Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Champs Sports slam-dunks sneaker launch dates into mcommerce app

Athletic footwear retailer Champs Sports is tiptoeing into mobile for the first time with the rollout of a new application that enables sports fans to keep track of new sneaker releases, purchase items on their smartphones and sign up for the retailer’s loyalty program.

The mall-based retailer’s first app seeks to enhance the digital experience for sneaker fans while simultaneously driving sales on mobile with the ability to shop the entire Champs Sports online store. The loyalty program integration will also likely be an attractive incentive to prompt users to download the app onto their iOS or Android devices.

“More ecommerce is happening on mobile devices and within mobile apps than ever before,” said Dave Lokes, vice president of marketing at Champs Sports, Bradenton, FL. “But moreover, we know that browsing ecommerce mobile Web sites is part of our customers’ path for in-store shopping as well.”

Mobile commerce capabilities
App users will receive seamless access to the retailer’s online store, where they may browse and buy the newest items directly from their mobile devices. Consumers who prefer to try on sneakers and sports gear in-person may use the Store Locator feature to enable their smartphones’ location services and find the nearest bricks-and-mortar store.

Diehard fans of specific footwear may also be prompted to download the app to access the Release Calendar.

“The Release Calendar and Launch Locator when used together within the app, alert sneaker lovers to the upcoming sneaker releases, which are often sold out in just hours,  and which stores near them will carry them!” Mr. Lokes said.

Sneaker enthusiasts can ensure they do not miss a new release by selecting shoe launches within the app and seamlessly adding them into their Google Calendar or iCalendar. This tool is optimal for forgetful or on-the-go consumers who wish to receive alerts when a release is imminent.

The Release Calendar may also help Champs Sports bump up in-store and mobile sales, as guests may feel inspired to purchase the shoes as soon as they are available in the hopes of beating crowds and long lines.

The Launch Locator function is embedded within the Release Calendar, and allows customers to keep track of release dates as well as procedures in one place.

Champs Sports is not the only brand to have introduced these types of exclusive features to app users.

In February, adidas drove pre-orders for its limited-edition sneakers with the adidas Confirmed app, the footwear sector’s first app designed to offer consumers the ability to reserve the shoes from their smartphone thanks to geo-targeting technology (see story).

Targeting millennials
Champs Sports recognizes that leveraging mobile is paramount in marketing to younger consumers who appreciate having the ability to browse and purchase products on their smartphones.

Loyalty programs are also imperative to include in any retail application. Champs Sports’ app enables consumers to sign up for the loyalty platform to create a personal account. In that account, users may track status and spending, as well as receive access to upgrades as they roll out.

Millennials have been proven to respond very positively to these programs, with 66 percent claiming they would switch brands and purchase elsewhere to receive more loyalty points (see story).

“We hope longtime fans will find the convenience of the app appealing!” Mr. Lokes said. “Being a retailer that targets teens male consumers, we know we have to also recruit new fans of the brand.

“We hope these new fans will find the value of our app and adopt it into their everyday routine.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York