Considering a digital overhaul? In the words of Nike, Just Do It!

As retailers were putting together their plans and strategies for 2020, a global pandemic in the shape of COVID was unlikely to have featured on their list of possible disruptions.

It is fair to say that this year will not be remembered fondly by many brands - feelings echoed by consumers.

However, the past few weeks have seen numerous news stories that serve as a reminder that there were also many positives – with the pivotal role digital and ecommerce is playing in the industry increasingly prevalent.

US athletic brand Nike’s shares reached an all-time high last month, rising by 7.7 per cent to hit $147.95 and give it a market value of $228billion.

The reason? Shrewd investment in ecommerce, apps and digital operations.

“The consumer shift to digital is permanent, and our digital penetration will only increase in years to come,” Nike’s CEO John Donahoe told analysts on a conference call last month.

While many brands build their apps and digital stores as another channel for customers to buy their products from, Nike made them part of its customer’s lifestyle as well, to help it outsprint its rivals.

Over the past few years, the company invested wisely in apps and digital, including launching its Nike Training Club App that saw more than half its members doing a workout on it during the second quarter last year. A running app offers self-guided runs, while the membership NikePlus programme offers its tens of millions of members discounts and content while helping the company better understand its customers. Its ecommerce business grew more than 80 per cent for the third straight quarter.

Luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason hit the headlines in December with the news it was close to selling out of its iconic hampers before Christmas for the first time ever. Demand due to coronavirus restrictions pushed sales through the roof.

The luxury brand put itself in the enviable position of being able to cope with a surge in online users, partly thanks to a new commerce site and shopping experience.

And while digitally “mature” brands like Nike and Fortum & Mason have displayed agility and resilience throughout the crisis – partly because of their investments in digital - others have been slow off the blocks.  Tracy Postill, head of marketing and brand for Redbox explained: “For many brands pre-Covid, digital transformation was simply not a business priority.  Fast forward a few months and the current crisis has upended those views and forced them to rethink their business models and ways of working to meet the shift in consumer behaviour and expectations.”

For brands who are wanting to make up for lost ground, such a drastic shift can feel like a huge undertaking.  Part of the problem is determining what digital technologies will add real value to the business and customers.

This is where partnering with an agency like Redbox is essential. They can take on the heavy lifting, helping brands get their digital projects off the ground and better prepare them for any disruptions moving forward.

With offices and partners around the world, Redbox is part of a bigger digital collective under the SQLI Group. It is entrusted with some of the world's most iconic brands, including Fortnum & Mason, Hamleys, Diesel, Seasalt and Radley.  The wider group has partnered with names such as Nestle, Airbus, Bridgestone, Nestle, L'Oréal, Miele and Ikea supporting them with their digital transformation.

For brands considering contacting Redbox for the next step on their digital journey, we suggest they think like Nike – and Just Do It!