Nike has a new solution for kids’ growing feet and they are banking on the convenience factor for parents.
In today’s world, the trend in business has seen a huge shift in consumers using goods and services that offer simple ease and convenience with a business model of keeping customers hooked to continue to bring in revenue.
According to Forbes magazine, The subscription product market is growing substantially. Since 2014, the subscription market has grown by 890% and in 2017, was up by 10% over the prior year.
“In providing footwear, we’re always trying to answer, ‘What do kids want?’” said Dominique Shortell, director of product experience and retention for Nike Adventure Club, in a statement. “But an equally important question is, ‘What kind of experience are we providing for their parents?’ We want to make shopping for footwear as convenient as possible for them.”
The Nike Adventure Club is a sneaker subscription for kids ages two through 10, who wear sizes 4C to 7Y. The service will offer three membership plans, but they don’t come cheap: four pairs of sneakers a year for $20 a month, six pairs for $30 a month or 12 pairs for $50 a month. There are 100 types of Nike and Converse shoes to choose from.
Children’s sneakers typically retail for $60, so compared to the monthly subscribers, there will be a savings of about $10 a pair. Parents will be able to alter the frequency of deliveries or pause their plan as they choose.
Each box will have the child’s name on the side and will come with stickers, games and activities, as well as a bonus gift, such as a drawstring backpack.
“This is probably one of the best examples of a major brand taking the attributes of a [direct-to-consumer] digital brand” and linking it to its broader strategy, said Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Consulting.
Nike’s choice to focus on children for this plan is a smart idea, targeting time-strapped parents in the suburbs or rural areas who don’t live near a shoe store. Kids outgrow and ruin shoes quickly, so having the convenience of a new a pair arriving at home regularly can help parents save time and money. Nike’s focus with their subscription plan is to help parents from having to drag their young kids to a store every few months to try on sneakers that they will quickly outgrow. In addition, shopping for kids’ shoes online can bring an added hassle of sizing issues and return hassles, the company says.
“We’ve discovered a huge pain point for parents around shopping for kids’ shoes,” Dave Cobban, general manager of Nike Adventure Club, told CNN Business. “This was a great opportunity to experiment with different solutions.”
Nike also has a plan to make returns simple. If the shoes do not fit, consumers will be able to order a different size and have it shipped out before the original pair is returned. Nike has plans to donate or recycle the customers returned pair.
Two years ago Nike started piloting a sneaker club for kids called Easy Kicks through Facebook ads. It has grown to 10,000 members and Nike believes it is time to unveil the service. The group helped Nike determine what exactly parents would most want from Kids Adventure Club.
Nike’s subscription may not stop with kids. The kids’ sneaker club lets Nike test out the subscription market and possibly offer a service for runners, who naturally wear out sneakers quickly.
Cobban noted that avid runners need to replace their shoes frequently and he mentioned the possibility of a marathon membership program.
“We’re starting to think about what other athletes have problems that could be very easily solved by a subscription,” he said. “This is the beginning of something pretty exciting for Nike.”