In an effort to reduce the frenzy generated by the release of its latest shoes, Nike has discontinued midnight launch events and asked consumers to reserve products via Twitter. Prior to release, Twitter accounts for specific Nike stores will notify followers when a certain shoe will go on sale and provide a date for when they will begin accepting RSVPs.
Once reservations begin, users must direct message the store within 60 minutes and provide a custom hashtag, the last four digits of their government issued ID, and their shoe size. The store will then respond offering confirmations on a “first respond, first serve” basis. In addition to eliminating midnight availability, Nike has prohibited customers from lining up at stores for new products.
Nike's new policies do not apply to third-party retailers, such as Foot Locker.
While other companies have utilized Twitter as their primary method for promoting new products – like limited edition movie poster maker Mondo Tees – few have gone as far as to use it as an integral part of the sales process. Nike's efforts fall in line with Twitter's growing emphasis on brand representation and promotion, and should it prove successful, could lead to greater adoption of the social network as a tool for e-commerce.