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Sports Direct App

Delivering a white-label, cross-platform app in under 4 months.

We were tasked with extending Sports Direct's influence to the mobile marketplace

We achieved this goal by building a cross-platform app centred on user experience, which resulted in 340,000 unique users visiting the site each month.

The Challenge
Sports Direct is the UK’s largest sports retailer, operating over 400 stores in the UK alone. The company also runs a number of well-known sub-brands, such as USC, Flannels and Lilywhite’s.

Cantarus had already with Sports Direct on many previous projects including the design, implementation, and support for the entire Sports Direct web estate. Sports Direct had previously collaborated with Cantarus during the development of their e-commerce website, which has been well-received by both the client and its customers.

To expand their online shopping presence, Sports Direct wanted a cross-platform mobile/tablet e-commerce app to complement their in-store and internet browser shopping experiences. The app needed to deliver an outstanding UI experience by taking full advantage of the features afforded by the mobile platform.

Sports Direct wanted each customer to receive personalised content directly to their device with the aim of increasing user engagement and driving long-term relationships. Additionally, Sports Direct asked for the app to be developed as a white label product that could be easily rebranded for any of Sports Direct’s retails brands, including USC, Lilywhite’s and Gelert.

Our Solution
Build a cross-platform mobile app centred on user experience

Drawing from our previous successful collaboration with Sports Direct, we combined the pre-existing, responsive framework from SportsDirect.com with an entirely new, “native” solution as the foundation for the app.

This approach ensured that the app would still contain all of the content included on the desktop browser version yet also provide an innovative and intuitive mobile shopping experience.

The app was developed using only JavaScript, which allowed to us create a cross-platform in a far shorter timeframe than traditionally would be expected for a similar quality app. We capitalised the on the inventive features afforded by the mobile platform, augmenting the traditional e-commerce concept with mobile-only features such as gesture support and push notifications. The app is on the frontier of the new m-Commerce marketplace that combines mobile technology with the ease and simplicity of e-Commerce. We were able to introduce a variety of subtle UX features and animations that contribute to the overall perceived quality of the app. We built an extensible platform using React Native that allows the Sports Direct development team to directly make changes to the app without any assistance from Cantarus. Updates can be applied to the app without the need to undergo the lengthy App Store or Google Play review processes, ensuring that customers aren’t faced with excessive delays for small updates and minor bug fixes. Our goal was to create an app that would not only meet Sports Direct’s expectations but continually surprise the user with a breadth of personalisation features and settings. We have included the option for users to select their dominant hand, which then organises the product layout in a specific manner to avoid the user’s thumb from obscuring sale and promotional banners.

The app has attracted 340k monthly unique users and has further bolstered Sports Direct’s already powerful presence in the sports retail market and provides a robust platform for the future growth of the app.

I was unsure we could deliver an app with the quality we were looking for within the strict time constraints. Due to their terrific track record, Cantarus was the only option to carry out the project

Duncan Lowe, Web & Mobile Development Manager