Nike announced revenue growth shy of expectations yesterday, although the company is still on track to achieve its ambitious goal: $50 billion in revenue by 2020, with over 14% coming from e-commerce. But reaching that milestone will require the most valuable apparel brand in the world to play a substantial game of digital catch-up.

In 2015, Nike earned about $1 billion via e-commerce, accounting for only 4% of sales.

“We’re just scratching the surface of our potential in this area,” CEO Mark Parker admitted on Nike’s year-end earnings call, pointing out that global consumers spend more than $1 trillion on e-commerce.

The brand could boost that percentage with some simple fixes, such as enhancing product pages on the Nike site with features to encourage purchase. More than half of Sportswear brands incorporate videos into product pages, according to L2 research – making their absence from Nike’s site increasingly conspicuous.

Sportswear product pages

Nike also fails to leverage marketing emails. While 97% of brands tracked by L2 send emails based on a single opt-in, Nike requires consumers to sign up twice, meaning that many miss out on content that could have motivated them to make a purchase. Furthermore, emails are sent infrequently. For example, a repeat customer who spent more than $2,000 on in 2014 received only five emails from the brand in 2015.

Despite those shortcomings, Nike has built a huge digital ecosystem with a lot of potential. It earned the top spot in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Sportswear due to creations like the Nike+ Training Club app, which boasts more than 17 million members. However, Nike has yet to demonstrate that it can leverage that ecosystem to achieve e-commerce growth.


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