The Air Jordan 1 “Lost and Found” resupply that took place on Nike’s SNKRS app last month did not proceed as planned. The April 20 resupply was hampered by checkout problems, which made the shoe seem much more out of reach than expected after Nike promised its comeback a week in advance. Wednesday’s media presentation at Nike’s S23 studio headquarters in New York featured a discussion of the problems with the drop from SNKRS VP Lucy Rouse.
In essence, we were unable to handle the load for that specific launch because of a scaling issue with a third party, Rouse said.
Since replacing longstanding SNKRS chief Ron Faris in April 2022, Rouse has served as the organization’s leader. She is currently in charge of the Nike NBHD (short for “neighborhood”) ecosystem of partners, which includes the shops that sell the most popular items from the company. Rouse wants to use those organizations to promote a vibrant, forward-thinking, and inclusive community that occurs both offline in actual stores and events as well as online in places like SNKRS.
“A ton of different things might happen, and every case is unique,” Rouse said. “Whether it’s bad actors scraping the backend of our platform to leak when drops are launching, or third-party partner tools failing. Of course, the ongoing demand for our most sought-after products causes record traffic from human users and automated bots to regularly test our apps. As a result, we occasionally come into new and unexpected bugs, but we’re committed to keeping up with innovation in how we serve our users and updating our experiences to deal with the volume that we see every day.
In order to try and rig the release process, bots on SNKRS can frequently make up 50% of the entries on any given high-demand launch and bombard the app with an average of 12 billion queries every month. According to Rouse, Nike has a 98 percent success rate in removing bots from SNKRS.
In the past, the company hardly ever admitted that launch-threatening bots existed. SNKRS has just made information on the frequency of bot usage on the app public.
However, there is a limit to the transparency. Nike, according to Rouse, wants to “provide enough info so that we’re giving consumers confidence” without giving system-gaming bots an advantage.
The app garners attention for launches that are unsuccessful, like as the “Lost and Found” Air Jordan 1 replenishment, but it is able to bounce back. Even though the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low “Olive” was more in demand than the Chicago-colored “Lost and Found” Jordan 1s just last week, the SNKRS release went without a hitch.
Rouse claims that more people are interested in the rapper’s sneakers than anything else on SNKRS.
She stated, “Travis Scott is without a doubt the most entries we’ve ever received. (Nike previously mentioned this; Travis Scott’s September 2022 release of the Air Jordan 1 Lows established a record for SNKRS entries.)
Most people who entered for a chance to purchase the sneakers likely weren’t able to do so because the supply of relatively limited-edition shoes, like Travis Scott’s Air Jordans, is still lower than the demand. But at least the launch of his most recent pairs was steady.
The pressure on the distribution channels for these types of limited-edition sneakers has increased as demand for them reaches an all-time high.
This is true of all sneaker makers’ launch platforms, but none of them attracted as much excitement or ire from customers as Nike’s SNKRS app. The SNKRS team’s ongoing journey involves addressing the problems and figuring out how to effectively serve the most devoted group of Nike customers.
“We know we can be better,” Rouse said.