Nike Playing to Win With New Retail and 11.11

“Today, we live in a connected world with everything on demand,” says Dennis Van Oossanen, vice president of Nike Direct Greater China. “Consumers respond to brands that serve them in their way, at their pace and in their lives.”

That means consumers have to be at the core of Nike’s mission. When consumer demands change, the company moves quickly to adapt.

One way Nike is doing exactly that is by integrating its digital and physical footprints to serve consumers faster, stay better connected to them and make those connections more personal.

It is very much a New Retail state of mind, something Alibaba itself has been touting for the past year. So it’s no surprise that the two companies have partnered to innovate across all consumer touch points, both online and off.

Alizila spoke to Van Oossanen about New Retail, the partnership with Tmall and the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Can you explain how New Retail has informed your business decisions?

To me, new retail is about being even more consumer-centric. Nike is leading the future of sport retail through digital, and in China we are the industry’s leading brand on e-commerce as well as in the physical stores.

The Nike Consumer Experience is our solution, aimed at giving the consumer a better Nike experience anywhere they shop across the landscape from online to offline footprints, from owned to partnered portfolio. It features curated product assortments, exclusive services and elevated environments and user experiences, all tailored to the consumer.

Today’s consumers are evolving. They want personalized and curated products, they want them immediately, they want to purchase them via mobile and they want it to be easy.

We must evolve with them. Our aim is to always say “yes” to consumers, serving them across all the touchpoints consumers may go.

What is your plan for this year’s 11.11?

NikePlus members can receive more benefits. First, they can get a first look at all 11.11 key styles and a chance to reserve their favorite products before the public. Second, members will unlock members-only promotions towards 11.11 purchases and members-only pricing on select products. Third, they also have a chance to attend members-only shopping events and training sessions.

We’ll also fulfill online orders from 10 distribution centers and 50 Nike Direct stores, which gets us closer to where our consumers are. And we opened two “smart stores,” one in Shanghai and one in Hanghzou.

And of course, we’re launching key styles, such as Lebron XV Ashes, SF AF-1, Air Jordan XI Win Like ’82 to express an on/off-court basketball-inspired lifestyle. We will offer our consumers amazing products during the 11.11 promotion.

What is “Play to Win”?

“Play to Win” is an amazing brand campaign for 11.11 to tell the story and continue inspiring our consumers to be a better self. It stands for a mindset shared by both Nike and our fans that we’re proud to be competitive and confident and eager to win. Plus, we’re proud of our products. And it tells people what our expectations are for 11.11: We came to win.

And you’re “building deeper connections” with consumers, too, right?

We are definitely innovating pure digital channels, such as our SNKRS app. The SNKRS app is the ultimate source for sneakers, fueling the passion of over 4 million sneaker fans. In the past 6 months. Nike has launched a number of breakthrough features that have delivered great results.

Many consumers already know what they want, they want Nike. When they are shopping on the move, they can come to us digitally where we serve them through SNKRS. They might prefer to come to a physical store where they can get expert advice, where they can get product trial, or they can get the product immediately.

Nike streamlined the checkout process, removing friction on the way to purchase and remembering consumer preferences. This streamlined approach is already part of the SNKRS experience.

You launched your Tmall flagship store in 2012, and recently added a flagship just for the Jordan brand. What drove that decision?

Based on our success with Nike flagship on Tmall, we launched the Jordan flagship three months ago. It’s a new destination we opened for the consumers who share a passion and love for Jordan Brand, and want connect with the brand digitally. So far the results have been strong. Followers and fans are up to 650,000 just since opening.

What are some of the benefits of operating a Tmall store?

We get to see how our fans and consumers behave, what they like about our footwear and apparel, which are important assets for us and enable us to create an evolving consumer study. That study, together with the other analytics we collect from Nike.com, Nike stores owned and partnered and other new commerce platforms, will help us serve consumers personally, at scale.

We definitely plan to deepen our partnership with Tmall, especially when to comes to innovating New Retail. We want to bring members and online shoppers the personal services and experiences they love.