures: shoes, window, giant screens… all the Flagship technology goes to pictures!

Involving the customer into the ”creation” process and giving them the possibility to make their product unique is a way to make people feel important for the brand.

3- The community

The customer experience personalization goes even farther and plays on the affiliation to the community “members” of the brand. The fact to belong to a group. Because the last floor, “Nike Expert Studio” is reserved for the members NikePlus. How to become a member? It is enough to have downloaded the application on your smartphone and to have filled your e-mail address. A premium status within reach of your thumb in fact.

In addition to that, a team is available for a personalized shopping session, to customize your clothes even to make of the custom-made product in the studio which is on-the-spot. A real personalized shopping session, dedicated to some elected representatives.

4- Data analysis for a simplified experience

If you are in a hurry, you can come down directly to the “Speed Shop”, located on the floor below, to get back your articles beforehand reserved online. Direction to the black lockers wall, where the usernames are displayed in brilliant letters. Once the unbolted locker and clothes or shoes were tried, you have the possibility, armed with your application, to pay directly with your smartphone by scanning the QR codes of articles before leaving a few minutes later. An express performance where customers and brands find some benefit. Time-saving for some, earning some data for the others. Time is money you said? I believe that it has never been as true.


5- Convenience

In other floors men/ women /children, we notice QR codes presence on labels to the feet of the exhibition model. There also, the wish to simplify the customer experience in the store is present. By scanning these labels, the consumer can know in real time the available sizes in store. He can even try clothes and sneakers via the option “changing room” or ” pick-up area “. The option geo-localization – activated only if the customer gave his authorization beforehand – allows Nike to follow your moves, to know your position in the store and thus to deliver clothes to the wished floor.

This last factor is very important to consider when implementing a phygital strategy. Convenience makes the experience doable and easy. Customers are saving time while doing the shopping. It’s like buying in a science fiction movie!



To conclude the future of the retail would be “the personal data analysis” according to Heidi O’ Neill, the president of Nike Direct. The objective for the American group is to create an ‘’alive store, as well reactive as digital’’. In other words, Nike wants to offer an in-store shopping as personalized, fast and easy as the online experience.

When we consider that more than two-thirds of the customers in a phase of purchase in a store consult their mobile (l’Observatoire du commerce mobile -June 2017) we understand why the group wants to democratize purchase and payment via this device. Furthermore, if 81 % of the European millennials admit being satisfied with their experience in a shop (a study of the Monitoring center Cetelem on 2018), 61 % declare to want to experiment playful, festive or surprising experiences in store. A strategy which has a bright future ahead judging by the potential to work on…


Find out more with Cathy Sparks, Global Nike Direct Stores & Services interview: