It seems like it may be a new era for the SNKRS app as Nike announced that one of its current leadership roles would be changing. An internal message examined by Complex revealed that Lucy Rouse is set to be the new VP/GM overseeing the SNKRS app.
Can’t live with it, can’t live without it – the SNKRS app is undoubtedly one of the most controversial and frustrating elements of sneaker shopping. At this point, everyone and anyone – including John Donahoe himself – knows the feeling of taking an L on the SNKRS app, which is reserved for Nike’s most limited and high-priority releases.
Lucy Rouse’s official title will be VP/GM of SNKRS Launch, but her command also expands over to NBHD and S23NYC. “NBHD” is short for Nike’s top-tier “neighborhood” sneaker boutiques and “S23NYC” represents the New York studio where the SNKRS team is based.
Rouse is succeeding Ron Faris, who built the SNKRS app that we use today, which has been an essential pillar in Nike’s direct-to-consumer division. Faris is still with the company as he is now serving as the VP/GM of Nike Virtual Studios, which is sure to be restless considering the expansion of the Web3 and Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT.
With over 16 years of experience at Nike, Rouse seems more than ready to take on her new role at SNKRS, which officially begins on April 4, 2022. Rouse’s beginnings with Nike date back to 2005 as she started as an Account Executive in Australia. Her recent work with the company includes leading Nike’s women’s business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, which she had just made rounds in with Nike’s sportswear division.
An internal message addressed by Daniel Heaf, VP of Nike’s direct-to-consumer business, sets a plan forward for Rouse’s reign of NBHD and SNKRS explaining that the company wants “to accelerate shaping our future power franchises while realizing our vision to create the most inclusive, engaging, and progressive street and sneaker community in the world.”
Nike has actively tried to change the perception of the SNKRS app, as they’re aware of the very obvious frustration that sneakers shoppers experience every drop day. SNKRS has since shifted to incorporating more community-centric content, so that people can explore on the app, and perhaps feel better about their submission not being selected – once again.
The internal message announces Rouse’s new role addresses this effort saying, “Over the past year, the NBHD + SNKRS team and a broad cross-functional global and geo working group have driven significant progress reimagining our NBHD + SNKRS street culture ecosystem, strategy, and operationalizing our ongoing offense to improve the perception of fairness in our product launch experience.”
To get a better understanding of how sneakerheads are actually feeling about the shopping experience, Nike has analyzed the SNKRS app customer base with internal quarterly reports that monitor aspects like user happiness and belief in the platform’s overall fairness.
The information received from the SNKRS happiness survey shows that the overall happiness with the app stands at less than half, with 45% for the fourth quarter of Nike’s 2021 fiscal year. This was only one point up from SNKRS’ record low, 44% during the third quarter of 2021.
Numbers for how fair SNKRS users believe the app is, sunk even lower, with only 22% of users saying that it provided them with a fair opportunity to purchase. The overall fairness rating was down 2%, as Nike’s third quarter of 2021 had the rating listed at 24%.
Even though the survey results reveal that users are less than pleased with the SNKRS app, the platform has still been game-changing for Nike and accounts for a significant part of their revenue. Hopefully Lucy Rouse will be able to bring positive changes to SNKRS, with a focus on integrity and customer satisfaction.