Nike to create more ‘urgency’ around ecommerce

Nike has outlined plans to grow its ecommerce operations as it looks to place a greater emphasis on direct-to-consumer relationships.

Nike is to expand its online product customisation offering this year to fuel its ecommerce strategy.

The sportswear brand is simplifying the user experience across all its ecommerce sites over the next quarter to make it easier for shoppers to find and buy products. It it also expanding its online product customisation and customer service offerings.

Mark Parker, chief executive of Nike, says the business is bringing “urgency” to how it introduces “more innovation into the shopping experience”. The move is part of a wider effort from the brand to build a portfolio of digital services to forge deeper connections with consumers.

Parker adds: “Digital at Nike is really a catalyst for innovation. It’s the currency we use to invest and grow the the business the same way NikeFuel points is the currency of movement we use to inspire athletes. There is a pretty big gap between where ecommerce is today and where we can take it.”

Nike has today (22 March) reported a 9 per cent increase in revenues to $8.2bn (£5.4bn) for the three months to February 2013, driven in part by online sales.

The better than expected increase was spurred by the company’s 33 per cent growth in online sales across all its brands. Nike has reported double-digit growth from its ecommerce offering for the past five years but says it is still a “relatively small portion” of total revenues.

Elsewhere, strong performances in Western Europe (8 per cent) and North America (18 per cent) sent sales for the Nike brand up by 10 per cent. The company is also boosting its innovation pipeline, which has seen products including its Flyknit running shoe technology and Mercurial Vapor IX football boot launch in recent months, to drive growth.

Charles Denson, president of the Nike brand, says it has “even more room to run” in the women’s training market. Nike is launching a major marketing blitz this year to target women as it looks to attract new audiences through its running ranges.

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