To maintain the competitive high-ground, Shimano’s sales team needed to drop it into high gear and optimize their sales tools. Reps needed a solution that was as nimble and responsive as their products.
The cycling components giant needed a multilingual app that worked like an interactive tour de glance, and 303 Software partnered with the long-term Denver agency Genesis to deliver a sleek digital supplement for their dealer catalogs.
Shimano is a major multinational known for their cutting-edge cycling, fishing, rowing, and lifestyle gear. With sales offices all over the world, their global fleet was slowed down by bulky print-only product catalogs.
Shimano engaged their brand strategy partner, Genesis, for help with creating a new digital sales tool. Genesis, a creative agency specializing in brand strategy and communications, approached 303 Software to oversee the app’s technical implementation and together they delivered a road-ready sales app.
To start, 303 Software’s senior iOS and Android developers built an app from scratch that pulls from a data feed that manages thousands of files for the app’s multi-language catalogs. Reps could select their language upon entering and access a dynamic interface that showcased each product’s unique story and technical details with additional hi-res photos, videos, and immersive content not available via traditional print-based collateral. The app also presented a broader range of information that could be updated dynamically as products evolved.
The language conversion was a more challenging piece to develop. 303 Software has internationalized apps before, but supporting multiple languages in this instance was complicated by the way the content was dynamically served to the app at runtime. This was solved by using different approaches for translated strings if they were part of the prebuilt binary versus dynamic content. Multiple languages also meant more QA than usual. Three team members reviewed content internally at each release point, followed by two rounds of QA with Genesis before the content went live.
As the project progressed, Shimano added requirements like promoting certain content in specific regions and to specific reps or dealers. To enhance app and IP security, 303 Software created advanced permissions for reps and dealers and dealer authentication requirements.
Since the app’s deployment, Shimano sales team and dealers worldwide have a mobile sales tool that provides far more detail and visual display than its paper-based foundation. Items can be located in seconds directly in the app, and don’t have to wait for collateral to be edited, reprinted, and delivered from corporate in 20 different languages: the software is updated on the backend and pushed out in seconds, not weeks. Ride on, Shimano.