Nike approached demodern for the development of a large-screen, multi-touch application for their flagship stores. The touchscreens should allow customers to immerse themselves in the world of the Nike product experience, and inform visitors about upcoming classes, events & activities in the surrounding neighborhood of the store. To make the media-rich project work, demodern had to find a way to allow Nike’s team to independently manage all the content for these digital walls.
Imagine that you want to purchase a new running shoe and you could receive detailed user stories, social content as well as product information directly at the point of sale. This is what the team at Nike Germany thought; so they provisioned the digital agency demodern to develop an interactive multi-touch application as a communication channel directly at the point of sale.
Only 3 months after the creatives at demodern went to work, a SportScheck store in Munich and the Nike flagship store in Berlin already had 75 inch multi-touch screens with the interactive app experience installed. “Besides social feeds, the project required us to integrate editorial stories as well as videos and location based information about upcoming events and virtual running trails, which have to be customized for each individual store”, says Alexander El-Meligi, who led the team at demodern.
"Our goal was to focus on the immersive and rich user experience of the large in-store touchscreen. Instead of creating our own custom backend API and editorial system we decided to rely on Contentful, which has proven to be a perfect fit for the development of this new screen experience,” summarizes Alexander El-Meligi.
When the project got started the team at demodern evaluated numerous backend solutions that would enable editors at Nike to efficiently manage text, video and images for the app. This research quickly uncovered the limitations of existing content management systems. "We knew that existing CMS were designed for page-centric HTML content, rather than for managing and delivering content to interactive apps," says El-Meligi, "They have either no or bad APIs and we didn’t want to host and maintain an open source solution either.”
Instead of trying to customize an existing content management system or building their own tool from scratch, demodern decided to use the APIs of Contentful (which is powered by AWS). “We were amazed by Contentful’s Content Delivery API. Performance and reliability have been rock-solid. The integration of the API into Adobe AIR and the production of a working prototype took our developers only 2-3 days. Such short turnaround time would be unimaginable if we would have decided to create our own backend.”, notes Florian Mueller, the Project Manager at demodern.
Besides pulling in social feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and OpenWeatherMap, the touchscreen app focused on upcoming classes, videos, events, and activities in the surrounding neighborhoods. Alexander El-Meligi explains how the process works: “The content on the digital walls is edited directly by a team at Nike and demodern. Editors are updating all content and media with ease on a weekly basis in Contentful’s web-based editing interface. Within seconds the in-store touch screen apps are brought up to date through the Content Delivery API, making new content instantly available to curious shoppers.”
The new walls underline the relationship and identification power of the Nike brand and have a positive influence on the purchasing decisions of customers. They include the direct surroundings of the store and create a real hub for sport lovers and enthusiasts.
The great thing is that “using Contentful saved us several weeks in time that we would have needed to develop a good and stable API, not to mention the time and effort consumed by hosting, debugging and improving the performance of our own solution" notes Alexander El-Meligi. Asked about the key advantage, El-Meligi immediately replies: "Contentful spared us lots of technical headaches, freeing our team to focus on the interactive user experience.”