The Digital Divide
The big two of the global sporting goods industry: adidas and Nike (mentioned in no particular order) are going increasingly digital in order to ride the wave of digitalization in society in general and in order to create closed gardens as we know from FB, Apple and other digital companies by creating lock ins for the users.
Having a digital identity with Nike measuring one’s every move and physical activity and storing all the data on the Nike platform means that there are substantial switching costs associated with going somewhere else. Tieing the Nike platform up with socials like Twitter and Facebook makes the association even stronger.
adidas is on a similar track while Puma has recognized that they are lacking behind and need to catch up fast if they do not want to miss out on substantial opportunities and upsides by going digital.
Nobody knows exactly where it is going to go from here and what the real benefits are to the users ? if any ?
But there is fairly good chance that the bet of tieing sporting goods to digital will pay off.
So far it is primarily footwear which has been used for the experimentations. However, the idea of intelligent clothing has long been around. So maybe next we will see sensors built in to athletic apparel which might undertake certain tasks or simply be used to measure output from the body.
The question now is where this will leave the retailers ? Will the adidas/nike/… platform actually be a bonus for the retailers increasing demand for these products while leaving the brick and mortar stores to close the sales.
Or will this cut out the middle man and let adidas/nike sell directly to the consumer through their own e-commerce platforms which are of course tightly integrated with the interface of the personal account.
If retailers want to go digital what are their options ? What kind of opportunities is there to provide the consumer of sporting goods with more than just a shopping interface online ? Are there any opportunities for actually trying to make the same kind of lock – in that the big dogs adi and Nik try to do with their new digital products ?
Is it possible to think of any digital products or digital services provided by retailers which can bring real value to the end consumer – also if one doesnot have a three digit amount in million dollars at disposal in R&D ?
Mobile is big. When it comes to shopping primarily through ipad and iphone. Most of it taking place from the home though and not on the go. So mobile really means mobile device or none PC device rather than meaning that the location is in constant movement. So what kind of opportunity does a world of mobile devices present to the retailer and is it possible to cook up any location based services or benefits which would provide the retailer with an advantage in the sense that it would break the strong digital link between brand manufacturer and consumer. . .
Anyone . . . ??