The World Cup of eCommerce: Are You Playing?

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The World Cup is a global goliath, with the capacity to unite nations and their people around a common cause – soccer (or futbol, depending on where you’re reading this!)

There are very few events with the ability to reach an audience of this size, all of which are attentive and engaged due to the love of the game.

With such an exorbitant level of engagement from the fans themselves, the World Cup also presents aprofound opportunity for eCommerce retailers to capitalize on the excitement and camaraderie of the competition through online sales.

Inside Brazil: Capitalizing on the Cup

eCommerce retailers operating within Brazil will benefit the most, due to the vast influx of tourists into the country and the rise in electronics & sports apparel purchases from local citizens. The World Cup alone is set to generate a 27% increase in eCommerce sales compared to last year.

This is something that the title sponsors definitely understand. The major commercial sponsors have all rolled out their own content marketing campaigns for the competition; hoping to convert waves of traffic into tangible eCommerce sales.

FIFA is positioned to take in close to a billion dollars in revenue at the end of it all, and have launched a new eCommerce website to take advantage of the tremendous influence the World Cup has. Despite its heavy investment to operate the World Cup, FIFA uses marketing reach and the increased conversation to generate a favourable return on investment.

All of this investment is justified by the recent dominance of the eCommerce industry within Brazil; giving title sponsors and retailers alike the confidence to invest in these digital commerce initiatives. ZDNet reports that Brazilian eCommerce has been growing around 30% per year, despite a faltering economy and increasing levels of personal debt.

Within the host country, it may prove difficult to compete with the deep pockets of the official sponsors. The majority of eCommerce purchases revolve around electronics and apparel – as the people of Brazil prepare to watch the games and support their teams. Outside of Brazil though, the playing field is level, and presents a great platform for your business to leverage.

Outside Brazil: Capitalizing on the Hype

There may be millions of frantic fans flowing into Brazil right now, but the audience outside of the country still presents a fantastic opportunity. In the previous World Cup, there were 3.2 billion people who watched some part of the games – and an average of 200 million eyes were watching each game. If you’re not communicating with these people, you’re missing out on a massive chance to join in on a passionateconversation, and convert some sales while doing so.

As you may expect, some industries are able to reap the benefits more than others, as their particular target markets and products are better suited towards soccer as a sport and soccer fans themselves. Sporting goods stores see the most business, as viewers of the tournament are often inspired to play after the games finish, and head to these stores to pick up new equipment.

That doesn’t mean that your eCommerce business can’t jump on board though, there are a number of waysyou can capitalize on the hype and excitement of the tournament:

  • Offer products oriented towards the World Cup. (eg. If you’re a furniture retailer, can you present your products as the best place to watch the game?)
  • Give discounts and related promotions. (eg. If this team wins, we’ll discount product X by 25% / if the opposition wins, we’ll discount product Y instead!)
  • Run a crowd-sourced contest. (eg. Perhaps a cosmetics company could run a contest looking for thebest painted face.)

Scoring A Winning Goal (For Your Company)

Just because you’re not a main sponsor, or you don’t do business in Brazil, doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the discussion or use the excitement of the fans to bring traffic back to your website. Ultimately, customers want to participate in a conversation, to share in the excitement, and if you can be the organizationfunnelling and focusing this attention – it can result in traffic and sales for your store!

There’s no exact science for scoring a winning goal when selling during the World Cup, but we have a simple system you can use to capitalize on the cup. First, figure out how you can join in the conversation, this is critical in order to drive traffic to your site.

Second, remember that this is the World Cup. Customers will be looking for something very specific when they come onto your site. With that said, ensure you provide the tools and functionality they need to search and find exactly what they’re looking for.

By implementing intelligent autocomplete, your website can do the selling for you. Additionally, using product recommendations can help you with up-selling and cross-selling after you’ve captured the initial sale.

That essentially sums up our two step process: join the conversation, and optimize for conversions.

Have you had any success selling during the World Cup? Do you have any tips or tricks that retailers could use to do this? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on twitter over at @Nextopia! And most importantly, enjoy the cup!

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