In October, we unveiled the 2020 Adobe Analytics Challenge. With Nike as our brand partner this year, we announced that the event would be held virtually for the first time. Thousands of student applications poured in from college campuses around the United States and abroad—setting a new record for the competition.
Two rounds of judging narrowed submissions down to six finalist schools, who were challenged to uncover deep data insights around the customer journey and provide data-backed recommendations to reimagine the customer experience online using Adobe Analytics. After a close final judging, where a 5-person panel included Emily White (Vice President of Enterprise Data and Analytics, Nike), Daniel Vredenberg (Lead Product Manager, Digital Product, Nike), Anurag Singhvi (Senior Director of Customer Analytics, Flipkart), Sylvester Obafunwa (Director of Omnichannel Analytics, Academy Sports + Outdoors) and Hila Dahan (Co-founder and COO, 33 Sticks), we are excited to announce the winners for this year’s Challenge.
Hailing from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad, “The Alphas” have taken home the top prize – 1st place and $35,000. We want to congratulate Pooja Patwari, Parth Hetamsaria and Jahnvi Sharma, who impressed the judges with a 3-prong strategy that would add new elements to Nike.com, establish a social community and refine marketing efforts.
The Alphas beat out a competitive set of finalists, with teams from Chicago Booth, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), National University of Singapore, University of California (Los Angeles), and the University of Utah. We are thoroughly impressed with what the students came up with. And although $60,000 was up for grabs, we hoped that many would walk away with career-ready skills. As we have seen during the pandemic, a growth in digital services means that digital literacy is more important than ever before.
The Winning Pitch
The Alphas categorized their pitch into three chapters, which they labeled Redesign, Social and Focus.
Redesign: In Redesign, the team looked for ways to evolve the Nike website experience. They began with an analysis of bounce rates across the site, which pinpointed areas where visitors may have hit roadblocks. This informed their first recommendation around a “Journey Tour” feature for first-time visitors. Similar to an experience of walking into a physical store, Journey Tour would provide a digital snapshot view of how to navigate the website and locate help. A chat bot was also suggested, to mimic a store associate.
Social: This section began with an analysis of how different customer segments interacted with Nike online. It was clear that high engagement rates (e.g. frequent return visits) drove purchase behavior substantially, and that users who had an account (with login details) were more highly engaged. The team looked for a way to incentivize people to create a login and landed on a social community as their main recommendation. This “social hub” would allow members to network and join team challenges (such as a marathon), while having ways to earn points that can be redeemed for special discounts, early access to hot products and passes to Nike events.
Focus: This set of recommendations was intended to help Nike identify new customer segments and to suggest marketing tactics that would resonate. Central to the team’s analysis was an examination of frequent buyers. A first segment included folks who completed more than 5 orders in the last year, and the other included those who engaged Nike online more than 10 times in the last 90 days.
The team also looked at a “likely to buy more” segment, consisting of people who made an order on their first visit. These insights were then merged with marketing spend and demographic characteristics, allowing the team to quantify the impact of promoting more women’s products, ramping up investments in paid media, and driving more engagement in regions such as Southeast Asia.