- Nike has released a new way to try on shoes in select Los Angeles area stores.
- It enables customers who download and use the Nike app to try on shoes without interacting with a Nike store associate.
- I tried it on a recent visit to LA and found it works well, but its usefulness is limited to certain situations.
LOS ANGELES – Nike knows customers want to try before they buy, so it’s making that a little easier to do.
The world’s largest sportswear seller has debuted a new way to request shoe try-ons in stores, along with new functionality in its smartphone app.
Each shoe has a little barcode inside, which can be scanned using a feature on the app. Doing so brings up an option to try on any version of the shoe currently in stock at the store. Wait in the designated area, and a Nike employee will trot out the shoe you requested within a few minutes. There’s no pressure to buy.
The feature is currently being piloted in a few West Coast stores before Nike rolls it out to the rest of its retail footprint. On a recent trip to Los Angeles for the opening of Nike’s newest concept at the Nike by Melrose store, I took the opportunity to check out how the app works in practice.
One of the pilot locations is Nike’s store at The Grove, a large outdoor luxury mall. In my experience, the new service worked exactly as advertised. I could definitely see it being a useful tool if you can’t find an employee to help, or if you’d just rather not talk to somebody.
Scan-to-try is part of a suite of features Nike is launching on a small scale, then rolling out to the rest of its stores. Scan enables scan-to-try, Reserve allows customers to select items in advance to try on in-store, and Instant Unlocks gives access to freebies within the app.
Here’s how scan-to-try works:
Nike’s three-story, 31,000-square-foot store in The Grove is where I decided to test the scan-to-try feature.
A sign in the men’s shoe try-on area advertised the new service, but before I could even open my phone, a helpful Nike employee asked me if I was looking for anything specific. I had to wave her off for the purpose of the test.
Each shoe has a barcode.
Point this box from the Nike app at the barcode (and not the floor) to scan the shoe.
The app then automatically pulls up the model of the shoe, along with the colors it comes in and the sizes it currently has in stock.
Select a size and color, and you’ll progress to the waiting screen.
Once an associate grabs the request, you’ll get a notification.
At that time, it’s a good idea to search for the area where the employee will bring the shoes. At The Grove, it’s near the elevators.
I spy a door with a wall of characteristic orange shoe boxes behind it. I feel confident enough to know exactly where the shoes are going to come from.
And they do! A Nike employee comes out, verifies my name, and walks away immediately.
Here they are, the Nike Epic React Odyssey in all black. I’m pleased that I’m left to decide if I like the shoes in peace.
In all, the process probably took about five minutes. It all felt seamless, and if you can’t find an employee, it’s a perfectly good option. Just asking an employee for help would probably be easier, though.