Foot Locker, which is aiming to grow its revenue to more than $10 billion through its Lace Up Plan, will expand tech investment to 3% or above annual sales — a move that will boost capital expenditure in the area by more than 50% over the coming four years and raise its overall capital expenditure by more than $50 million as it pursues 25% digital sales by 2026.
“Our digital transformation will create a more agile modern platform,” said Elliott Rodgers, Chief Operations Officer at Foot Locker on a call with investors. “The improvements will not be limited to technology. They will include improvements to our processes and ways of working. We will move from legacy platforms with heavy customization to a modern architecture that is scalable and futureproof for growth. We will evolve to a more agile product and platform operating model that delivers capabilities and personalized customer journeys with a faster speed to market.”
The retailer also will invest in greater data capture and personalization at scale for both its loyalty program and digital marketing outreach. Achieving this goal will involve both gathering more data and deploying more sophisticated analytics and machine learning operations to yield actionable results.
Frank Bracken, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, laid out an example of one path this updated approach to loyalty might follow:
- A customer sees a Foot Locker social media mention of a HOKA running shoe on Instagram, and likes the post;
- Foot Locker’s decision engine sends a personalized message to the customer through the Foot Locker app ,introducing a new running silhouette and including a click-to-shop link to enable a seamless purchase;
- Once the transaction is complete, the new data would be updated in the customer’s membership profile and the retailer would invite them to a local community event, such as a free giveaway event at a store, using an email with HOKA imagery that mentions the free gift; and
- One final email would be sent several weeks later with new HOKA styles and colors that the customer has not bought before.
This entire process would be influenced by the customer’s status within the FLX loyalty program: “Certainly, if they had accrued enough points in their FLX membership to earn a cash award, we would message them that they’re able to buy the sneaker with the benefit of their membership reward,” said Bracken during the call.
Foot Locker also is targeting simpler improvements to its digital operations. The company plans to update its website with more personalized product recommendations, improved search and better visuals, and add more in-depth ratings and reviews to better educate customers about its products. These updates will be particularly focused on mobile, which has become a major channel for the retailer.
“In 2022, over 80% of our traffic came through mobile,” said Peter Scaturro, SVP of Strategic Planning and Growth at Foot Locker during the call. “Our customer is telling us how and where they want to engage so it’s on us to make sure that experience is immersive, drives loyalty and ultimately connects our customer to the category and the products that they love.”
Foot Locker has a lot of work to do, and Scaturro noted that the retailer is “trailing the broader market” when it comes to its current digital penetration of 17% — compared to the 20% range for direct competitors and double that for “the broader marketplace.” However, the company is willing to put in the work to achieve its goals.
“It’s not going to happen in one month or one quarter,” said Scaturro. “It’s going to require a multiyear strategic road map across our technology and supply chain infrastructure to get us there. But we’re confident that we can get there.”