Nike is undoubtedly one of the most respected sports brands in the world. The sportswear giant does not only boast of a valuable brand but global success, with its revenue totaling $39.billion in 2019. As if this is not enough, its loyalty scheme, the Nike membership club, in 2017 recorded a membership of more than 100 million members, speculated to spend about three times more than ordinary shoppers on their store. In addition, the company has continued to fine-tune its rewards program to become one of the best in the global eCommerce industry.
This article will look at how the Nike membership program works, how it has been successful, and some ways in which it could be made more attractive.
How does the Nike Membership Club program work?
The Nike membership loyalty program is a club where customers have access to exclusive benefits. Nike shoppers can join by signing up on their website or their four mobile apps; Nike Run Club, SNKRS, Nike Training Club, and the Nike app.
The central hub for the loyalty scheme is the Nike app. Customers can view the rewards they have earned, receive notifications, and browse exclusive collections. Member rewards and engagements reflect in the main app, even when members utilize the other apps. Again, customers can redeem their rewards at Nike stores or events when they scan their app.
The benefits accessible to Nike members include exclusive products and collections, priority access to sporting event tickets, special birthday offers, expert advice on exercise and training, free shipping, and returns.
What are the good things about the program?
Nike has undoubtedly adopted specific strategies that have made its loyalty program win the hearts of its customers. Let’s delve into some of these values below.
This is one of the strongest pillars of Nike’s membership scheme. Members receive gifts when they celebrate their birthdays. They also receive gifts on milestones such as member anniversaries which make them feel valued. Apart from this, loyalty members have access to their own Nike store online. This store displays product recommendations based on the data Nike has gathered about customer engagements and purchases. Using the personalization approach certainly makes customers feel known, valued, and understood. In addition, having their own unique Nike store eliminates the stress of having to search through dozens of irrelevant products when shopping.
Another great benefit of the Nike membership program that has made it a huge success is that members can access exclusive perks. Unlike ordinary shoppers, Nike members have access to tickets for private Nike events and sporting activities. They are also allowed to shop for exclusive collections, which are made available to insiders only. Becoming a member also means that you will have the privilege of buying products before they are released to the public. These perks are highly advantageous to the brand’s most loyal customers because most of Nike’s products are limited editions and will later become collector’s items. The main idea is to give Nike members a heads up and an advantage over infrequent shoppers. This strategy has proven effective because the mere thought of having access to exclusive deals and new products is attractive to both new and regular Nike shoppers alike. As such, members who are already enjoying these benefits will certainly remain loyal to the brand in the long term.
Another good reason Nike has succeeded in its loyalty scheme is that it has created a strong community which has contributed to increasing customer retention. Joining the program gives customers access to training support, educational content, and free workout classes. It also provides them with inspirational articles that keep them motivated and a platform to either follow or share ideas on their similar interests. Nike also uses a powerful rewards psychology effect by creating a sense of togetherness through its branding and messaging. For instance, the call-to-action for the membership program uses words such as “Join us” and “Belong,” which urges visitors and shoppers of like mind to become participants. Thus, Nike solidifies its emotional bond with its customers and evokes a sense of loyalty by building a community of people who share similar interests in sporting products.
Finally, the Nike membership program appeals to most of its customers because of its omnichannel experience. Irrespective of whether customers shop online, in-store, or through any of the brand’s four mobile apps, their rewards program membership is always connected. Customers can use the exact login details for Nike’s website and each of their apps. While shopping in-store, they can scan their loyalty profile to be recognized and rewarded. The rewards program integration is so seamless that no matter where customers decide to shop, their purchases as loyal members are recognized and accounted for. This encourages its members to continue engaging with the brand.
How could they have made the program better?
Number of separate mobile apps
There is no doubt that a strength of the Nike membership program is the ability to switch between apps and still access perks. However, using too many separate mobile apps is a drawback because customers might be hesitant to download each app. Cross-functional members who are cautious about their phone memory, for instance, will not be able to benefit from the whole program. Nike can make its program more attractive by streamlining the value of the apps so that customers don’t miss out on any of the perks associated with them.
Few re-engagement opportunities
While Nike does a great job of providing valuable perks, the brand does not offer opportunities for customers to re-engage. Members receive all the benefits once they join the program; however, the brand has not designed any element to keep them continually engaged. Rewards programs that use a point-based system, for instance, reward points for each purchase, while those that use a tier-based system offer more perks as members progress. However, with Nike’s instant access style, members do not have the motivation to stay engaged with the program. Nike could make the program more attractive by tying some additional perks to members who complete pieces of training so that members do not lose interest over time.
The Nike Membership Club is one of the most exemplary loyalty programs in the sportswear industry. This rewards program has proved successful and beneficial to a broad customer base with its emphasis on exclusivity, community, personalization, and an incredible omnichannel experience.
This article is part of our series of case studies of loyalty programs implemented by the world's most famous brands.