Product / ServiceBRAND SITE
CategoryA05. Business Transformation
Idea Creation NIGHTJAR Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation 2 THE ICONIC Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 2 THE ICONIC Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Ahmed Meer Nightjar Head of Design Technology
Christine Sultana Nightjar Head of Operations
Bonnie MacTavish Nightjar Head of Experience Strategy

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

THE ICONIC, a 13m hits/month online fashion retail juggernaut, enlisted us to design and build a future-facing authoring environment with modular customisable components on top of a scalable microservices architecture to transform content creation across THE ICONIC’s business. Integrating forward-thinking tech with the existing stack, we have enabled business efficiencies, increased creative content output, and improved the customer experience by integrating product with native content. This innovation enabled content editors to spin up campaign pages without engaging their tech team, and THE ICONIC have since built over 150 marketing pages, with the average time to create reduced by 88%.


THE ICONIC is Australia and New Zealand’s leading online fashion retailer, but their website is a 7 year old behemoth, with an outdated, clunky custom CMS and ageing frontend technology. With tens of thousands of SKUs, THE ICONIC’s engineers were strapped just keeping the site running smoothly day to day, with no time for innovation to deliver rich, engaging content that would inspire shoppers and fuel conversion. For the content team to create a new campaign page, it would involve members from six teams, with an 8 week delivery cycle. Not only a resource drain, but extremely restrictive in the fast-moving world of online fashion retail. The budget was lean and decided on a proof of concept case. Restrictions included not touching any integral systems, no access to environments for security reasons, ensuring performance was to strict milli-second standards, code 100% unit tested, and not disrupting old frontend tech.

Describe the idea

We needed to rethink the tech approach and devise a new way for how campaigns and landing pages could be brought to life, putting power into the hands of THE ICONIC’s content team. We knew that to achieve long term efficiencies, we would need to bypass much of the existing CMS, but not completely remove it, as it maintains a large part of the global site content. We designed customisable components that would behave like lego blocks to build immersive content-led pages. A microservice on scalable infrastructure pulled content from a headless CMS and THE ICONIC catalogue API to compile, cache and inject the components into the site. Our decoupled approach allowed us to bypass THE ICONIC’s ageing systems and deploy a future-facing solution, all without disrupting the gigantic site.

What were the key dates in the development process?

Discovery Phase - May 2018 UX / Wireframing - June 2018 Technical Specification - June 2018 Proof of Concept (Spike) - June 2018 Infrastructure Setup - May-Jun 2018 Platform Integration - Jun 2018 Build - continued through Jul-Sept 2018 First module launched to public - Aug 2018

Describe the innovation/technology

We proposed a headless CMS approach enabling a de-coupled authoring environment. A microservices architecture deployed within THE ICONIC’s infrastructure would merged product content from THE ICONIC catalogue API with editorial content from The Edition (THE ICONIC’s blog) API to create marketing pages. To modernise the site and streamline internal processes, we needed to slowly replace the existing Angular library in favour of server-side rendered React powered by NodeJS. The headless CMS approach gave us the advantage of being API-led and allowed us to deploy our solution into THE ICONIC’s infrastructure. We built a series of RESTful web services, with each service endpoint corresponding to a different React component. Our microservice would compile, cache and inject the components into the main site without disturbing it. Once implemented, THE ICONIC’s content editors were then able to quickly and easily (in less than a quarter of the time) spin up campaign and content pages directly from the headless CMS, without the need to rely on their at-capacity engineering team. We launched the customisable component approach in November 2018, with the adidas Statement Collection page. Since then, THE ICONIC team have launched over 150 new pages.

Describe the expectations/outcome

THE ICONIC now have a forward-facing solution that has significantly reduced reliance on the tech team, and allows content editors themselves to spin up new content pages in a fraction of the time. We have empowered THE ICONIC to launch over 150 new marketing pages across different categories, fuelling the 13million hits THE ICONIC receives every month. With the introduction of the Prismic CMS and module approach THE ICONIC have been able to: Reduce involvement from five internal teams to one Create landing pages in one week, instead of more than four weeks Decrease time taken to update destination pages by up to 88% Increase the click through rate by 50% on the Women’s destination page YOY Streamline uploading desktop and mobile imagery Streamline brand imagery approval process Accelerate brand partnerships, with Sneakerhub powered by Sneaker Freaker, adidas and Reebok all launched with the new approach

Website URL