Case Study: Turning a Vision into a Product for a Major Sports Retailer

Time to read
12 min
Case Study: Turning a Vision into a Product for a Major Sports Retailer
Table of Contents
  • Client and Product Background
  • The Design Process
  • Software Product Discovery Workshops
  • Implementation
  • The Solution in a Nutshell
    • Technologies we’ve used for the project
    • Functionalities we’ve delivered for the MVP
  • The Future
  • Final Thoughts

Many software projects are born as a response to the changing times.

One of our clients took the change seriously and decided to rethink the way they work and approach their clients, even reconsidering how they sell the goods they offer.

Breaking into the world of online applications is a big step for any company specializing in offline sales. It’s a bold move that comes with its fair share of challenges.

Here’s how STX Next helped this sports retailer take the first step in this brave, new direction and make sure the path they had set their sights on was the right one.

Client and Product Background

Our client’s mission statement has always been to make sports available to everyone.

To achieve that goal, they first started selling sports-related products, to great success. Over the years, they went on to become one of the largest sports retailers in the world and every sports enthusiast out there is familiar with their brand.

But in order to stay competitive on today’s market, our client couldn’t be the same company they had been when they first started out and they knew it. The world had changed and they needed to change, too. That’s why after several decades on the market, the company began working on a brand-new vision for their company for the next decade.

The idea was to move from simply selling sports goods into inspiring, engaging, and enabling people to exercise. For that purpose, our client thought of developing a web and mobile platform—a tool to unite like-minded people and help them come together.

Each of the countries involved in the project was given the freedom to choose the process and scope of building the platform, along with deciding on the initial approach. Local market versions were to be created, covering the specific needs of every country. This allowed the company to address the key pain points specific to all the respective markets.

The client approached STX Next to create the platform for Polish users. Together, we agreed to start with fishing—a sport most neglected when it comes to online resources and means of communication.

The Design Process

In addition to formulating their product idea, our client had conducted a survey among a group of amateur fishermen and gathered a list of features their platform should include. Both the research and early concept laid the foundation of the product and became a baseline for our work.

The company’s survey had revealed that the platform had to offer the following functionalities:

  • finding a fishery nearby,
  • booking a place,
  • paying for the booking,
  • finding a coach,
  • renting equipment,
  • finding other people to share the trip with.

Furthermore, the fishermen needed to be able to chat, exchange thoughts, share information, and get advice about equipment. Events and everything relating to them—from hosting to booking—were another important area to cover.

The real hurdle for us, however, was designing the platform in a way that would allow the client to apply it to other types of sports in the future.

We approached the challenge by starting with software product discovery workshops.

Software Product Discovery Workshops

We conducted the discovery workshops in our offices over the course of a single day.

Three people joined us from the client’s side:

  • the Project Leader,
  • the Tech Lead,
  • the Domain Expert (a fisherman with 10+ years of experience).

Together, we tackled all aspects of the process, from the product vision, through the platform concept, to the application prototype.

We laid out the concept during the workshops and detailed the building blocks, including:

  • fishery search options,
  • simplified booking,
  • fishery descriptions,
  • login screen,
  • fishery reviews.

We also prepared a clickable prototype, which allowed our client to pitch the idea within their organization and receive the green light.

Implementation

Our priority was to deliver the initial functionality of the product for the client as quickly as possible. As such, defining everything really well during discovery workshops was instrumental.

Based on the deliverables from the workshops, we delivered the MVP of the platform in as little as 2.5 months.

The team dedicated to the project was made up of:

  • a Product Owner,
  • two software developers,
  • a DevOps engineer,
  • a software tester,
  • a Product Design expert.

In the end, our client’s platform came to life. The application is fully modular and ready to be adapted for other sports disciplines.

The platform is already used and praised by Polish fishermen. What they claim to appreciate the most is how easy and intuitive the interface is to use and the map to navigate. They have also commended the browsing of the fisheries and their prices.

For the duration of our cooperation, we were committed to regularly checking the satisfaction level of the app’s users, taking the feedback we were receiving seriously and intending to use it for future implementations.

The Solution in a Nutshell

Technologies we’ve used for the project
  • CircleCI
  • Django
  • Django REST Framework
  • ElasticSearch
  • Google Maps API
  • React
  • Redux
  • Redux-Saga
Functionalities we’ve delivered for the MVP
  • Fishery admin dashboard
  • Fishery list and map
  • Fishery page
  • Fishery search
  • Booking
  • Filtering
  • User profile
  • Logging in and connecting to the client’s website

The Future

At the time of completing the MVP, future plans for our client’s platform were meant to go in two complementary directions.

The first direction was to improve the existing platform by adding expanded functionality to the MVP and release the next version of the application.

The roadmap for the coming months covered three areas:

  1. An updated version of the booking system that included recommendations, sorting, and ratings.
  2. Second in line was monetization, meant to give both the fishermen the option to pay for bookings and the fisheries the option to advertise using the management system.
  3. Last on the roadmap, but certainly not least, we had a proper marketing strategy for the platform. The purpose of the strategy was attracting new users and gaining potential partners for the client.

The other direction for the future growth of the platform was to add more sports disciplines and roll the application out to more users.

All in all, the platform is expected to encourage more and more sports enthusiasts—both existing and those to come—to take up physical activity, in line with the client’s vision and mission.

Final Thoughts

It only took us 10 weeks to turn the client’s idea for their product into reality.

The vision we had shaped during our discovery workshops was realistic to deliver and realizing it came with few obstacles. Even at the early MVP stage, both us and our client considered the result more than satisfactory.

If you’d like to learn more about software product discovery workshops and how they can help you kick off your digital project successfully, we encourage you to read the article where we discuss the process in detail. There’s even a free step-by-step agenda inside for you to make sure you have all your bases covered.

And if you’re interested in validating your product idea, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to evaluate it with you.

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