Europe’s leading football clubs have been ramping up their retail game over the past few years. As commercialisation and internationalisation of football continues to grow, football clubs need to compete against the likes of large scale Ecommerce retailers.
A global brand or just a local hero/football club?
Touch screens and smart systems are some of the technology that clubs have implemented in to their stores over the past months. Adidas have signed a £750,000,000 kit deal with Manchester United, and many clubs have improved the overall retail experience for loyal fans.
But how can this be reflected online and how can the digital experience be improved to capture the interest of fans than leads to conversion? A football retail store is limited to a geographical location, but it’s time to up the game and go global with the help of a world class Ecommerce store.
Whilst many clubs are seen as strong brands, not much is known about how they leverage their brand within their merchandise retailing strategy. Building strong brand equity is seen as the main motive for retailing merchandise, and the time has come to push it to the digital world.
How can a professional club go global and improve brand image with Ecommerce?
The strength of football brand equity is determined by the level of brand awareness and quality perceived by customers. Therefore, using the powerful Magento platform is the perfect way to build a brand and showcare merchandise.
Football clubs need to define their marketing strategy in order to improve their brand image and customer loyalty. These are crucial elements for a club to differentiate themselves from others and moving your club to a word class Ecommerce platform is the perfect way to define your brand.
How can a football club deliver the cutting-edge shopping experience online?
1. Setting goalposts
Targets and KPIs should be clearly defined and set early on. Targets should be specific and measurable, ensure that your goals can be measured to understand when they are reached or how you need to change your strategy to reach your target.
Whether this be getting customers to buy more, increasing returns on ad spend or increasing conversion rates by device, you need a timeframe and a strategy in place. If it’s getting your club customers to purchase more, then you can build your Ecommerce strategy around this by understanding what your customers value the most and offer VIP member discount offers, but your goals need to be defined early on.
2. Single sign on
Single sign-on (SSO) is a secure process that allows a customer to access multiple web sites with just one set of login username and password. Offering SSO to your customers is a fantastic way of creating an easy user experience.
We implemented single sign on to the Leicester City Football Club sites, meaning that users could be provided with a seamless and secure login to all three sites with just one sign on, thus streamlining the process, with less forgotten password and more conversion! Seamless and secure web application access with single sign-on.
3. Mobile first approach to development
Before you start kicking off with design and development, remember mobile! It’s something that is often not considered and kicked aside, despite over 84% of shoppers who experience difficulty when using mobile and 40% of users going to a competitor after a bad mobile experience.
In today’s mobile world, it is essential that your site is built to adapt to whatever device is on and that all buttons and call actions on mobile are tap-friendly and have good margins.
4. Kit Builder
Offering a kit builder to your customers and loyal fans is the foolproof way of ramping up sales and increasing conversion. Having a kit builder can allow your football club to stand out from all of the thousands of other products available.
In 2018, we launched the kit builder on LCFC’s Magento 2 store. Its core module, the bespoke ‘kit builder’ feature, provides advanced functionality that allows customers to purchase full kit online, with the option to personalise items with name, number and patches. The kit builder has full integration with their EPOS system to depict the correct letters and numbers.
Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in Ecommerce, so much so that shoppers are 48% more likely to buy if their product can be personalised. We no longer tell our customers what to buy, the purchasing journey is completely exclusive to every customer.
5. Look Internationally
Increased internationalisation has allowed football clubs to grow and expand into international markets, it has opened up a completely new sales stream and so football club merchandise is no longer restricted by a city or geographical location.
If you want to maximise sales and go global, offering multi-currency options is the first step. A customer is more likely to convert is a product they want to purchase is offered in their currency and language, so if you want to go international, it’s vital to find a solution that can offer you this.
Building your Ecommerce site on Magento 2 will support your business going global, offering multi-currency and offering the user multiple benefits.