I’ve written about the SNKRS app on more than one occasion. It’s Nike’s platform for selling sneakers in a digital age. And while many of us have issues with the app’s performance and how the company deals with bots, I’ve grown to love the apps secrets.
The SNKRS app works like this. Nike will post sneakers with details about the shoes including the release date and price. You can select to be notified when the shoes are released and purchase them within the app. If the kicks are limited, you’ll have to wait in line and pray you win a pair. If they’re super, limited Nike will hold ‘The Draw,’ a lotto system that seems never to select you but everyone else. It’s your standard shopping system in 2018.
However, there are times when Nike will have surprise drops, releasing a hotly anticipated shoe before the release date on the app. Or, they’ll post a story about the history of a pair of kicks, and if you touch a picture in the right spot it becomes interactive, and suddenly you’re playing some type of puzzle game. Solve the puzzle quick enough and boom! You have early access to that pair you wanted so badly. It’s a great system that will have you checking the app all the time.
Nike is taking elements of gamification and using it in a way that makes buying a pair of kicks more than just a one-click affair. It gives life to the product and interactivity in a way that I have yet to experience with other platforms. I just wish they used it more often or at least built some type of structure around these types of events. Too often these events come and go without you ever being the wiser. Where the SNKRS app falls short is with notifications. It’s not always clear when you’ll get a notification. Yes, there are preferences, but you’ll see instances where a friend received an announcement, and you didn’t. One is to assume it’s meant to provide a sense of surprise and randomness, but it only leaves users frustrated. Surprise works well within a system. And if Nike builds upon the platform, I think they will generate even more screen time from users. SNKRS should have a setting that notifies users when new content is posted to the site. It should give everyone a fair chance at solving the puzzle. That doesn’t mean everyone should win, but we should at least be able to take part in the madness with everyone else.