After Nike limited its sneaker drops through lottery-based draws, the sneakerheads closest to an actual release experience was an SNKRS Pass, which allowed people to reserve shoes on the SNKRS app according to the principle of first come, first served. But with an influx of resellers and bots trying to cheat the app for their own benefit, Nike announced that it would be limiting functionality as it has done with its releases.
SNKRS Pass will now use the same lottery-based drawing method seen in SNKRS launches, Nike announced through its app. Users will need to apply for an SNKRS Pass reservation for an extended period – as before – but once this window closes, winners will be chosen at random. “This evolution of SNKRS Pass incorporates bot filtering tools – the same technology used when launching the app to help real members secure pairs – and further protects the integrity, fairness and authenticity of experience,” Nike wrote in its SNKRS app.
In this economy? — Over the past few years, shopping for Nike sneakers has become more difficult than ever: an internal SNKRS study from last October revealed that demand for releases increased by 70% over the previous year, Nike does not being able to satisfy only 7% of the desired sales. The overwhelming demand has left sneakerheads turning to the resale market, where even the humble Air Force 1 sneaker has been tagged by bots and resellers eager to make a profit. In turn, shoppers began to favor smaller independent brands, although some of these companies adopted anti-bot methods similar to Nike’s.
The branding update alleviates some concerns about resellers and bots, but it still adds to growing frustration within the sneaker industry. Already, SNKRS users have gotten into the habit of checking the app, as well as sneaker-centric spaces, to prepare for upcoming SNKRS Passes — but knowing when they drop, even in advance, won’t help. if ‘Pass’ the results are randomized.
Nike has previously said that more engaged SNKRS users will see better results on the app, but at this point most of the fate seems to be left to the app’s internal algorithm. Now, buying the fashionable sneakers you want is just a matter of luck.
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