Nike China managed to drive traffic to its e-commerce site in a market dominated by the giant online portals by rethinking how it rewarded online publishers, and more than quadrupled revenue as a result.

This work won the “general” category at the I-COM Data Creativity Awards (San Sebastian, April 2018), where Crystal Chan, managing director of OMG, Nike’s partner on the project, described the unique conditions in China that make e-commerce difficult for individual brands.

“Tencent and Alibaba dominate e-commerce, and brand web sites have less than 6% of total online sales. Even Amazon could not succeed in China,” she stated. “When we first worked on Nike.com, traffic was very low and there were close to zero conversions to sales.”

Other challenges included strict control over the site from Nike globally, and a problem in China with clickbots being used to boost viewer numbers of online ads.

“But we have a very deep understanding of the China online market and developed this knowledge into a very comprehensive solution,” said Chan. “Most importantly, we know that the China online market is innovating, evolving. We knew the solution had to be simple, fast and agile.”