Nike e-commerce growth accelerates as it preps for Rio Olympics

Nike says its attempts to create a premium experience online are paying off as its ecommerce business sees growth accelerate as the company preps “a pipeline of innovation” ready for big sports events over the coming year including the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil next summer.

Nike’s ecommerce revenue was up 46% in its first quarter, with the firm crediting strong conversion and increased traffic, particularly on mobile. Nike’s CEO Mark Parker, speaking on a call yesterday (24 September), said the secret to the brand’s success is the creation of a digital ecosystem that engages with consumers as well as selling to them.

“Our digital ecosystem delivers a connected growing community, personal real-time engagement and easier access to they product they love head to toe. We stand alone because we connect all three to give the most holistic premium experience to the consumer. And when we serve the consumer better through digital we drive growth,” he explained.

In total, Nike’s direct-to-consumer business, which includes its own stores and websites, saw 46% globally and 31% in Wester Europe. Parker said Nike is embarking on a “deliberate and aggressive” strategy to ensure it is the most desired sports brand in Western Europe.

That comes as Nike’s overall results beat expectations, with quarterly profits up by 23% and revenue increasing 5% to $8.41bn on the back of strong sales in China, which had until now been a weak market for the sports brand.

Parker said he expects growth to continue, in part due to the rest of its fiscal year being filled with “important sports moments” including the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the European Championships. He promised a full innovation pipeline for both athletes and consumers

“For us there’s an opportunity to really bring our best product, the best innovation, our best storytelling out, serve the athletes at the highest level. The expectations on Nike are extraordinarily high, as they should be. This year we will not disappoint.”

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