Building a Reactive Product, Ground Up
About Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
UPHE (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, the home video distribution division of American film studio Universal Pictures) Rewards portal is a social platform that enables automated targeting/re-targeting of shoppers to extend customer relationship beyond store aisle. It allows customers to engage socially with the brand which consequently influences their purchase habits and inadvertently encourage a similar kind of pattern among their connections to maintain a continuous channel of brand awareness through social media. The portal helps is maintaining a perpetual dialogue via contests and promotions, rewards and gamification, targeted couponing and purchase validations with new customers while simultaneously establishing a rock solid customer base.
To increase sales of upcoming release of Universal Studios movies in the form of optical disk drives (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Full HD BluRay and DVD disks) among their existing huge customer base and to build it up further Home Entertainment division of Universal Pictures decided to go online with multiple sweepstakes options to gamify purchase behavior. The challenge was to handle huge traffic spikes with each movie release along with simultaneously capturing meaningful geographical information of customers and their behavioral engagement with products and the brand thereafter building a data set using home grown analytics engine which needles to say acted as a holy grail for targeting and re-targeting purpose.
Knoldus worked closely on the business requirements to identify key areas. After all criticalities were identified we started building the portal in Knolway (Knoldus software development methodology) following a 2 weeks sprint schedule. The user interface was initially built on Angular 2 which later on was migrated to Angular 4. We optimized the user interface to every possible extent to keep user experience as smooth as possible. All services were built using Scala and Akka backing up all the complex logic and Elasticsearch was used for building the analytics engine. Architecturally, the entire portal was broken down into multiple logical services which were distributed as microservices each using Reactive Manifesto for development needs making all API communication asynchronous and non-blocking.
The final product was able to perform extremely well under high traffic spikes owing to the fact that all communication was done in a non-blocking fashion and scale up was easy under microservices architectural spectrum. Likewise, the user interface was polished in such a way so as to facilitate a non-blocking environment, essentially adding to the best user experience and allowing to generate data holding critical value for branding needs.